By Aim Santa Barbara
As soon as AISA was made aware of this event, it was reported it to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity and an official complaint was filed through the school. While the right steps were taken to ensure that our voices were heard; they were seemingly NOT heard. Although the school administration, faculty, and the fraternity involved were notified about the grievance filed and the situation; the party still went on. Advertisements for the event were still distributed throughout the UCI community through the attached fliers, Ring Road tabling and throughout the Internet via a Facebook event. To make matters worse, university shuttles served as transportation for students JUST FOR THIS EVENT!
AISA members have went out of their way to voice their opinion on the issue. Dedicated their time educating and explaining why this event was exceedingly disrespectful to the Native community. Yet AISA members were subjected to seeing students of all stature prancing around adorned in rainbow colored headdresses, skimpy "loin clothes" and warpaint. Making a mockery of our culture and a direct attack on our communities experiences for the sake of entertainment.
As university students and as Native community members, it is not acceptable for us to have to endure these repeated cases of hostility towards us as people of color and Indigenous peoples especially in an educational institution like UC Irvine that advocates its dedication to diversity. This events and others that make a mockery of peoples experiences and identity are not to be tolerated. They create a hostile campus climate for people of color that are not safe and welcoming. That is why we are taking a stand and making sure that our voices are heard at the University of California, Irvine. We will not back down, and though we only have a .01% representation on the UCI campus; our voices are loud. Numerous other cultural and campus organizations stand in solidarity with us. This is not an isolated incident to Natives or other cultural groups, and we demand that this outright racism and disregard for who we are as Indigenous peoples and disrespect of our culture stops immediately.