November 20, 2013

"Colonial Bros and Nava-Hos" frat party

'Colonial Bros and Nava-Hos' frat party prompts Cal Poly investigation

Fraternity-sorority event with theme of Native Americans gets complaints

By Julia Hickey
Cal Poly officials are investigating an off-campus fraternity and sorority party after complaints that the theme was offensive to women and Native Americans.

Men attending the party—identified in an email as having a “Colonial Bros and Nava-Hos” theme—wore Colonial-era costumes, while women wore sexually explicit Native American-themed attire.

The party took place this past Friday in the area of Foothill Boulevard, with approximately 60 people attending.

Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong denounced the party in a campuswide email sent Tuesday and announced a university-sponsored forum to be held Friday to allow Cal Poly community members to come together and discuss the impact of the party.

“Let us be clear, events like these have no place in the Cal Poly community and are not reflective of the principles of The Mustang Way,” Armstrong said in his email. “Obviously, this was not a university-sponsored event.”
Naturally, non-Indians thought this racist event was fine:“Personally, I don’t think it was meant to be racist,” said a Cal Poly student and fraternity member named Daniel, who declined to provide his last name. Daniel, who said his fraternity was not associated with the party, said Greek life involves a lot of “guy-and-girl”-themed parties. Although he could not confirm what the party was called, he said it was meant to fit with Thanksgiving.

“It’s unfair,” he said. “We are taught that Thanksgiving is Pilgrims and Indians.”

A second-year sorority member, who also declined to be named, was invited to the party but did not attend.

“There are a lot more offensive themes out there, especially during Halloween,” she said.
Party brings debate to campus, leaves greeks on edge

By Sean McMinnIn an email to campus Monday, Humphrey and Armstrong decried the party, saying there is no place for events like it in the Cal Poly community.

“It’s very serious,” Humphrey said in an interview after sending the campuswide email. “I think its effects on our community are things we can’t even fully put our arms around, and that’s what makes it very disturbing. And we don’t know who something like this will offend, and they’ll choose to never come to Cal Poly, choose to not send their children to Cal Poly.”

Fraternities and sororities will be required to register all parties with the university beginning next quarter as part of an agreement earlier this year to loosen recruitment restrictions in exchange for tighter oversight of greek functions.

Humphrey said there is no pressure to speed up that process after this past weekend’s incident, but added that a party registration system could have prevented it from happening.

Cal Poly will hold a forum Friday to discuss racism and sexism. Lazier, Cal Poly’s spokesperson, said it will address the party under investigation, as well as broader cultural issues on campus.
What's wrong with the party?

Let's count the ways the Cal Poly frat party theme was wrong

By Joe TaricaWhere to even begin with how dumb this is?

Let’s start with the whole “bros and hos” thing, which has become a common fraternity/sorority mashup for guys-and-girls parties.

For the dim bulbs who organize these get-togethers, the rhyme-y phrase is obviously a convenient starting point. Jot down “bros and hos,” attach a theme, and voilĂ  … let the beer pong commence.

Apparently referring to the women partygoers as prostitutes doesn’t bother anyone. I’m sure all would say it’s just a joke, and everyone is being too politically correct. The fact that fraternities host shindigs like this, which are then enthusiastically attended by sororities, speaks poorly of both sides.

Next up in the party planning was picking a theme, which in keeping with the month and season, seized on a Colonial America idea. Except don’t you like how the sexes were divided?

Of course it wasn’t “Colonial Hos and Indian Bros,” because who wants to see sorority girls dressed up like victims from the Salem Witch Trials? Women in bonnets and head-to-toe frocks isn’t sexy, especially when the other option is loincloths. So now we’ve got frat boy “bros” decked out as pilgrims and tarted up sorority girl “hos.”

But that’s still not enough, because the party name has to be catchy, not historically accurate to the New England locale. I guess when the organizers were going through tribe names, “Colonial Bros and Wampanoag Hos” didn’t have the right ring to it.

No worries, there’s a better option, and the name just rolls right off the tongue, leaving plenty of room in their mouths for the appropriate insertion of feet.

Who cares that these Native Americans are from the Four Corners region of the Southwest, most assuredly never shared turkey and sweet potatoes with the settlers from the Plymouth Colony, and were in fact subjected to terrible abuse at the hands of American soldiers (including the rape of Navajo women)?

Put it all together and there you have it: A fraternity brainchild that’s sexually demeaning, culturally offensive and historically ignorant—all for the convenience of a good time.
Cal Poly Frats Hold Classic 'Colonial Bros and Nava-Hos' PartyLast week, California Polytechnic State University students in multiple unnamed Greek organizations at the San Luis Obispo campus held a party with the delightful theme of "Colonial Bros and Nava-Hos," managing to figure out how to be both incredibly racist, incredibly sexist and incredibly unoriginal all at the same time.Comment:  I'm sure we could find more wrong with this party idea. For instance, casting men as conquerors and women as objects of conquest. Holy metaphor, Batman! Let's act out how white men raped Indians, literally and figuratively, in the guise of a party.

For more on the subject, see Drink's "Sexy Pilgrim & Indian Party" and Duke's "Pilgrims and Indians" Party.

Below:  An image from the Drink nightclub's "Sexy Pilgrim & Indian Party."

1 comment:

Rob said...

For more on the subject, see:

Cal Poly Investigates Off-Campus Frat Thanksgiving Party Following Insensitive Behavior

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) has initiated an investigation into an off-campus Thanksgiving party by Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity chapter as it was deemed offensive to women and Native Americans.

"Cal Poly is currently reviewing an off-campus party that occurred on November 16 that may have included culturally insensitive, sexist, and offensive behavior," university spokesman Matt Lazier said. "While the gathering was held off campus, the university takes diversity and inclusivity very seriously," Daily Mail UK reports.