By Vincent Schilling
Photographs of the event hit social media and drew criticism from the school’s Native students as well as at a National level. In response to the event, Arthur Jackson, the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs issued a statement via the UNCC Public Relations website that read, in part:
We apologize. Although we have every reason to believe that the sorority intended no offense, we consider this a teachable moment for them and for our entire campus community to deepen our sensitivity on issues of race and culture, and to ensure that we maintain a welcoming campus environment for all people.
By Megan Red Shirt-Shaw
On behalf of other Native American girls who stepped out of their comfort zone and to those who someday will too in order to join the Greek system, I implore and encourage the Sigma Kappa chapter and Nationals to apologize to the UNCC Native American Student Organization for promoting “Redface” and war-paint. Pocahontas has never been a reflection of who I am as a Native woman and it is not a reflection of contemporary Indigenous people today. As young Natives, we have a right to stand our ground and protect what makes us proud to be who we are--which was something I was always comfortable doing within my chapter of Sigma Kappa. I cannot imagine being a soon to be Native freshman at UNCC and seeing those women promoting cultural appropriation--it makes me very sad to see this coming from girls who, if we had been at Penn or UNCC together, might have, been my “sisters.” That is not and never could be the sisterhood I came to know.