Kappa Sigma fails to accept responsibility


In response to the article printed Thursday, Jan. 25 (MEChA continues protest) and the letter written by Isaac Martinez (Kappa Sigma Fraternity positive, not racist) we have a few comments and corrections we would like to make.

First, a statement by MEChA president Tomas Martinez was attributed to George Jenson. It was Tomas who stated that the fraternity had been, "rude, condescending, and at one point, wanted to squash the issue." They also implied that we were criminals in a meeting between MEChA members, Kappa Sigma representatives, and Carol Thompson, assistant Dean of Students. In this meeting ex-president Ryan Anderson expressed concern that MEChA might firebomb their property. Such an insinuation is ludicrous and demoniz ing to minority communities. MEChA is a student group devoted to the betterment of community, not firebombing, carjacking, or any other illegal or terrorist activities. This treatment is typical of Kappa Sigma's dealings with us. They have been uncooperat ive and antagonistic in any of our attempts to get this issue resolved. As for Alex Alcantara's claim that they are striving for a meeting where we can discuss the issue, there already have been meetings which were very unfruitful and in which MEChA membe rs left feeling insulted and discouraged. A meeting between the individuals involved, as suggested by Isaac Martinez, has been attempted; however, Kappa Sigma's member involved did not present himself at the scheduled meeting. As to Isaac's claim that he has never known racism, we have to respond - though your "brothers" may not have spoken directly to you in a similar nature does not mean that they do not use such language or that they are not thinking it. If in your position, we would beware of the frat ernity posturing you as their "token" Hispanic in their defense as to their claims of not being racist.

The need for a vigil would not have come about if we had been treated with cooperation and respect in the first place. However, in light of the nature of the incident itself and its subsequent handling, we felt that this is an issue that the entire campus should be aware of. We feel that these types of behaviors victimize not only the Chicano student to whom the slur was directed, but to all members of marginalized groups on campus. We would also like to point out that this incident was not just a matter of one individual. After the game in question, Kappa Sigma members were overheard stating that, "There's too many fucking spics around here." With an outlook like that, we'd love to see how they feel about gays, women and people of color on campus. MEChA has continued to pursue the issue simply because Kappa Sigma seems to be in denial not only of the facts, but of accountability for their actions. MEChA also feels that this is an issue that the campus should be aware of as this is not an isolated inciden t. There have been similar, even violent episodes on this campus in the past. MEChA merely hopes to raise awareness and to assist in developing guidelines by which future occurences might be handled by the administration. We do not wish to target the Gree k system as has been insinuated - MEChA has members who are a part of the Greek system who feel very stongly about the issue and feel that Kappa Sigma has done a very poor job in their handling of the incident.

We also hope that future coverage of our events will be less biased and more accurate.

Thank you, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA).

Tomas Martinez
Mexican American studies and political science major

Dolores Ramos
sociology graduate student