AKA Members at UConn Outraged White Frat Members Aren't Punished for Harassment

By Domenica Ghanem and Fatir Qureshi, The Daily Campus

“Privilege will ruin our reputation,” Brittney Yancy, a victim of harassment by members of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, said to a round of applause at a town hall meeting hosted by the African American Cultural Center last night. “And if it goes unchecked, this is how it impacts our community. It will determine who matters, who is protected, who gets access and who is worthy of justice on this campus.”

Audience members including student leaders and UConn alumni felt disrespected by responses from some of the panelists who were giving comments on community, civility and respect.

The forum was held in the Student Union at 6 p.m. on Monday and featured panelists UConn Police Chief Barbara O’Connor, Vice President of Student Affairs Christine Wilson, Dean of Students Eleanor Daugherty, Sociology Professor Noel Cazenave and Director of the Asian American Cultural Center Angela Rola.

The focus of the meeting was a confrontation which occurred on Sept. 29 between an African American sorority and a historically white fraternity.

Greek students belonging to the fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha verbally accosted members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority after painting on a spirit rock, using racially-infused hate speech.

“We were called whores, and after establishing that I was a university professional I was verbally accosted, and intimidation tactics were used,” said AKA Graduate Advisor Brittney Yancy. “They called me a fat black bitch, not just a fat bitch but a fat black bitch.”

Although sanctions were administered against PIKE including the loss of rock painting privilege, individual members at the incident were not punished.

“I have to deal with the fact that the student who has verbally accosted me received no punishment,” Yancy said.
Photo Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Carol M. Highsmith Archive

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