Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity Suspended By National Chapter

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by Maggie McNeary, Amanda Nettles & John Anderson
Editor, Campus Life Editor & Staff Writer

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Denton’s initial post

UCA fraternity Sigma Tau Gamma has officially been suspended by its national chapter after a member posted an Instagram photo displaying his face covered in black paint.

Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity brother and sophomore Brock Denton posted the photo of himself in a multicolored sweater with the caption “It was a bold night.” The fraternity held a Halloween party at its house Friday Oct. 28.

UCA President Tom Courtway posted a letter on UCA’s social media outlets regarding the incident.

“A short time ago we were made aware of a picture on social media showing what is purported to be a UCA student wearing blackface. This picture is highly offensive and repugnant, and this representation goes against all we, at UCA believe in and stand for,” he wrote.

Courtway's statement

Courtway’s statement

In the letter, Courtway said the picture would be investigated and “dealt with accordingly.”

Dean of Students Gary Roberts announced that the fraternity’s activities have been suspended until the investigation is over and appropriate measures have been taken into effect.

According to UCA’s Twitter, Sigma Tau Gamma has been suspended by the fraternity’s headquarters. According to UCA’s Interfraternity Council Twitter, the council has “disowned” and “suspended” the fraternity.

Sigma Tau

Sigma Tau Gamma’s tweet

In a now-deleted tweet, the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity said “after reviewing the recent inappropriate and offensive behavior of one [of]our members, that member has been expelled indefinitely.”

UCA senior Haley Jones said she was “shocked” that this happened at UCA.

“I don’t think dressing up like a black person with black paint on was respectful,” she said.

Junior Alexis Downing was also surprised that this happened at UCA.

“In Greek life we talk about diversity so much and having that Halloween party was not a good representation of diversity. As an African-American, I am very offended by it,” Downing said.

Jones and Downing are not alone in their disapproval of the incident. The picture was widely condemned on social media.

In response, Denton posted a blank photo on his Instagram page, with a caption regarding the incident.

“Within a matter of a few hours social media has made me out to be a monster, a racist, a supremacist and those are just three of the many hateful names I have been called. I have been sent death threats, threats to burn my house down,” he said in the caption.

Denton said he was “the furthest thing from discrimination” and that he “fight[s]for equality everyday.” He went on to apologize and said he never would “have done this if I would have known the domino effect that [would]follow.”

At least two comments below the photo indicated the posters still blamed Denton for his actions. Denton replied to the comments.

“I can honestly say I’ve never heard of black face before until today. Believe me or don’t but at this point all I can do is be truthful,” he said. The entirety of Denton’s apology can be read below.

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15 Comments

  1. Writing that his face was covered in “black paint” minimizes and washes the issue of its historical significance. While, not calling it “blackface” will allow people to continue to claim they didn’t know it was offensive, like Denton did.

    • If he had worn a black rubber bill Cosby or Obama mask would that have been offensive? If he had gone as White bill Cosby black would have whined about cultural appropriation
      Every single day I an called cracker, ghost, and a myriad of slurs by “people of color” but that is excused. We are no longer going to tolerate your politically correct BS!

      I HOPE THIS YOUNG MAN SUES FOR $10 MILLION!

  2. This kid did something stupid; he didn’t break the law. The school and fraternity are just bowing down to the hyper-sensitive media because painting his face black as part of his costume has made this issue about race. So every time a fraternity member does something offensive, the fraternity will be suspended? It’s our right to express ourselves, regardless if some people get their feelings hurt.

  3. It’s Halloween! Get over yourselves!! Isn’t this a free country where you can dress in any costume you want? Quit being so offended by everything, geez!! You are diminishing our rights!! We won’t have any left if you pansies keep complaining and getting offended over every personal decision someone makes.

  4. Blacks say “the n word” daily without consequences but a White person says it and it is the end of the world. A black girl threatened to KILL a chick-fil-a worker but does not get expelled from school.

    Equality means that everyone is treated the SAME. It DOES NOT mean that Whites are persecuted for politically correct BS while blacks, asians, and Hispanics can do whatever, whenever. He went as a public figure for Halloween. He did nothing wrong!

  5. Let the children bitching about your costume go to their safe zones and collect their participation trophies. God knows they deserve it! Go on my young brothers and have fun now. It is the best years of your life… Sig Tau Central Michigan University 1992-1994

    • Mike, how about you and your frat brothers bring suit against UCA for discrimination?! It is time to stand up and say ENOUGH to these PC bullies who are openly racist against Whites.

  6. Im from southamerica. I never heard of the term “blackface” but it doesn’t seems like an offense for me on halloween with the purpose of having fun and dress up as someone else. If i see someone black painted white I would think about his creativitity on the final look. Not how he is laughing about me.. I think in USA things have gonne a little far in touchiness.. I do believe he did no harm.. but then im not from the US… other terms may apply
    Instead of throwing so much atention to this boy I would be worried on who’s gonna run my country.

    • It’s different in other countries but in the USA it was meant to mock darker people and to help facilitate the spread of racial stereotypes. In places like New Zealand it’s different but this schools not in New Zealand so..

  7. I think a good portion of us need to remember that painting your face black was used to mock African Americans in USA. It was directly related to racism and slavery. We can’t just sweep it under the rug and pretend we never did it.

    • I think it is good of us to remember what blackface really is. Blackface is coal black makeup on hands and face along with bright red overly exaggerated lips, and huge white circles around the eyes. It is similar to a mime. There was also a comedy/dance skit to show the low intelligence of blacks. The combination of the two represented how blacks were seen by Whites in a joking or ridiculing manner.

      To anyone with two communicating brain cells this IS OBVIOUSLY NOT blackface! There was no intent to exaggerate features to mock and there was no routine or act to mock intelligence of blacks. He simply applied theatrical makeup to darken his face because (shock! Gasp! Horror!) Cosby IS black.
      Every day blacks, Hispanics, and Asians dress up in costumes to act roles of White people in theatres and no one blinks an eye. Fancy dress at a costume party is no different!

      Every day people of color appropriate White customs and culture and we do not say anything.

      Every day blacks mock Whites and that is accepted, even encouraged, by you special snowflakes. There is no one alive today who was a slave or actually watched true blackface comedy shows and neither of these have been around in 100 years which means it lives far in the past.

      You fools keeping living in the past while whining that you can’t move on. Knock the chip off your shoulders, accept the world does not revolve around you, and get on with your lives! You are the ones holding yourselves back. Live is passing you by while you whine, complain, and polish your participation trophies. #GrowUp!

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