Outrage Over 'Compton Cookout' at UCSD

By Michelle Wayland, Eric Page and Jonathan Lloyd
|  Thursday, Feb 18, 2010  |  Updated 8:45 AM PDT
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A weekend “ghetto-themed” party thrown by fraternity students to mock Black History Month is being condemned by UC San Diego administrators.

The off-campus event, called the “ Compton Cookout,” urged all participants to wear chains, don cheap clothes and speak very loudly. "We will be serving 40's, Kegs of Natty," the invitation read.

Female participants were encouraged to be "ghetto chicks."

The invite read: "For those of you who are unfamiliar with ghetto chicks -- Ghetto chicks usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, and wear cheap clothes."

Community leaders in LA responded.

"If campus climate is important, a message needs to be sent that this is not acceptable," Chris Strudwick-Turner, vice president of the Los Angeles Urban League, told the LA Times.

Assemblyman Isadore Hall III (D-Compton) said members of the Legislature's black, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, gay and women's caucuses will gather Thursday outside the Capitol to condemn the party.

UCSD Campus Chancellor Marye Anne Fox e-mailed 29,000 students and 26,000 staff calling the event offensive.

"We were distressed to learn that over the weekend an offensively themed student party, mocking the commemoration of Black History Month, took place off campus," the statement read. "We reject acts of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, and political beliefs, and, we will confront and appropriately respond to such acts."

The world of social media did not take long to react:

"I really need to remove my 'Proud to be UCSD' license plate frame," @marisamode tweeted, an emotion that was seconded by @meaghandclark: "Seriously, UCSD? The one time we get in the news for something other than science."

UCSD administrators told the San Diego Union-Tribune that because the event wasn't sanctioned by the university or run by a student organization, university officials don't have a reason to penalize party hosts.

Fox urged students and staff to attend a Feb. 24 teach-in about the incident.

Black students comprise less than 2 percent of the university's undergraduates.


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