Students carry photo of MLK Jr. before press conference on #ASU fraternity party.
1. Updated — Jan. 23, 9:30 p.m. ET:
2. Arizona State University’s Tau Kappa Epsilon was expelled Thursday night after pictures surfaced on Monday of a “MLK Black Party” that was held by the local chapter.
According to The Arizona Republic, ASU has permanently revoked the 65-year-old chapter’s recognition as university-affiliated fraternity.
4. Initially, the fraternity was only put under suspension; no members of the chapter would speak to reporters about the party.
5. But Patrick Gleason, the director of Compliance and Housing for TKE’s national organization, spoke with CBS:
We are aware of the situation. We have been contacted and we have been in contact with the local chapter and the university,” explained Patrick Gleason, the director of Compliance and Housing for the national organization, based out of Indianapolis.
“I’ll be meeting with the school as well as the local chapter, as I said, to really flush out the details of this incident and get a full scope of what occurred,” he continued.
6. ASU’S TKE chapter was only just reinstated in December after an earlier suspension. (Some members had reportedly assaulted a rival fraternity member, who was African-American.) At the time of the MLK party, the chapter was still on probation.
7. The national Tau Kappa Epsilon organization issued a statement Tuesday, saying that they are currently working with ASU to investigate what happened.
Tau Kappa Epsilon does not condone or support any actions by its members that would be defined as racist, discriminatory, and/or offensive. Social events with “party themes” that are defined as such have no place in our fraternity’s mission or purpose. It is with embarrassment and regret when a few individuals within our organization make decisions that do not align with the values and principles of Tau Kappa Epsilon.
“Since 1899, our fraternity has taken much pride in the diversity and uniqueness of our membership. Tau Kappa Epsilon has never had an exclusionary clause in our membership. Our founders believed, as we do today, in the personal worth and character of the individual, not his wealth, rank, or honor. We take great pride in having members who were and are still advocates of civil rights movements in the United States. We celebrate all men and women of all races, genders, creeds, orientations, and beliefs who strive each day to make the world a better place.
“We apologize for any offensive actions that a few of our members might have participated in. We can assure all other parties that these actions do not represent Tau Kappa Epsilon and the beliefs of love, charity, and esteem that we have stood by for 115 years. We will respond to these individuals while holding the utmost respect for our principles of being Better Men for a Better World.
A member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity professional staff is currently on-site at Arizona State University to begin an investigation. We have been working with university officials since we became aware of the alleged incident.
8. Students gathered at a press conference to condemn the fraternity’s actions on campus Tuesday.
9. Ja’han Jones, President of the African American Men Of ASU, also wrote an open letter to TKE Tuesday, expressing his disappointment:
My name is Ja’han Jones and I serve as the President of the African American Men of Arizona State University. Admittedly, I write this letter with regret, for surely, a man hopes to come in contact with another man only for purposes of solidarity, unity, and love. Having been made aware, however, of your most recent egregious act of denigration toward the African American community, I find myself in your mailbox—on your computer screen, perhaps—for purposes much less fortunate. I write, now, with no intent to reprimand, or defame, or scold, but to ask with the utmost sincerity: Why?