At the University of California, Irvine, the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity stands accused of anti-Pacific Islander racism because it recently hosted a charity fundraiser called the FIJI Islander party which featured students who dressed in coconut bras and grass skirts.
The Phi Gamma Delta fraternity has been commonly known by the moniker FIJI since 1894. It boasts over 120 active chapters.
As a result of the event, reports Campus Reform, administrators at UCI have compelled the fraternity and other Greek organizations into “ongoing discussions” about “offending others.”
“The administration and student affairs is using it as an opportunity to show to fraternities what cultural appropriation is and how they might be more sensitive, to be able to have their week of philanthropy that ends in a social event without,” UCI spokeswoman Cathy Lawhon told Campus Reform.
Students who were offended by coconut bras and grass skirts are also taking part in the discussions.
The kerfuffle began on May 20 when Save Gasaiwai, a UCI student of Fijian descent, complained in a statement that the charity fundraiser caused pain to “marginalized” people and reinforced “white male hegemonic structures.”
The statement endorsed by the school’s Asian Pacific Student Association accused the FIJI fraternity of “tacitly committing an act of cultural appropriation and publicly projecting their ethnographic ignorance.”