A Southern California sorority was under fire this week after members posted photos on social media showing some sisters dressed up as cholas and throwing fake gang signs.
One thing you don't want to do on the streets of SoCal is throw up fake gang signs. Lucky for the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, discipline was not planned by Cal State University San Marcos (nor by local gangs) . It wasn't a Cinco de Mayo prank, either:
The chola dress-up happened during a recent spring break retreat, reports the newspaper U-T San Diego.
The photos apparently hit Instragram recently but have been taken down, according to reports.
The ugly stereotyping was called out by some Latino students, who organized a meeting about the situation this week.
Some said it reminded them of the “Compton Cookout” at UC San Diego three years ago that featured disrespectful depictions of African Americans.
The school, however, didn't think the chola-wear should trigger discipline for the sorority. Cal State San Marcos associate vice president for communications Cathy Baur told the Weekly that “actions that violate our values don't necessarily violate our policy.”
But the incident has inspired changes at the school, including:
-Diversity education for the Greek system.
-Possible diversity education for all campus organizations, too.
-And a greater focus on diversity during orientation for incoming freshman and transfer students.
Alpha Chi Omega President Megan Koelln issued a mea culpa apology, according to the U-T:
We apologize from the bottom of our hearts. It was a mistake and a lack of education on our part.
But this is where it gets complicated, as do many matters of race and ethnicity in contemporary American life:
The university's Baur told us at least one of the sisters who dressed as a chola identified herself this week as … Latina.