Colorado State University today launched an immediate investigation and instituted disciplinary procedures involving the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and the Alpha Chi Omega sorority following an incident in the Homecoming Parade over the weekend. In the parade, a mannequin painted with offensive graffiti was displayed on a float co-sponsored by the two organizations.
Keith Miser, vice president for student affairs at Colorado State, said, "Colorado State is an institution committed to human rights. We believe in the dignity of all people, and we celebrate our differences within the community. We deplore the kind of behavior displayed at the parade, and stand firm against the prejudice and discrimination these actions represent.
"This incident belies what we as an institution represent. This offensive act targeting members of our gay community goes against the very beliefs that we as a university cherish most. To that end, we have begun an investigation into the matter. We are communicating to our students and to the entire community that we abhor this behavior. It will not be tolerated. The kind of bigoted display at the parade has no place in any community that is committed to human rights and believes in diversity as much as our institution does."
Miser said it should be clear that the university will respond immediately to this kind of behavior, and that all appropriate disciplinary actions will follow.
"It is also important to know that we as a campus community will individually and collectively speak out against discrimination of all kinds. We are especially distressed by this incident in light of the recent tragedy in Wyoming and the death of Matthew Shepard. Matthew Shepard lived a life of tolerance and had a commitment to human rights. We at Colorado State are deeply saddened by the senseless violence that ended such a life. Matthew’s commitment to human dignity is an example for us all. We, as a university community, must not let the ignorance or hate of others cloud this view."