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Letter from Vice President Elizabeth Griego

To Members of the Pacific Community:

I am sorry to inform you that Wednesday night, April 10, at the DeRosa University Center Lair during Karaoke Night, two different student groups performed songs that contain racial and gender offensive lyrics. "All Gold Everything" was performed by two members of Sigma Chi fraternity and "Get Her Tho" was performed by four members of Alpha Phi. Both songs contain vulgar and demeaning lyrics toward African Americans and women.

These lyrics are offensive to the entire Pacific community. Performing them in a public venue sponsored by our student government association is simply unacceptable. The University of the Pacific takes a clear, unequivocal, public stand in prohibiting all forms of discrimination, derogatory behavior, stereotyping, and harassment of any kind. The University will not tolerate performances or any other actions that discriminate against and insult others. Pacific resolves to maintain a community that fully respects one another so that all feel heard, respected, supported, understood, productive and safe (see Statement about Affirming Diversity).

This email is to make clear to everyone the continued stance of the University. We also wish to report to the community the following actions that have been taken in the last two days in response to the performances:

  1. A letter of apology was required of, and written by, the presidents of Alpha Phi and Sigma Chi, the ASuop Arts and Entertainment commissioner and the ASuop President. The letter is posted online here.
  2. The individuals who performed these songs will be adjudicated through a Greek chapter standards conduct review board that will review their actions for consideration of appropriate sanctions. The University's Discrimination policy and expression of community values in the University-wide Statement on Diversity and Inclusion provide guidance for this review.
  3. Sigma Chi, Alpha Phi, and the ASuop Arts and Entertainment group, who sponsored Karaoke Night, will undergo required bias response educational awareness and training in the next three weeks.
  4. The University Bias Response team will develop a series of Diversity and Social Justice sessions in the next month and planned for the next academic year to continue to address issues of discrimination and the creation of an inclusive and supportive community for all.
  5. ASuop Arts and Entertainment will review the policies and procedures for approving songs at all events and they will develop protocols to ensure the appropriateness of content for all events.
  6. The Sigma Chi Derby Day skits scheduled for this evening, April 12, have been cancelled.

Incidents like the one that happened this week not only impact the individuals who witnessed the performances, but they also hurt and offend those in our community who later hear what happened. We view the April 10 performances as an opportunity to not only work with the individuals involved, but also to reaffirm our commitment to diversity and inclusion at Pacific, and the creation of a welcoming, affirming, and respectful educational environment both inside and outside the classroom. We are taking this matter so seriously because we trust that it will be an opportunity for learning for all involved. We also are clear about the expectation that Pacific is a community where all individuals have the real opportunity to feel fully supported in achieving their goals and aspirations.

Anyone with additional thoughts that they wish the Bias Response Team to consider may email their comments to diversity@pacific.edu.

Elizabeth Griego, Vice President for Student Life