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Published On: Thu, Oct 5th, 2017

University of Virginia ‘cops and robbers’ frat party shutdown for making ‘a joke of systems that kill and brutalize marginalized communities’

A University of Virginia student group attacked and shut down a “cops and robbers”-themed party at a campus fraternity, claiming the party made “a joke of systems that kill and brutalize marginalized communities” and the ignorance of the organizers is the “kind of willful ignorance that allows white supremacy to continue.”

UVA Students United, a student group claiming to focus on social justice, reported that around 20 students shut down the UVA Delta Psi chapter’s date function, which involved male fraternity brothers dressing up in orange jumpsuits and female guests wearing cop uniforms.

“These ‘costumes’ make a joke of mass incarceration and the prison-industrial complex, systems that disproportionately brutalize people of color,” said UVA Students United Friday in a Facebook post describing the event.

“The predominantly white members of this fraternity got to take their costumes off at the end of the night, people trapped in the prison system do not.”

The student group was also not impressed by the dress exhibited by female guests.

“Historically, the police have justified violence against people of color in the name of protecting white women, and in wearing these costumes, these women made a joke of that legacy of violence,” claimed UVA Students United.

“During confrontations with people at the party, the majority of partygoers asserted that they had no intention of ‘offending or hurting anyone.’ It’s this kind of willful ignorance that allows white supremacy to continue.”

The group referenced a “summer of terror and violence” stemming from white supremacist factions in Charlottesville, Va.

“After a summer of terror and violence instigated by white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, it’s at the very least disappointing that members of the UVA community would be so willing to make a joke of systems that kill and brutalize marginalized communities,” they stated.

Henry Crochiere, a student at the school and Inter-Fraternity Council president, told Cavalier Daily he was told of the incident after the fraternity’s president contacted him to help resolve the situation.

“A group of protesters were in the front yard requesting that the private date function be shut down due to the insensitive ‘cops and robbers’ theme of the party,” Crochiere told Cavalier Daily. “After trying to have a dialogue between the fraternity members and the protesters, it was determined that it would be best to call the police to help facilitate conversation and make sure there was order.”

Crochiere recognized some of the school’s members may have been offended by the party’s theme.

“The Inter-Fraternity Council acknowledges that the theme, while not overtly reprehensible, is potentially offensive to members of the community,” Crochiere said. “As a result, we thought it was best to end the party and other Delta Psi events planned for the weekend in order to reevaluate the situation.”

About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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