AMES, Iowa -- College campuses are often rich with tradition and diversity and it`s something freshmen Guadalupe Iguanero and Lexi Randau enjoy at Iowa State University. "It's great that it is a diverse campus and gives a little culture to everything that we do," said Lexi, who plans to major in Animal Science.
However after a celebratory event Sunday April 2 called Vespers which honors the accomplishments within the greek community, an ugly side of campus life came to light. Guadalupe said, "It's definitely not ok that it did happen."
According to a statement from the Multicultural Greek Council and the National Pan-Hellenic Council, individuals of the Iowa State Greek community chose to boo minority award recipients from the MGC and NPHC, mock their calls and make racial slurs towards their members. Students say you don`t have to be a member of a Greek organization to find it disturbing. "It kind of gives off an image that we are not as diverse as we truly are or not as accepting of the diversity that we have," said Lexi.
The University Office of Greek Affairs sent out this statement which read in part, "We failed our students...We acknowledge that Vespers was a public display of the systemic issues that have been occurring in the community for some time now."
Countless reviews of the Greek Community- Iowa State facebook page ripped into the controversy. Britney Williams saying, "What occurred at Vespers on Sunday was not just the result of "a few bad apples." Ryan Heiderscheit said, "What happened at Vespers is the culmination of years worth of discriminatory, racist, and exclusionary behaviors by countless members of the Greek community." Danny Cook wrote, "The racist comments made tell me all that I need to know about this community." Limay Vong added, "The audacity to openly mock and boo MGC and NPHC at this years Vespers is ridiculous and not surprising."
Guadalupe hopes for open dialogue saying, "I think discussion about this would be beneficial for the university considering it is a very diverse campus."
The MGC acknowledges that a handful of individuals does not represent the entire Greek community. Students believe it's a piece of reality that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Lexi said, "What they say really does have an impact no matter how little or insignificant. It can cause an impact, a lasting impact on impressions and the image our school has."
Billy Boulden the director of Greek Affairs was unavailable for an interview and no one could be reached representing the MGC or NPHC for additional comments.
Together the ISU Greek community was able to raise over $377,000 for Special Olympics Iowa.