Frat skit results in suspension

By Stephanie Bradley and Sean Noble

NIU officials took offense to a Sigma Chi fraternity skit that was part of a philanthropic fundraiser at the Jungle Sunday night and suspended the fraternity as a social organization.

Sig Chi Vice President Craig Slupski said five members of his fraternity performed in “blackface” for a skit at the Jungle, 1027 W. Hillcrest Drive. The act was for the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority’s “Deepher Dude” contest.

Jon Dalton, vice president for student affairs, said Monday, “I’m immediately suspending (Sigma Chi) … I’ve called for a meeting with the chapter adviser and national officials (Tuesday), and the fraternity is suspended until such a time as we are able to decide what action is warranted in response.

“I think this campus is outraged, and I’m appalled at the behavior (of the fraternity members),” he added.

Slupski said the skit was “supposed to have been funny, but I can see how it could be taken in bad taste.”

Sigma Chi President Bram Hornstein said Monday night, “We don’t condone the actions of the individuals in the event that occurred (Sunday) night.”

He said the fraternity members involved in the skit were suspended from the organization by its executive committee and will have no involvement with the fraternity until a university investigation of the incident is complete.

At a meeting called in response to the skit Monday, Morenike Cheatom, Student Association minority relations adviser, said the fraternity members were performing a lip-synch to the song “My Girl” by the Temptations. She said four of the actors wore shower caps while one wore an afro wig, and all were said to have grabbed their genitals.

Cheatom said she heard the skit received a “lukewarm” response from the audience and that several of the faculty judges of the act described it as “tasteless.”

Another judge, Jeff Cufaude, University Programming and Activities adviser for greek organizations, reportedly walked out of the show.