Theta Xi Clashes with Black Student Union over Big Sean

Theta Xi is under criticism for its decision to hire a black artist on the same weekend as Black Homecoming and, bizarrely, without “consulting” members of the black community beforehand.

big-sean

The Theta Xi fraternity chapter at Michigan has drawn criticism from the Black Student Union and other students over its decision to hire the Detroit native rapper Big Sean to perform a concert at Hill Auditorium.

Most of the criticism stems from the fact that Theta Xi was suspended in 2013 for plans to hold a ‘Hood Ratchet’-themed party. Members of the fraternity were compelled to attend workshops and programs designed to increase sensitivity and awareness of the harm that racially charged party themes could inflict upon minority students. The chapter presumably completed all the tasks required of it by the Interfraternity Council and has since been fully reinstated at the University.

However, members of Theta Xi’s having paid for their crimes is simply not enough for some members of the University community. Despite the fact that the party in 2013 happened before many current members of Theta Xi were even enrolled as U-M students, the fraternity is under criticism for its decision to hire a black artist on the same weekend as Black Homecoming and, bizarrely, without “consulting” members of the black community beforehand.

It is absurd to presume that a fraternity engaged in private business with an artist of any racial group would have to ask permission from other people of the same group. Taking the logic of the argument that Theta Xi should have consulted black students before deciding to hire Big Sean further, one arrives at the conclusion that some black people can act as representatives of an entire racial group—and that any business involving one black person needs to be run through another group in order to be approved. Big Sean is neither represented nor owned by any student of any racial makeup at the University, and they do not have the right to give or deny Theta Xi the opportunity to feature him at school.

What’s more, the concert is billed as “one of the largest benefit concerts ever seen in the Midwest,” and $2 from each ticket will be donated to the Sean Anderson Foundation to help disadvantaged youth in the Detroit area. The presumption that a single, ugly event in an organization’s past should prevent it from sponsoring a charitable event is ludicrous.

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About Georgia Williams

Georgia is a junior studying History. She loves to travel (ask her about Iceland!) and is passionate about enjoying time in the outdoors, unless it's hot out, in which case, no thanks. Email her at gbwill@umich.edu