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Frat suspended over 'offensive' MLK party

Published On: Jan 21 2014 08:30:26 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 21 2014 09:53:18 AM CST
Arizona frat suspended MLK party

Screengrab of cmcgee23/Instagram

TEMPE, Ariz. (KPHO) -

A representative for Arizona State University said school officials have suspended Tau Kappa Epsilon's chapter operations while they investigate an unregistered Greek event that has many on campus offended.

Pictures from the event, coined "MLK Black Party" by the group, show members and guests dressed in basketball jerseys, flashing gang signs and even drinking from watermelon cups.

"This isn't appropriate at all and you really have no business dressing like this on a day that's sort of revered for African-Americans," said ASU senior Frank Hogan after seeing some of the pictures.

"I think this represents the ignorance that still exists today. This is just one example of the kind of things that occur here," stated Kaajal Koranteng, also a senior.

A spokesman from the local chapter, who would only identify himself as Cole, would not comment on the party or investigation. Rather, he told CBS 5 News to contact the national organization for TKE.

"We are aware of the situation. We have been contacted and we have been in contact with the local chapter and the university," explained Patrick Gleason, the director of Compliance and Housing for the national organization, based out of Indianapolis.

"I'll be meeting with the school as well as the local chapter, as I said, to really flush out the details of this incident and get a full scope of what occurred," he continued.

Gleason said he is traveling to Arizona to meet with school officials Tuesday.

This latest incident is not the first time the ASU TKE chapter has been in trouble. They were just reinstated as a fraternity in December after being suspended for inappropriate conduct, including a fight that injured one student.

"We have been in contact with the chapter and have been working with them to help them get back onto campus," said Gleason in reference to the previous suspension.

It's unclear whether this latest incident will lead to another suspension.

"They obviously need to be checked on what they're doing, how they're acting and how they're presenting themselves. Not only as a fraternity of brothers, but as people," said Hogan.

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