NAACP head lashes out at Hopkins

Fraternity discipline is called insufficient

November 22, 2006|By Gadi Dechter | Gadi Dechter,Sun Reporter

The president of Baltimore's NAACP chapter criticized as "appalling" and insufficient yesterday the Johns Hopkins University's disciplinary action against a fraternity that recently held a "Halloween in the Hood" party.

On Monday, Hopkins announced it would place the Sigma Chi fraternity on social probation until January 2008, barring it from holding parties and requiring members to seek diversity counseling and host eight cultural events.

"What's the difference between a cultural event and a party?" said Marvin "Doc" Cheatham, president of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "I can't even say they slapped these folks on the hand."

Cheatham earlier said he was encouraged by Hopkins' action but has since changed his mind after reviewing in detail the university's response.

Cheatham said he didn't believe the fraternity members should be expelled or suspended but that the university should demand public apologies from each member and insist that the mandatory cultural events be devoted only to the African-American culture that was mocked at the party.

"Hopkins is going to deal with this," Cheatham said, vowing to continue to speak out against the university. "They feel like they're in some sheltered place. But they're in Baltimore City, and we're not going to allow them to continue to insult our city."

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