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To MEChA de UChicago (Movimiento Estudiantial Chicanx de Aztlán) and the broader

UChicago Community,

The brothers of this chapter are writing this letter in response to the recent grievances shared by
MEChA, OLAS, OBS, ACSA, MSA, and Panasia against the Chi Upsilon chapter of Phi Gamma
Delta (henceforth “FIJI”) at the University of Chicago. The brothers of this chapter are writing
this letter with the intent to dispel any racial insensitivity and to clarify on misunderstandings
that occurred as a result of the event that took place in the evening of May 5th, 2017. Our
chapter is also hoping to rebuild trust with the University of Chicago campus community by
demonstrating a firm commitment to upholding values consistent with the University’s emphasis
upon diversity and inclusion as well as our international fraternity’s values of morality and
excellence.

Given the recent grievances toward the FIJI at the University of Chicago, this letter is
specifically in reference to the event occurring on the evening of May 5th, 2017 (henceforth ‘the
event’) at the Phi Gamma Delta Chapter House (henceforth ‘the House’). Foremost, we believe
that we should address the small number of brothers who did act recklessly or to perpetuate any
connection between construction and Cinco de Mayo. Of those, we find one primarily
responsible. The brother made an insensitive comment in the Facebook group in anticipation of
the event. The post was taken down due to its discriminatory nature. That brother has been
suspended indefinitely, and is under review by the Judicial Board for further punishment.

The event manager was reached out to by individuals shortly before the event about potential
concerns of the theme. The event manager did remove the theme of the event, but unfortunately
this did not dissuade some brothers from wearing construction themed attire, as well as could not
change the condition of the partially unfinished basement.

Secondly, we believe there should be clarification as to the initial decision to have a
“construction” themed event. The house has been under renovation and construction for two
years, a comprehensive, drawn out renovation funded entirely by our fraternity alumni. Due to
this seemingly endless construction process, the decision to host an event in the near complete
basement of the House represented the end of a long-term yearning amongst the brothers of FIJI.
The decision to host the initial “construction” themed event must be understood as a product of
this construction process. The nature of this initial theme justified the unfinished, visually
unpleasant state of the basement, and perhaps even served as an ironic response to the timeline of
the construction and renovation process that took place over the preceeding years.

Due to the fact that no one on the cabinet was contacted directly about concerns for the event, the
brothers of FIJI were initially caught off guard when it was brought to their attention that the
theme of this party had negative impact on certain marginalized groups of students on this
campus, given that the event was planned on a Friday which was incidentally the Cinco de Mayo
holiday. The brothers of FIJI would like to reiterate that the intent of this event was not tied to
the aforementioned holiday. The term Cinco de Mayo was never used to promote the party.

In this light, some brothers attended the party in construction themed attire, even though concern
had been expressed. Additionally, given that the event took place in an unfinished part of the
house, exposure to this aesthetic contributed to the initial theme of construction. The sober
monitors for the event were also dressed in neon shirts, which further perpetuated to the aesthetic
theme of the event. No brothers who wore construction attire had any part of their attire with
Hispanic connotation. There were absolutely no party decorations or any aspects of the party
with Mexican theme or appearance besides the date of the event. The small number of brothers
who wore construction themed attire felt that because the intent and circumstances of the party
were positive, that their actions would not cause harm. These brothers were fulfilling their own
undisturbed vision of the event. The vast majority of brothers, aside from the one mentioned
previously, had no malicious or discriminatory intent in the theme of the event.

We would like to express our sincerest apologies to any individual who may have felt
discriminated against by the event. We should have been more proactive in preventing any sort
of perceived discrimination to be involved in our event. Our intent was only to host an event in
celebration of the (near) completion of the lengthy construction process of our house, which is
still ongoing. The intent was entirely positive, and in no way meant to belittle any people group.
Still, unintended consequences are consequences.

Going forward, this will not happen again. While unintentional, it is unacceptable that people felt
marginalized in any way by the event. For all future FIJI events, the entire cabinet will have to
approve the theme unanimously. Further, we do ask from now on, that the president is contacted
directly when concerns about an event or theme arise. The email address of the president of the
chapter for any given year can be found on the FCS website, fraternitiescommittedtosafety.com.

FIJI was and is meant to represent a safe space on the University’s campus, and we fell short of
our goal. We again apologize to any individual or groups that may have felt marginalized by the
event.

Sincerely,
Clyde Anderson
President, Chi Upsilon chapter of Phi Gamma Delta

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