On Nov. 19, the Mu Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi hosted an RLHS-approved party that was intended to celebrate Thanksgiving. We chose the theme of Thanksgiving because of the close proximity of our event and the national holiday. At the time, we didn’t realize that such a theme would offend so many of our classmates and the Native-American community as a whole. We were in no way attempting to glorify a history of atrocities committed against Native Americans. Regardless of our intentions, we sincerely apologize to our peers and the members of the Native-American community who were offended by the theme and our portrayal of Thanksgiving. As a fraternity, we will always welcome constructive criticism in the interest of fostering a better University community. In addition, we apologize to the student body for reflecting poorly on the school. A single day in which the achievements and good intentions of the students at this University are overshadowed by negative attention is one day too many. Further, the brothers of Pi Kappa Phi hope that the issues raised by this unfortunate incident will give rise to a larger discussion within the Duke University community.
It’s clear from the discussions that have emerged since our Thanksgiving party that this issue pertains to more than just our group of 68 young men. It is undeniable that there is a need for a dialogue between the Native-American community and the larger Duke community. For that reason, we encourage anyone who is concerned or curious about this issue to join the brothers of Pi Kappa Phi and the Native American Student Association Wednesday at 12 p.m. in the Center for Multicultural Affairs in the Bryan Center for “Culture Clash.” This event will be a learning opportunity for everyone and a chance for our fraternity and any other interested parties to learn more about a culture that we admittedly don’t know enough about.
Tyler Donahue, Trinity ’12
President, Pi Kappa Phi Mu Chapter