The Chronicle

An apology from Kappa Sigma

On the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 29, we, the Eta Prime chapter of Kappa Sigma, distributed an e-mail to a significant portion of the student body for a party then-titled “Asia Prime” which contained offensive and racially insensitive language. We wish to deeply apologize to any individual who we offended and to the greater Duke community for our contributions to the marginalization. Our actions bring us great regret and have led us to examine our beliefs, both as individuals and as a brotherhood.

Upon learning of the deeply damaging effects of our email to our fellow students, we should have completely canceled the aforementioned party. Instead we chose to hold a different party at the same place and time, and the event encouraged party attire representative of any culture or ethnicity, which included demeaning cultural misrepresentations specific to Asian and Asian-American individuals, and individuals of Asian descent. We hold ourselves responsible for these misrepresentations and wish to apologize for these insensitive actions as well.

Our fraternity acknowledges that at Duke University, racial divides and stereotypes exist, and that our actions have promoted and aided these afflictions. Our institution has been the subject of controversy at the national level in the past for issues relating to race, and we apologize to the entire Duke community, past, present and future, for any negative light that we are responsible for being cast upon the University.

In the context of widespread criticism of our actions, we wish to embrace those conversations and continue to learn from our wrongdoings. The Duke community in which we exist is one that we see too often as divided, and while our actions have brought attention to and widened that divide, it is our sincere intention to work to contribute to a united Duke. To that end, we have reached out to members of the Duke community in order to start those conversations.

We thank the Asian Student Alliance, the Black Student Alliance and Duke Student Government for hosting an open discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the 5th floor of McClendon Tower, and for the opportunity to once again apologize and begin to work towards a constructive solution, together as members of the Duke community.

The Eta Prime Chapter of Kappa Sigma is deeply remorseful for the damage done to individuals and the greater Duke community. In no way do we wish to portray our brothers or our fraternity as being victimized or to detract from our acknowledgement of responsibility for the damage that we have done to the Duke Community.

Luke Keohane, Trinity '13

President, Eta Prime Chapter of Kappa Sigma