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The Daily Tar Heel

Kappa Delta costumes spur controversy

Two partygoers seemed to imitate homeless people at a Netflix party.

Two people attended a Kappa Delta sorority party in February dressed in flannel shirts with cardboard signs that read, “Will Twerk 4 Topperz,” and, “Need Drinks. Please Help. God Bless.”

Pictures of the costumes were posted on social media shortly afterward.

Aaron Bachenheimer, director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Community Involvement, said the Panhellenic Council approved the party’s theme, which was “You are what you Netflix.”

“It’s essentially like ‘come as your own TV show,’ so that didn’t strike Panhellenic as problematic, nor would it have stricken me as a problematic theme,” Bachenheimer said.

In a letter to the editor of the The Daily Tar Heel, Regan Buchanan and Lauren Eaves, Campus Y co-presidents-elect, condemned the students for their costumes’ similarity to the dress of homeless people on Franklin Street, who often display cardboard signs to ask for donations.

Maggie Rutherford, president of Kappa Delta, said in an email Kappa Delta is disappointed by the actions of the partygoers. She said the partygoers are remorseful and apologetic, and the sorority is looking into more education on cultural sensitivity.

Bachenheimer said the partygoers did not intentionally dress as homeless people but as characters from the CBS show “2 Broke Girls.”

“At best, they made a really poor choice, and their costume was poorly selected and inappropriate,” he said. “So I don’t disagree with the letter and the gist of what those two folks wrote about the costume.”

He said he had trouble seeing what the costume had to do with the show “2 Broke Girls.”

“I’ve never seen the show, but I know they don’t dress that way,” he said. “I know they don’t hold signs, and I know they’re not homeless.”

Bachenheimer said Kappa Delta will deal with this issue internally and will not face disciplinary review from the University because an individual member and her guest wore the costumes.

“I know they’re communicating with their national office to determine if there is anything else that needs to be done,” he said.

Eaves and Buchanan said while they don’t regret writing the letter, they think it could have been written differently. Buchanan said she wants the Campus Y to be a place where people can ask questions about social justice.

“We were upset and very offended, but at the same time I realize that the tone was a bit harsh,” Buchanan said. “For that reason, I think we might have scared a few people away.”

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