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USC Suspends Frat, Sorority For Anti-Semitism

March 22, 1986

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The University of Southern California’s president suspended a fraternity and a sorority whose members chanted anti-Semitic remarks and painted ″Jew Week″ near a mostly Jewish fraternity that won a campus contest.

USC President James H. Zumberge ordered Kappa Sigma fraternity and Pi Beta Phi sorority temporarily banned from campus activities and from pledging new members pending an investigation of last week’s incident by a disciplinary panel of USC administrators, faculty and students.

In a letter to all on-campus fraternity and sorority houses, Zumberge said he was ″outraged and saddened by this expression of bigotry.″ The approximately 25 students involved ″have disgraced the university, their fraternity and sorority, their families and friends,″ he said.

All other fraternities and sororities on campus have condemned the March 13 incident, Jim Dennis, university vice president for student affairs said Friday.

″They’re basically saying they will not accept in the Greek community acts that are discriminatory and racist,″ Dennis said.

A call to Kappa Sigma fraternity for comment went unanswered late Friday night. There was no telephone listing available for the Pi Beta sorority, but a spokeswoman for the organization told the campus newspaper, The Daily Trojan, that there would be no comment.

Zumberge noted in his letter Wednesday that Pi Beta Phi had suspended the members involved and ordered them to do volunteer work at a Jewish community service agency. In addition, both Kappa Sigma and Pi Beta Phi officials have apologized to Sigma Alpha Mu, USC officials said.

The incident occurred after Kappa Sigma and Pi Beta Phi lost to Sigma Alpha Mu in Greek Week activities, a round of contests to raise money for charity, Dennis said.

The students marched to the Sigma Alpha Mu house, chanted anti-Semitic slogans, painted the ″Jew Week″ slogan and uprooted some plants while littering the fraternity house with debris, he said.

Don Dadesky, president of USC’s Sigma Alpha Mu chapter, said school officials ″dealt with the situation as promptly and as swiftly as they could.″

Rabbi Laura Geller, director of USC’s Hillel Jewish Center, praised Zumberge for responding ″quickly and strongly″ to last week’s events.