Students walking by the Sigma Pi frat house at Cornell University over the weekend said people threw bottles at them from above while “reportedly making racial references,” according to campus police. Beverly Fonkwo, a black student, claims that when someone asked those on the roof to stop, they responded, insanely, “‘Come up here, Trayvon,’ and started making all these other racial comments.” According to the frat, only one person allegedly unaffiliated with Sigma Pi was responsible, and they’ve “figured out who the perpetrator was, and will turn his name over to police.”
“I feel like it was targeted and racially motivated … we felt very threatened,” Fonkwo told the Cornell Daily Sun. “It’s hard to identify who was responsible,” she said later. “Obviously, there was a group of people on [the roof], but I don’t know what to think … we don’t know if it was just one person.” Even if there was only a single attacker, she added, “it seemed like everyone was laughing and encouraging that individual.” Officers responded to the incident at the time, but somehow there does not appear to have been an arrest.
Minority groups on campus are understandably shaken, the Sun reports today. “Time and time again, we have had to defend our program houses, academic departments and ourselves from the racism that remains prevalent each and every day,” Black Students United said in a statement. “Cornell prides itself on its diverse environment, yet as students of color, we are not always safe — not even on our own campus.” As for Greek life in general, this looks like another tally in the unconscionable column for scummy associations, at the very least.
Update: Sigma Pi has been placed on “interim suspension status” pending a criminal investigation, although a school official insisted the suspension “is not a kind of judicial decision or a judgment of their accountability.”