CSU Multicultural Greek Council protests Pi Kappa Phi shirt sales

Austin Fleskes

The Colorado State University Multicultural Greek Council protested the sale of Pi Kappa Phi philanthropy event shirts on Tuesday due to the content of the shirts and the event itself. 

The spring 2018 philanthropy event for Pi Kappa Phi, titled “Queens of the Jungle,” tasked sororities with completing certain events, with the winning team winning a foam social from Pi Kappa Phi.

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Along with this, the fraternity sold shirts with “Queen of the Jungle” written on the backs, along with an image of a lion through a set of scratch marks.  

Casandra Vigil, president of MGC, explained that she and MGC found the content of the shirts being sold to be offensive. 

“The word ‘jungle’ has been used to trivialize people of color and cultures of color,” Vigil said. “It’s really offensive, as a Multicultural Greek Council who represents marginalized people and people of color, when we hear the name ‘Queens of the Jungle.'”

Vigil also said that MGC found the event itself to be sexist, as it was promoted primarily to sororities on campus.

The Multicultural Greek Council presented this letter at the Pi Kappa Phi general assembly meeting to discuss their thoughts on the “Queens of the Jungle” shirts and events (Photo courtesy of Casandra Vigil)

Members from MGC attended the Interfraternity Council general assembly meeting Monday night, where they read a letter addressing these issues.

“The brothers of Pi Kappa Phi and the IFC must recognize that ‘Queens of the Jungle’ is an event that negatively portrays the intentions of Fraternity and Sorority Life within out community,” the letter explained. 

Pi Kappa Phi sold the shirts on the flea market the next day, and because of this, members of MGC protested the shirt sales.

“They didn’t hear what we were trying to say through our letter,” Vigil said. “So we are doing more to take a stand.”

Jonathan Morreale, president of Pi Kappa Phi, wrote in an email to The Collegian that the shirts were not meant to offend anyone. 

“It never was, nor will it ever be, our intent to trivialize or appropriate cultures,” Morreale wrote.

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Morreale added that the name of the event was intended to be a play on the term “king of the jungle,” a term commonly used to describe lions.

“We appreciate the perspective shared by the Multicultural Greek Council and will use this as a learning opportunity,” Morreale wrote.

Lindsay Sell, the director for Fraternity and Sorority Life at CSU, wrote in an email to The Collegian that her office is currently reviewing the situation and gathering information.

“We certainly take the concerns shared about the T-shirts and event very seriously,” Sell wrote.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Multicultural Greek Council attended the Pi Kappa Phi general assembly and described the event as sorority exclusive. The Multicultural Greek Council attended the Interfraternity Council general assembly Monday night and the Pi Kappa Phi “Queens of the Jungle” event, while primarily promoted to sororities, had fraternities compete as well. The article has been updated to reflect the corrections.

Collegian reporter Austin Fleskes can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @Austinfleskes07