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PSU sorority at center of 'racially insensitive' photo shuts down

By: WJAC Web Staff

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The Penn State University sorority that was found to be a part of what was considered by some to be racially insensitive photo following a 2012 party has been shut down by their national association.

Chi Omega announced in a release Tuesday that it was shutting down its Nu Gamma Chapter at the school effective immediately. The decision came following a recent visit from Chi Omega national council members.

Photos surfaced on the internet in December 2012 of members of the sorority wearing sombreros and holding offensive signs at a party held earlier that year. One sign read, "will mow lawn for weed beer" and another said, "I don't cut grass I smoke it." The two women holding the signs were wearing fake mustaches.

Following the incident, the chapter immediately apologized for "portraying inappropriate and untrue stereotypes," according to the Daily Collegian newspaper.

In Tuesday's release, Chi Omega headquarters said members of the chapter "participated in activities that are not congruent with Chi Omega's values and purposes."

Sorority officials said various groups have tried to work with chapter members and provide support, but many members didnt follow mandated requirements.

"The decision to close a chapter is the most difficult decision to Governing Council faces," said Chi Omega's National President Letitia Fulkerson. "The national organization has worked closely with this chapter on both education and operational directives, particularly regarding risk management and bystander behavior. Unfortunately, these concerns continue to persist, and the Governing Council must close Nu Gamma Chapter for the safety of our members."

The sorority was founded in 1895 and chartered at Penn State in 1926. Chi Omega has more than 300,000 sisters worldwide.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times