Banners hung at Sigma Pi and Phi Sigma Kappa fraternities prior to the football game against Alabama State University have prompted responses from the Interfraternity Council and the University.
“Auburn University is committed to upholding a nurturing community supportive of fundamental dignities and promoting integrity, responsibility and mutual respect," said the University in a statement. "We take seriously all reports of potential student conduct policy violations and investigate them fully to uphold the values and standards of the Auburn Family."
The banners, hung at the doors of the two fraternity houses, were captured in photos released on Twitter and Facebook. The Facebook post originally shared by Matthew Fields was shared over 250 times.
The banner hung at Sigma Pi read, "ASU GRAD RATE 27% - CHANCE OF WINNING 0%."
And the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity banner read, "G.E.D. > A.S.U. DEGREE."
According to ASU records, the graduation rate is actually 28 percent.
“The Interfraternity Council strongly condemns any instance of bias and/or insensitivity," said the Interfraternity Council in a statement to The Plainsman. "We do not condone this type of behavior and will seek to understand and handle the situation to the best of our ability. We are working with the chapters in question to address these concerns.”
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On Tuesday, Sept. 11, Phi Sigma Kappa Executive Director and CEO Nick Zuniga responded to the incident in a statement.
"These types of banners are unacceptable and go against the mission , beliefs and values of Phi Sigma Kappa and Auburn University," Zuniga said. "We apologize to the alumni of the Alabama State University and Auburn University who were offended by these insensitive actions .... [We] will be working with our undergraduate members to make this situation right ... Behavior like this will not be tolerated."
Sigma Pi's national Executice Director and CEO Jonathan Frost echoed his Zuniga's statement in his own.
"We apologize for any offense caused by the banner created by a few Auburn students in support of the Auburn football team in their recent game against Alabama State. [W]e recognize [the banner was] observed to be insensitive and in poor taste," Frost said.
Sigma Pi nationals said they have spoken with the students about how they can better support their school in a "more positive way."
Concerning the regulation of the banners and how fraternities are to be held accountable, IFC said they stand by their statement.
"Furthermore, we expect our members to be cognizant of their actions and to uphold the values of Auburn men," IFC said in a statement.
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