Members of Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) cancelled a Cinco De Mayo themed party named “Tequila Sunrise Dayger” yesterday, after receiving public criticism on Facebook. Several hours later, they posted a “new and improved” event called “AEPi Presents ‘Dayger’ Dayger.”
The theme party was to be hosted on May 6th, in reference to Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
“Week Cinco just ended. You Mayo may be done with be done with midterms or maybe you aren’t,” the invitation read, encouraging students to “black out before it gets black out.“
The event page was taken down at 12:30 p.m,, automatically notifying several invitees on Facebook.
Alex Prell, the event’s host and a member of AEPi, believes the event had a clear purpose.
“For our brothers and their friends to meet up and hang out on a Saturday,” Prell said.
“We have a lot of events with a lot of different themes, each of which are intended to convey a good time for our members and their friends,” he said.”Tequila Sunrise looked like a fun time, unfortunately it was upsetting to a lot of people for a lot of reasons, and we had no interest in upsetting people, so we deleted the page and got rid of that theme.”
Fourth year student Adam Moore, who posted the screenshots of the event publicly on Facebook, said that parties like this should be called out in public.
“AEPi has done problematic stuff in the past and is never held accountable,” he said. “Like most Greek organizations they are given a slap on the wrist or its swept under the rug,” he said. “I wanted it more public because this school has an ongoing history of anti-POC parties, activities, sentiments and I believe those advocating it need to be more accountable.”
Some members of Greek life were equally as upset. Carlos Rivera, a third year student and a member of the first Latino fraternity on Campus, Nu Alpha Kappa, felt personally insulted.
“We don’t want you to celebrate [our culture], we want you to listen and recognize our struggles, we want you to accept the injustices done against us by white supremacy, and we want you to stop using us as your costumes,” Rivera said.
Other students, like Ilana Osowiecki, a third year student who identifies as Jewish and Mexican, felt that the fraternity’s actions do not represent the entire Jewish community on campus.
“AEPi does not represent the entire Jewish community at this campus and this party should not be associated with Jews in general,” said Osowiecki
“I was disappointed to see AEPi try to put on this event. Because I’ve never celebrated Cinco de Mayo myself (where I grew up in Mexico City it is not celebrated), it is kind of weird to me to see Americans trying to celebrate it. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I was personally offended by it, but I did think it was a complete lack of judgement on AEPi’s part to publish an event like that (especially the initial description).”
Several hours after the party was removed from Facebook, another event was put up in it’s place by the same member of the fraternity: “AEPi Presents ‘Dayger’ Dayger.” After receiving criticism for the first event, Prell deleted the original and posted the second.
“Nothing to see here… Come to our normal day, new and improved,” the event description reads. “We will be drinking fermented Agave along with Orange extract.”
Others made references to the event’s date, attempting to draw attention to the “new and improved” party.
“So stoked (excited) about this day party (celebration) that will take place on the 6th day of the fifth month of the year,” said one of the confirmed partygoers.
The Facebook event comes one week after the suspension of Kappa Sigma at Baylor University’s for hosting a Mexican-themed party called “Cinco De Drinko.”
“Unlike Baylor, our theme did not encourage people to dress in costume,” Prell said. “Nor was it in celebration of Cinco de Mayo.”
When asked why they chose this theme in particular, Prell said that the fraternity has lots of events, always hosted to create a good time. Although the event description used the words “Cinco” and “Mayo,” Prell said that “it was a reference to the timing of the event rather than the theme itself.”
Gabriel Schneider is the Editor-in-Chief of The Triton.