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Toledo’s Pi Kappa Phi Says Off-Campus Fight Wasn’t Racially Fueled

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Toledo’s Pi Kappa Phi Says Off-Campus Fight Wasn’t Racially Fueled

Members of the University of Toledo’s Pi Kappa Phi are being investigated after being accused of taking part in a racially-fueled fight over the weekend. According to WNWO, the fight occurred at the off-campus fraternity house around 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

Rayshawn Watkins, 19, told police that he had been drinking at the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house. … He was at the open party with some friends when members of the fraternity began yelling racial slurs, including the “N-word,” at him, according to police.

Toledo Police say an unidentified suspect then accused Watkins of damaging a string of Christmas lights before yelling “Leave, (n*****)!” repeatedly.

As Watkins and his friends began to leave, the aforementioned suspect and one other unidentified suspect began assaulting him by punching him, kicking him, and yelling racial slurs at him, according to police.

Police say that as the victim’s friends were held back by other fraternity members, other members joined in on the assault on Watkins.

While WNWO was unable to contact fraternity members when a reporter knocked on the door, one fraternity exec got in touch with Toledo newspaper “The Blade.” That’s a badass name for a newspaper. While both sides appear to agree a fight occurred, their accounts about how it all went down seem to vary substantially.

From The Blade:

Ryan Aridi, 23, vice president of philanthropy at the fraternity, said Mr. Watkins and his friends trespassed during a private birthday party. Mr. Watkins damaged the lights, and instigated a fight when members asked he exit, Mr. Aridi said.

Fraternity members did not know Mr. Watkins, he said.

Allegations that members yelled slurs at Mr. Watkins are false, he said, adding that the fraternity is a diverse and tolerant chapter.

‘This had nothing to do with race whatsoever,’ Mr. Aridi said

The accusations are especially interesting since, as one Twitter user points out, there are several students of color in Pi Kappa Phi at Toledo.

It’s tough to imagine members of a fairly diverse fraternity went from zero to racist in a matter of seconds, but crazier things have happened. I wasn’t there and I don’t know the real story so I’ll withhold judgements.

The same fraternity made headlines in April 2015 for allegations of hazing. After a temporary suspension of their new membership program and an investigation by the university, Pi Kappa Phi was cleared of any wrongdoing in November.

UT President Sharon Gaber responded to students on Monday in regards to the weekend altercation, saying in an email she was “deeply disturbed” by the allegation. Gaber’s email included times, dates and locations to several diversity forums taking place on campus over the next few weeks. The forums were scheduled prior to Sunday’s incident.

[via WNWO, The Blade]

Image via Facebook/Toledo Pi Kappa Phi

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El Taco

Either a war hero or war criminal depending on how you look at it

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