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Sigma Chi Derby Days Inappropriate Questions/Language Incident to Bring About Change

As a result of a Facebook post by Ole Miss senior Abby Bruce about the inappropriate nature of questions asked and comments made in interviews of sorority queen contestants at this year’s Sigma Chi Derby Days dance competition, University of Mississippi officials are looking into the matter. Derby Days is Sigma Chi’s annual philanthropic event to support Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson.

Some of the questions asked of the queens at the Friday event contained obvious sexual innuendo. There was also inappropriate language used by emcees between queen interviews. Ole Miss Sigma Chi’s president and vice-president have agreed that the behavior was inappropriate and upsetting. It was reported that over the weekend the members of Sigma Chi visited each sorority house in person to apologize.

The final-day dance competition and queen competition typically conclude a week of Derby Days activities in which sororities compete for points in order to win the overall competition. Those mini competitions include a hunt for a daily hidden derby, a blood drive, an Instagram contest, fundraising by each sorority, a dance competition and a queen contestant competition.

This year’s dance and queen competition event was held in the Tad Smith Coliseum on Friday. As in past years, in addition to sorority and fraternity members, the dance and queen competition event was also attended by parents of Greek members as well as children’s hospital patients and their parents.

Director of Equal Opportunity and Regulatory Compliance at University of Mississippi, Rebecca Bressler said in a statement provided by Ole Miss Newsdesk: “The university takes the report alleging a hostile environment very seriously. It is important that members of our community feel safe and supported – actions that undermine that goal will not be tolerated.”

The president of the Eta chapter of Sigma Chi, Clay Wooley, was interviewed by NewsWatch Ole Miss last night. In an open letter to the Ole Miss student body (linked here), Wooley and Vice President Max Lopez said, in part:

“This incident, as upsetting and unfortunate as it was, gives us an opportunity as a community to address the issue of the sexually insensitive culture that is all too prevalent in the Greek system, not only at the University of Mississippi, but also across the country. We plan to work with Rebels Against Sexual Assault to hold a workshop for our members that speaks to the severity of sexual harassment by way of verbal abuse.

The events do not need to be overlooked or washed over, instead they need to be used to open an honest dialogue about making positive change in our society. Instead of arguing and fighting we need to work together to fix these issues moving forward.

Sigma Chi leadership has apologized to each sorority in person and in writing, and preliminary disciplinary action has been taken toward the members involved in Friday night’s event.”

Below is the video from News Watch Ole Miss, embedded with permission.

The Daily Mississippian also reports that sororities have instructed their members to not speak to the media or post on social media because the Panhellenic wants to make an all-inclusive statement on the issue.


From staff reports. HottyToddy.com can be reached at hottytoddynews@gmail.com

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