The Daily Collegian’s Sensible Response to Penn State’s Sombrero-Wearing Sorority

Well, at least one good thing has come out of Chi Omega’s racist Halloween bash at Penn State—a thoughtful response from the student newspaper. The Daily Collegian’s editorial today calls on students to do a better job of working on the campus’s “problem with intolerance.”

Let’s stop trying to rationalize our way out of confronting an ugly truth: Penn State has a problem with intolerance.

From the conversations you hear in the HUB-Robeson Center to the crime reports where someone’s targeted because of their background or identity, this photo is not the first indication that we have a long way to go to promote a real culture of respect on campus.

This issue goes far beyond just sorority members in sombreros. All it takes is a look at the response this photo’s elicited from so many other students— many with no direct tie to the Latino community — who say they’ve experienced insensitivity or have otherwise seen it play out at Penn State.

The solution? Stop being silent in the face of such stupid acts.

What’s really at the heart of stopping hate is something that’s nearly impossible to mandate: self-reflection. We all could stand to take a step back and think a little more carefully about the words we use in everyday conversation, the environment we promote in our student organizations and — perhaps most difficult to reconcile — the times when we’ve known someone else was doing something insensitive but we didn’t have the courage to put a stop to it.

See? The kids are alright. [The Daily Collegian]