Iota Xi Chapter Of Sigma Chi Fraternity v. George Mason University, Court Case

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Full Title:

Iota Xi Chapter Of Sigma Chi Fraternity v. George Mason University, 993 F.2d 386

Excerpt:

Sigma Chi has for two years held an annual “Derby Days” event, planned and conducted both as entertainment and as a source of funds for donations to charity. The “ugly woman contest,” held on April 4, 1991, was one of the “Derby Days” events. The Fraternity staged the contest in the cafeteria of the student union. As part of the contest, eighteen Fraternity members were assigned to one of six sorority teams cooperating in the events. The involved Fraternity members appeared in the contest dressed as caricatures of different types of women, including one member dressed as an offensive caricature of a black woman. He was painted black and wore stringy, black hair decorated with curlers, and his outfit was stuffed with pillows to exaggerate a woman’s breasts and buttocks. He spoke in slang to parody African- Americans.

In sum, although the Barnes plurality did not explore these views, it appears that the low quality of entertainment does not necessarily weigh in the First Amendment inquiry. It would seem, therefore, that the Fraternity’s skit, even as low-grade entertainment, was inherently expressive and thus entitled to First Amendment protection.

Source Citation:

Iota Xi Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity v. George Mason University. 1993. 993 F. 2d 386 (4th Cir. 1993).

Cite this page:

N/A. 1993. "Iota Xi Chapter Of Sigma Chi Fraternity v. George Mason University, Court Case." History of Higher Education. https://higheredhistory.gmu.edu/primary-sources/iota-xi-chapter-of-sigma-chi-fraternity-v-george-mason-university-court-case/