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University Communications
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University Communications
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016

4/20/17 Statement regarding Bad(minton) and Boujee event

We made a mistake in telling a fraternity it couldn’t use the title Bad(minton) and Boujee. We did not follow our normal process for working with student organizations, and we are working to review it and correct the mistake made in this instance.

We should have communicated it was the fraternity's choice on how to proceed, after alerting them to possible concerns about the title. A member of the Office of Campus Life’s senior staff has met with the fraternity’s leader to clarify the proper role of the university, and the fraternity's right to make its own call and proceed with the event.

We have many events on campus each year, some with controversial titles, topics, language and speakers. The nature and titles of some events could have negative impact and unintended consequences on campus, and while the university doesn't prohibit them from proceeding, our Office of Campus Life works with the sponsoring student group, educates them on the possible impact on their peers, talks through some options, and allows them to decide how they will proceed. This coaching is always guided by our policy protecting Freedom of Expression and Dissent, and is an important part of the student experience. That did not happen in this case. 

We regret the impact that this sequence had on the student organization’s plans, including their goal to highlight support for veterans. It is an important goal, one that, in spite of the controversy, has resulted in exceeding the group's fundraising goal for veteran support.