UPenn Frat Suspended Over Christmas Card

The Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity investigated its Zeta chapter at the University of Pennsylvania after the members were seen posing with a dark-skinned blowup doll in their Christmas card. (Published Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014)

A controversial Christmas card has led the University of Pennsylvania to suspend its chapter of Phi Delta Theta.

The fraternity’s card reads "The Brothers of Phi Theta Delta Wish You a Merry Christmas." It also shows the brotherhood posing with a dark-skinned blowup doll, which some campus groups called racist and sexist. Fraternity members described it as a Beyoncé sex toy.

"The fact that Phi Delta Theta considered it appropriate to feature the objectification of the female body, quite literally, in this photograph is just another example of the need for tangible and immediate improvement of cultural sensitivity in the Greek community. What particularly concerns us is how flippant this deeply misogynistic and racist choice seems to have been," the Penn Consortium of Undergraduate Women posted on its Facebook page.

Phi Delta Theta’s international headquarters is investigating the incident.

"We are deeply concerned by this image. Phi Theta Delta is a values-based organization and the lack of judgment associated with this image indicates a disconnect from those same values," it said in a released statement.

The Daily Pennsylvanian reports the chapter’s apology called the blowup doll "distasteful" and said "there were absolutely no prejudicial motivations behind the gift."