Troy University decides disciplinary action on FarmHouse after ‘insensitive video’

Published 8:49 pm Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Updated October 18, 2019

After nearly a week of deliberation, Troy University has decided the course of disciplinary action for the local FarmHouse chapter after several members of the fraternity were caught on video performing a skit that FarmHouse International CEO Christian Wiggins called “culturally insensitive.”

“Troy University does not condone the actions and images depicted in the video, which are contrary to the university’s mission as Alabama’s international university,” Troy officials released in a statement Wednesday evening. “Troy University’s student population is one of the most diverse and international in the state of Alabama, and Troy is committed to the cultivation of a positive, inclusive environment.”

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The video depicted a member of the fraternity dressed as President Donald Trump and two other FarmHouse fraternity members dressed as Border Patrol Agents chasing a student dressed as a Mexican immigrant over a wall. Another video shows the “agents” escorting the “immigrant” back in handcuffs with a caption that reads “Got him.”

“As a result of this investigation, Troy University’s FarmHouse chapter has agreed to complete education and training on the importance of unity, respect and diversity on the campus,” the statement continues. “This will be complemented by acts of service to the University and its students designed to rebuild trust.”

No further information has been released at this time as to what those “acts of service” will be.

“The four individuals who wore offensive customers and participated in a culturally insensitive skit have accepted responsibility
for their actions, are appropriately remorseful and are ready to use their poor judgement as a learning moment for their chapter and community,” added Wiggins. “The chapter also recognizes the actions of a few have portrayed the organization in a poor light, and have agreed upon a plan with the University and International Fraternity to help provide education to members, as well as continued steps to be a part of a conversation in the community which promotes respect, dignity and unity.”

Reactions from the student body and community have been mixed on what they believed the disciplinary action should be.

One student at a town hall meeting of the student body last Thursday said he simply wanted an apology from those involved in the skit. Another wanted only those involved in the incident to be disciplined. Many said the university could not just give the fraternity ‘a slap on the wrist.’ Some advocated that the students were merely joking, whether in poor taste or not, and should not face serious punishment.

Troy officials added that the discipline is not their only response to the incident.

“We expect our students to adhere to a high standard of understanding and respect for cultural differences,” the statement concluded. “Working with student leaders, the University will be offering new programs to bring students together to increase their understanding and appreciation of one another. Planning for these new initiatives is ongoing and involves student leaders from across the University community.

The Messenger will continue to cover this story as it develops.