Feb 042010
Authors: Rachel Childs

As the intense controversy over a Facebook event created by a CSU student encouraging Ram fans to show up to CSU’s Border War with Wyoming on Saturday dies down, those involved in the hullabaloo say to expect a sea of orange noodles at the game instead of an Old West shootout.

The event’s creator Ben Margolit has apologized numerous times, claiming that his intentions were in good spirit. He is now prompting students to wear orange in tribute to the old school colors. This was the right move according to those offended.

Despite the change, the original “Cowboys v. Indians” theme and many of the comments posted on the event’s page created an uproar that now appears to be quieting down.

“That is all in the past. Now we’re focusing on the future,” Tiffani Kellly, president of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society said in a phone interview on Thursday.

Kelly said Margolit has been forgiven and the event is not the cause of racial problems.

“(The original event) is just what sparked the fire,” Kelly said. The task now, she said, is to combat the general attitude displayed by those who underplayed the importance of the debate.

AISES organized a rally on Wednesday in response to the negative comments students wrote on the event’s Facebook page. The rally featured speakers from a variety of backgrounds and attracted throngs of students ranging from the deeply offended to the simply curious.

Though debate on the issue brought dozens of students to the Lory Student Center Plaza Wednesday, a similar event Thursday afternoon saw far less interest.

A viewing of the documentary “In Whose Honor?” that dealt the debate over Native American sports mascots received a turnout of only 20 students Thursday. It was followed by a short discussion that touched on the Facebook incident.

“I think it’s really sad that it took a Facebook incident to show that there is racism,” said Samantha Raso, a member of Phi Lambda Chi who booked the viewing room.

AISES has scheduled a meeting with CSU President Tony Frank for today to discuss the next steps to awareness about racial issues, in hopes that hate-fueled talk will diminish on campus.

Despite the vehement protest of groups like AISES and open discouragement from CSU faculty and administration, several students have said they still plan to dress in American Indian garb for the game.

“A cowboys and Indians themed sporting event is hardly even anything to talk about. You guys need to calm down. If I end up going, imma be decked out in a head dress and everything,” Enes Ozekin, a CSU student and fraternity brother of Margolit’s wrote on the “Orange Out” page.

“I don’t think it’s right that people should be inhibiting our right to free speech,” Ozekin said in a phone interview Thursday, adding that he has been subjected to racism due to his Middle Eastern heritage. “I am not racist whatsoever.”

Kelly said that while the racial tensions have frustrated her, she does not want it to affect the game on Saturday. She recognized the basketball team’s hard work and wishes them the best.

“I want students supporting our Rams.”

Staff writer Rachel Childs can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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