PADUCAH, Ky. (CN) – A black college student says members of the Gamma Upsilon chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity berated him with racial insults and stoned him at a fraternity party. Shawn Jackson also sued Murray State University, which he said tried to duck its share of responsibility for the fraternity party – which the school approved.
Jackson says he received an invitation to the Gamma Upsilon party on Facebook, and that he paid to attend the event on Feb. 19, 2010.
While there, Jackson says, “he was assaulted by two or more fraternity members, was subject to racial slurs due to his African American heritage, grabbed and otherwise harassed by several fraternity brothers of Sigma Pi.”
He says “one member, who apparently was drunk, stated the harassment and it led to harassment by others at which time he was finally hit by thrown rocks at least three times as he was leaving the event.”
Jackson says there were several witnesses, and that he gave a statement to the Murray State Campus Police.
But he says Murray State refused to accept his formal complaint, and that the school’s “policies speak contradictorily, in that one section states that an aggrieved person cannot file a complaint or grievance against another student while at the same time, stating in other sections, that the University is not responsible for the activities of fraternities and other similar student groups.”
Jackson says: “It is clear that the University does sponsor and endorse the fraternities by the fact that it must approve all parties/events, and did in fact approve the party that took place.”
Jackson adds that university rules state that there must be a facility adviser for each fraternity, and that one of its employees had a supervisory role at the event.
Jackson says the university has refused to take action against Gamma Upsilon.
Jackson seeks punitive damages for violations of the 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act, interference with contract, assault and battery and outrage.
He is represented by Stephen Imhoff of Louisville.
Murray State, in Murray, Ky., has a student population of about 9,000.