Racist Sorority Photo Sparks Controversy at Penn State

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A Penn State sorority is under scrutiny - and investigation - after a racist photo from a recent party created a stir online. The Mexican-themed image appears below:

Racist Sorority Photo

The picture, taken around Halloween, shows the women dressed in sombreros and mustaches.

Some held signs that read "Will mow lawn for weed + beer" and "I don't cut grass I smoke it."

Get it??! The photo was posted on Tumblr and Facebook, after which a Penn State blog ID'd the women as members of the Chi Omega sorority on campus.

Reaction from the embattled university - still reeling from the Jerry Sandusky scandal - and from the sorority itself came quickly after the image went viral.

Jessica Riccardi, president of the Nu Gamma chapter of Chi Omega, confirmed to the school's Daily Collegian that the sorority is under investigation.

Riccardi also issued an apology for the photo, writing, "Our chapter of Chi Omega sincerely apologizes for portraying inappropriate and untrue stereotypes."

"The picture does not support Chi Omega's values or reflect what the organization aspires to be."

The Penn State Panhellenic Council said, "We are addressing the situation immediately with the members of the chapter in conjunction with their national headquarters."

Lisa Powers, director of public information at Penn State, also said in a statement that "This photo has been brought to our attention, and we have looked into the issue."

"The students are within their First Amendment rights [here], although we are certainly appalled that they would display this level of insensitivity and lack of judgment."

"These costumes and this group do not represent fraternity and sorority life at Penn State University, nor the 95,000 students who attend our university."

"The Chi Omega sorority sisters have expressed deep remorse over this incident."

What do you think? Much ado about nothing? Harmless fun being taken too seriously? Completely racist with no regard for basic human decency?

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Chi Omega sorority photo:

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