TODAY

TODAY   |  February 07, 2013

Duke frat under fire for Asian-themed party

The Kappa Sigma fraternity at Duke University has stirred up controversy with a party they called “Asia Prime,” sparking protests by outraged students calling the party racist. NBC’s Michelle Kosinski reports.

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>> a controversy raging at a prestigious university. was a fraternity party at duke racist. michelle kosinski on the campus in durham, north carolina . good morning.

>> reporter: that's right. this is all over a fraternity party, many felt had an offensive, even racist theme from the invites on. it led to a student demonstration here and the suspension of the fraternity. these are the invites sent out by kappa sigma to a party called asia prime with misspelling marking english and kim jong -il.

>> i was hurt and angry.

>> the result furious students at duke university .

>> when you wrote hero duke, you were not just mocking an accent, you were mocking an immigrant's struggle to make it in this nation.

>> reporter: wore word of the party went viral and students complained. they sent out an e-mail changing the name of the party but it went on as planned february 1st . this week angry students posted flyers in protest showing photos of people in asian attire. protesters captioned if you're not outraged you're not paying attention. here a student wears a sumo costume with hashtag.

>> made a mockery, reducing our way of life into a crude joke.

>> reporter: one tweet, of all the things worth protesting, this is not one of them. another posted, i'm asian and i think the theme is hilarious. duke's vice president of student affairs says he takes it seriously but has no plans for formal disciplinary action.

>> at the moment we're not aware of violations. acting boorish and foolish is not a violation.

>> no comment.

>> reporter: no one at the fraternity was talking. but in the school paper frat president apologized saying, quote, the duke community in which we exist is one we see too often as divided. while our attentions have brought attention to and widened that divide, it is our sincere intention to work to contribute to a united duke. there was a meeting on campus and kappa sigma apologized to asian students. but the national fraternity has suspended it pending an investigation of this. this is a fraternity just allowed on campus this year after dissolving about 11 years ago over allegations of alcohol violation. matt.

>> all right, michelle kosinski down in north carolina this morning. michelle, thank you very much.