We recently pointed out that the real purpose of most Cinco de Mayo celebrations is to provide an excuse to drink copious amounts of Mexican beer.

And beer drinking is often a focus of campus fraternity and sorority life. However, students at the University of California – Davis were forced to cancel plans for a drinking party dubbed Cinco de Drinko, after protesters called it racially insensitive.

Now, Stanford’s Greeks are getting a “cultural appropriation” scolding.

Stanford University’s Inter-Sorority Council hosted a public forum last week in response to protests against a Cinco de Mayo-themed fundraiser at Pi Beta Phi and a number of other Greek life events.

“As a rule of thumb, if an item or tradition is stripped of its original intent or cultural significance, it’s probably cultural appropriation,” said the moderator in opening the discussion.

He added cultural appropriation is the stealing of intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission – and it’s made worse when “the source is a minority group that has historically been oppressed.”

The panel included representatives from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), concerned community members, Theta Delta Chi, Sigma Chi, Chi Omega, and several other Greek organizations.

The forum was hosted in the Black Community Center and attracted large group of students from Greek life and a variety of cultural organizations. As it began, the audience filled up the original seating and more chairs were brought out from storage. Although attendance was not mandatory, leaders within Stanford’s Greek community were expected to attend.

The official purpose of the forum was to “explore the definitions of cultural appreciation/appropriation, establish modes of communication for future issues, and generate ideas on how we can work together to make this campus a more welcome place for everyone.”

One student from the audience joked that the event was “a sort of sensitivity training.”

The tone of the event echoed that of widely forwarded email threads that had cropped up among students throughout the week of Cinco de Mayo, which had reprimanded the Greek system and the broader Stanford community for “cultural appropriation” of the Mexican heritage.