There are several reasons people decide to attend college: Most want to further their education, improve their chances for good career prospects and make connections to succeed in the future.
I sincerely doubt the majority of us go to school itching to learn how to lock down “rapebait” at parties.
Georgia Institute of Technology’s Phi Kappa Tau fraternity found itself under fire this week after an email sent out to fraternity members titled “Luring your Rapebait” surfaced. The chapter was later suspended.
Although there are many quotable gems in the email, the author begins by charmingly informing his brothers, “Alright (sic) chods, some of you could use some help on how to mack and succeed at parties. Mostly pledges do, but some bros could use a review.”
From there, he goes on to enumerate the “7 E’s of hooking up”: encounter, engage, escalate, erection, excavate, ejaculate and expunge.
While not personally a member of the Greek community, I am aware that there are rules and regulations and a whole culture that I cannot possibly hope to understand. But the presence of emails like this make me wonder why these gentlemen need to be spoon-fed directions on how or how not to act at parties.
Given the title of the email, the author ironically reprimands his brothers toward the end of the email to keep it casual: “ALWAYS START WITH THE MAKING OUT!!!! NO RAPING.”
It’s great for these young gentleman to be reminded of that.
There is a bevy of things wrong with this email, not the least of which is rampant misogyny, offensive nicknames and violation of the basic rules of syntax. But I’ll forgo delving into those for this particular column and focus on the most interesting part of the article for me: fraternity and sorority culture as a whole.
This email is not the first of its kind. While reading it, I was transported back to April of this year when Delta Gamma’s University of Maryland chapter went through a similar situation after a rage-fueled email tirade was leaked onto the Internet.
The two letters are eerily similar. Both hinge on instructing their members how to act around members of the opposite sex, how to appear socially acceptable at parties and an excessive overuse of CAPS lock.
The CAPS lock is in fact one of the more essential elements to the emails, as it illustrates the supreme importance the organizations seem to be placing on their party-going behavior.
Indeed, despite the harsh criticisms and bad media public relations for the two organizations, many in the Greek community still fiercely defended their brothers and sisters.
Of the most recent incident, TFM user FratRowRugby condemned the sharing of the PKT email, saying, “As Creepy/Rapey (sic) as this was; this should have never gotten out. House Business is House Business. Period.”
Another user agreed, saying, “(Total Frat Move) is assisting in harming of that chapter’s PR by posting this.”
I completely understand being fiercely loyal and supportive of your organization. I also understand that the actions of these one or two individuals should not be applied to every member of the Greek community.
State Press columnist Vincent Nguyen argued that the acts of the individual should not reflect on the organization with which they associate. This is true of fraternities and sororities, as well as universities as a whole.
Following the disastrous email leak and ensuing social media frenzy, the anonymous author released a statement today maintaining that his behavior was unacceptable by the fraternity’s standards.
“As hard as it may be to believe, it was written as a joke for a small audience that understood the context and that it is neither my nor my fraternity’s actual beliefs on the subject,” the author said in his apology.
As heartfelt and well-intended as his apology is, it clearly wasn’t the first of this sort of email and is unlikely to be the last.
These emails also come on the heels of Tempe’s own long year of unfortunate fraternity incidents and a harsh media spotlight on its Greek community.
Several fraternities have responded accordingly and are now taking the initiative to focus on safety and accountability in the wake of recent events.
Instead of blindly defending everything an organization is doing, maybe we should evaluate why it is that two unrelated chapters from different universities published such aggressive missives to their members. This isn’t just indicative of two rogue members of the groups acting irresponsibly; it speaks to a problem with the culture as a whole.
Be proud of your organizations and affiliations, but also step up and recognize when there is an inherent problem in the lifestyle, or continue to suffer the backlash from the community when these incidents come to light.
Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @lolonghi