Dozens of disturbing messages leaked online is causing quite an uproar on the campus of American University. The emails were allegedly written by members of a banned fraternity. Students are calling for action while the university president is promising an investigation into a "disturbing situation."
The messages, which are widely available on social media, discuss date rape, drug use and other racist and sexist subjects.
The emails that were leaked to the American University community appear to be conversations between brothers in a fraternity banned by the university back in 2001.
Some people described the language as over-the-top guy talk that is crude, sexist and disturbing. Whoever leaked the emails did not delete the names, phone numbers and email addresses of the senders.
Epsilon Iota was banned from the campus of American University 13 years ago, but according to students who go to school here, they never went away.
"They’re pretty much an underground operation at this point,” said one student. “They’re not recognized by campus.”
Was this was an open secret on campus?
“It is and I think the university could be doing more to try to crack down on groups like that,” said another student.
The 70 or so emails were leaked electronically by someone calling themselves "worthy keeper." They contain misogynist, sexist and homophobic language.
In a memo to the college community, President Neil Kerwin said the university is taking swift and deliberate action and will be as transparent as they can with the investigation.
One student was so upset by what she read that she started a petition online.
Amanda Gould said she thinks the presence of Epsilon Iota members is clear threat to the safety of students.
"Specifically what I’m most upset about is the ones where they were conspiring to get girls drunk in order to rape them,” said Gould.
She said she wants the university to expel the students who can be connected to the language in the messages.
"The emails that were sent around contain all of the names,” Gould said. “The university says that they’re doing an investigation in this, so I hope they are using the names. They haven’t. There has been no transparency on that.”
Gould is hoping to gather thousands of signatures on the petition before taking it to the president. So far, more than 900 people have signed the petition.
We asked to speak on camera with someone in the campus administration, but we were turned down and were told to refer to the email sent by the president to the campus community.
D.C. police say there have been no allegations of sexual assault and no alleged victims have come forward.
| TO: || || Campus Community|| |
| FROM:|| || Neil Kerwin, President|| |
| SUBJECT:|| || Student Conduct|| |
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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