The American University community was buzzing all weekend about a series of redacted emails and text messages leaked to the public that are said to have originated from the Epsilon Iota Fraternity Google Group. The scathing material released on a Tumblr by the name of “Fratergate” includes discussions about illicit behavior like physical assault and rape that has allegedly been kept under wraps by the D.C. school.
“It came to our attention that AU Greek Life is being encouraged to not talk about what is happening with EI. We are being told to keep silent because sharing the documents could hurt the investigation and create legal problems. Well silence is why this stuff has been protected for so long,” reads the introduction to the anonymous Tumblr page. “Given that these documents were sent out to all the heads of student media, this information is ours and was meant for us.”
The note continues on to say, “As a member of Greek Life, we encourage the opposite of what our advisors are telling us. Turning a blind eye is exactly the same as accepting this kind of behavior and saying ‘this is not our problem.’ It is our problem. Share share share.”
All of the documents published only focus on one fraternity, which lost its charter more than a decade ago because of issues involving hazing and alcohol abuse. The AU EI chapter of Alpha Tau Omega is not an organization recognized by the university.
The emails and text messages – many of which you can view in the slideshow below – reference a whole slew of illegal activities and often include offensive, misogynistic banter. The majority of the documents focus on one topic in particular: whether or not an EI brother physically assaulted a female student in 2012.
The university released a statement Friday night in a campus-wide email about the material that began to circulate on school grounds Thursday. Gail Short Hanson, vice president of campus life, said:
Recently, an anonymous source shared emails and other information with university administrators and selected campus community members. We are outraged by the reprehensible content of this material. It could not be more contrary to American University’s values and standards.
The material is under intense analysis by university officials, with attention to the statutes and regulations that guide our behavior. We assure our campus community that we are pursuing these matters deliberately and expeditiously so that violations of the law are addressed and university conduct code standards are upheld.
Take a look at some of the emails and text messages unleashed on the Tumblr in the slideshow below. The text includes explicit language NSFW.
h/t Huffington Post