WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Rape, drugs, alcohol, assault. Horrifying emails were apparently written by an underground fraternity at a major university.
Now calls are growing louder for the school to take action against the group.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the controversy.
American University officials say they are investigating the shocking emails that were released on the web by an anonymous source.
Dozens of students march, calling for American University to expel members of underground fraternity Epsilon Iota. Seventy pages of emails and texts allegedly written by fraternity members use homophobic and racial slurs and discuss rape and drug deals.
One says: “She had a friend who got raped at our house? I would like to meet this lying [expletive] and show her how African men treat their women.”
“They’re kind of known as the fraternity that just isn’t… like, you don’t go there,” said student Shanon Cassidy.
Epsilon Iota is not a school sanctioned organization and is made up of former members of Alpha Tau Omega. That fraternity lost its recognition as a chapter both nationally and at the university in 2001 amidst allegations of hazing and alcohol abuse.
Another email reads: “To cry date rape after you sober up the next morning and regret the incident is the equivalent of pulling a gun to someone’s head and then later claiming you didn’t ever actually intend to pull the trigger.”
“The school really needs to take these actions very seriously,” said Meagan Nelson, student.
The university is investigating whether allegations should be dealt with at the school or criminal level.
“We’ve got this at the vice president level, at the trustee level, at the presidential level,” said David Taylor, university chief of staff.
In an email to students, university officials say: “We are outraged by the reprehensible content of this material. It could not be more contrary to American University’s values and standards.”
A student petition calling for university action already has more than 1,600 signatures.
University officials say for years they have warned students against engaging with Epsilon Iota.
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