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Georgia Tech ‘rapebait’ email poorly reflects Greek life
Two weeks ago, a member of Georgia Tech University’s Phi Kappa Tau chapter sent an email to his fraternity brothers with instructions on how to seduce women with alcohol. Titled “Luring your rapebait,” the email has shed a negative light on Greek life nationwide, according to Associate Director of Student Center and Campus Life Courtney McKenna.
The email gives Phi Kappa Tau members a “how-to” guide for partying and picking up women, which includes step by step directions to walk the fraternity brothers through the night. The email finished off with “IF ANYTHING EVER FAILS, GO GET MORE ALCOHOL. I want to see everyone succeed at the next couple parties.”
The author of the article, who has chosen to withhold his name, made a public apology on Oct. 10 which said, “I am deeply sorry for the pain and embarrassment my actions and lack of judgement have caused the students at Georgia Tech and my Phi Kappa Tau brotherhood as well as those who otherwise came into contact with the email.”
McKenna said she could not see any positive aspect to this email.
“It reflects on those at Georgia Tech, it reflects on fraternities and sororities at Quinnipiac,” McKenna said. “When one person or one chapter makes decisions that doesn’t align with what they said they were going to be, it reflects poorly on everyone.”
Bret Kurtz, director of public relations for the Interfraternity Council, said he was disappointed by the email.
“We go everyday trying to put on a good image, and then one individual at another school in a different organization than any of ours goes and does something like this,” Kurtz said. “It puts on a bad image to the rest of the country and to the people that don’t understand Greek life.”
As an active member of Greek life on campus, Kurtz described fraternities as organizations that build a well-rounded lifestyle.
“It’s about living a life that is rooted in values,” Kurtz said. “Each organization has different values, but at the end of the day they all kind of have the same purpose to live a fulfilling and enlightened life.”
President of Delta Upsilon Steven Pflug said it is the public that holds his fraternity to its high standards.
“Greek life is all about molding and maturing into better people who are more apt to make the world a better place,” Pflug said.
Upon reading the email, which has now gone viral, Pflug said he felt a mixture of concern and disbelief.
“I was and still am extremely concerned over what impact this has on our own Greek community,” Pflug said. “This obviously obtained national headlines and, as a result, all Greek life will be in focus.”
With coverage from CNN and The Huffington Post, Kurtz said he does not want people to think this email reflects fraternity mentality at Quinnipiac.
“That’s not what it’s like here, it’s like the total opposite,” Kurtz said. “Quinnipiac fraternity life is a lot different than that of other states and other schools in the fact that we have a close relationship with the school.”
Despite the numerous national headlines the email made, Pflug said it is important the general public realizes news reports represent a small portion of what actually happens in Greek life.
“The public perception of this incident buys into the ‘Animal House’ mentality that Greek life is all about partying, being drunk, and an excuse to disregard commoner courtesy and manner,” Pflug said.
Although McKenna said there have not been any incidents, such as hazing or vulgar emails, in her past five years at Quinnipiac, she said there is not an exact formula that has prevented such issues.
“The values really drive the experience, and when you have that at the center, it’s easy to see when you’re veering off the right path,” McKenna said.
Though fraternities and sororities here form a tight-knit community, McKenna said Greeks’ ability to have tough conversations with one another is the best way to uphold their high standards.
“We don’t have a chapter on this campus that’s perfect,” McKenna said. “But students that are willing to hold each other accountable and students that are willing to sit down and have tough conversations all make what we have here possible.”
Kurtz described Quinnipiac fraternities as having a different mentality than others, and said he hopes this type of incident would never occur due to our distinctive outlook on Greek life.
“I can’t imagine something of this nature ever happening here, but you never know,” Kurtz said. “But it’s easy to shed a good light on what we do at Quinnipiac.”