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Ga. Tech "rapebait" writer issues an apology

9:56 PM, Oct 10, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- A Georgia Tech fraternity is at the center of several investigations, all centered around an email believed to have come from its social chair.

On Thursday afternoon, the student who wrote the email issued a public apology in the Technique, Georgia Tech's newspaper: 

I am writing in reference to a recent email that I sent to members of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity that has recently received extensive media attention. The content of this email was offensive and it should never have been written.

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. 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 not my nor my fraternity's actual beliefs on the subject. I have now come to realize this is a very serious topic that should not be taken lightly.

Misogynistic behavior is everywhere online and unfortunately, my attempt to ridicule it in an immature and outrageous satire backfired terribly and in a manner I mistakenly underestimated. In fact the "locker room" banter that characterizes this email was wrong in and of itself whether or not contained in a written communication. I am both embarrassed and ashamed at this dialogue and realize now that any sexual statement that is demeaning to women is never a joke.

One particular term originated from the nickname I received as a pledge, which was "4th Grade Rape Bait" due to my youthful looks and the connotation of what may happen to someone like me in prison. This became an internal fraternity joke and the term found its way into several communications, inappropriately and even nonchalantly. In retrospect, it was a nickname I should not have embraced but continuing to use the term was my fault. As a leader I should have put a stop to it in any reference.

I understand the magnitude and seriousness of this issue and the pain I have caused this community. I certainly have been forever changed by this incident. I have resigned as my fraternity's social chairman and have proactively identified and implemented actions in consultation with the Office of Student Integrity.

I know I cannot fix all the damage I have done, but I will strive to become a better man as I work through this episode in my life. I am a devout Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket and regret the dark shadow that I have cast on this fine school. I will conduct myself to more honorably reflect the ideals of Georgia Tech in the future.

Sincerely, Matthew

The letter is basically a guide for how Phi Kappa Tau members can score at a party.  The main tools for luring women, referred to at the end of the email as "rapebait" appear to be dancing and plenty of alcohol. 

The letter was only meant for members of Phi Kappa Tau, but every student I talked with on Georgia Tech's campus had seen it.

Students say its not the subject that has them upset, it's the tone of the letter.

"It was really vulgar to a blunt degree. It was basically like how to get this girl in bed. How to emotionally and physically manipulate her," said Alyssa Massar, a student at Georgia Tech.

The letter says in bold letters, "NO RAPING." But let's be clear, the author isn't looking for love. In fact, in his seven step guide to hooking up, he says "if anything ever fails, go get more alcohol" for the women and that commands that after sex you should "send them out of your room and on their way out when you are finished."

"It was a really weird email to send. It was definitely not okay," said Alazar Abebe, who is a member of a different fraternity at the school.

GA Tech says it has policies against underage drinking or sexual misconduct and is investigating to see whether those or any other school codes have been broken.

Undergraduate student body president Nicholas Picon hopes the remaining members of Phi Kappa Tau don't feel the same as the email author, considering their motto touts "ethical leadership and exemplary character."

"As a fraternity man there are joking emails that are sent out but when you cross that line using words like rape and using alcohol to get your way with a girl, that's unacceptable," said Picon.

Members of the fraternity would not talk about the letter or the investigation, but the national organization says it has suspended the member that wrote the letter and that the chapter has voluntary suspended itself.

The university says this is the only time in recent years anyone with the fraternity has faced disciplinary action. Letter or not, Georgia Tech says it requires new Greek members to attend a class on drinking, hazing and sexual abuse to protect students from things like this.

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