It is shocking that instead of taking responsibility as a community, we choose to fight one another and continue to point fingers. Our name does just this and we could not apologize for that enough. If we had not been cited all over the place, we would change it. This is no longer about frat culture, it is about culture.
Upon making this page, we knew rape culture was problem within Epsilon Iota, an unrecognized chapter of a fraternity at AU that was previously a recognized frat called Alpha Tau Omega. This group lost their charter in 2001 but since, have continued to wear EI letters, have a house, and throw parties. Although unrecognized by the Greek council, they are referred to as a fraternity by the student body. When you arrive at AU as a freshman, you are warned to not take rides out of the LA Quad to EI parties. You are told that if you are a girl, you are at a high risk of getting date raped or if you are a guy, beaten up at EI. If any of the above information is false, please inform us.
Upon making this page, we learned that rape culture goes far beyond the individuals within EI. Our perspective began to shift, realizing that letters, club titles, and any sort of border or categorization of people does not isolate rape culture. This realization further solidified our decision to censor all documents and remain anonymous ourselves. We have chosen to represent a voice and expose a cultural problem, instead of put ourselves on a pedestal and attack certain groups. If you have yet to understand that at this point, we really don’t know what to say there anymore.
We have received criticism because several of our posts have been snarky and more light-hearted than others, but do not mistake this as dismissing the problem at hand. If it is not reflected in our maintenance of this page, we will candidly say our sleep, school work, personal relationships, and general productivity have all been affected by this incident and the creation of this tumblr (which we stand by through thick and thin). We said we would operate as long as we were needed and given that we receive 5 messages an hour and are unable to reply to them all, we are needed. Especially now that documents from other organizations are arriving in our inbox.
Visitors, since last night’s post, understand that there is now a public outcry for these new documents to be released.
If as a generation and a growing online community who seeks solidarity to dispel rape culture, we need this to work. It cannot become a witch hunt. Although we stated earlier that we would make a hasty decision on the matter, we have sinced changed our minds. An anonymous encouraged us to take our time and thank you for giving us the permission to do so.
So we have set a deadline for ourselves: three days. You will know our decision this Friday.
We are taking this time to consult our professors, friends, families, and professionals. The decision we make will affect our futures and seriously decrease our safety. Yes, we are anonymous but we are students and need our followers to understand that. Some of the messages we have received today are attacking us, from both sides of the argument and that is not going to get anything done. If you have suggestions, they are welcome but just because you are anonymous and we are anonymous, we are still humans. We are not your punching bag.
Our worry is that releasing these other documents will be unproductive and put more people at risk. On that note, we would like to publicize that we are refusing to cooperate with Jezebel because they released the uncensored documents. The brothers with visible contact information in the documents are receiving death threats. One has allegedly become suicidal. Although we are a mere tumblr, we are hoping that standing against this has some weight to media sources. We cannot move towards positive change by behaving in the same way as those who perpetuate rape culture, i.e. with hate (see: Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, George Washington).
We do not want war- especially a gendered or anti-frat army. Everyone needs to be a part of this conversation and by posting the documents, we are risking putting potential colleagues on the offensive.
To the anonymous who have challenged our credibility for not posting yet, we hear you.
To the anonymous who have said we will lose all credibility if we do post, we hear you.
To the anonymous who claims we have a personal agenda to attack EI, we do not hear you. These messages are nauseating and completely false. How many times do we need to spell out that we are here to promote rape free culture? Please reconsider how we are approaching this and come back with a level head.
There is a wager to be made and we will not make this decision on our own or without serious reflection.
In the meantime, promote care.