A fraternity on the Vanderbilt University campus is suspended after a member sent an email full of explicit language and questionable comments about the rape scandal surrounding the football team.
Alpha Tau Omega calls itself "America's Leadership Development Fraternity," but its Vanderbilt chapter finds itself in trouble for the way one upperclassman communicated with would-be future members.
In the email, he mentions sex with sorority members, underage drinking and makes light of the rape scandal involving Vanderbilt's football team.
Part of the message reads: "Monday Night Football at 7:30. We have refreshments and stadium seating. This will be a rape-free event ... I promise. Football is safe again."
On campus Wednesday, it has a lot of people talking because it also has Alpha Tau Omega suspended
"I know members of that fraternity who are - who I would consider upstanding gentlemen and people who are involved in campus and have leadership positions," said Vanderbilt senior Allie Mickels.
"While it is one email that was sent by one person, it doesn't happen in a vacuum. Things like these don't happen on a vacuum," said Vanderbilt senior Roo George-Warren.
In a statement, Vanderbilt's director of Greek Life said it suspended the fraternity and will investigate.
It also prohibited all activities, including those for new member education.
The fraternity's national office denounced the email, calling it "abhorrent." In a statement, leaders for Alpha Tau Omega said the young man responsible has been suspended from the chapter. It has issued an apology for the email to the students who received the initial email and to the larger campus community.
The email, which wound up online, did not name names. But, for now, it seems that hardly matters.
"As a woman, and especially as a woman of the Greek community, I was somewhat offended, just because those are people I could've known," Mickels said.
The national office of Alpha Tau Omega said it has since expelled the member who wrote the email. The suspension of the entire chapter will last until both the university and the national office finish separate investigations.
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