A racy e-mail that has spread virally through the Greek community and beyond is currently under investigation by the Kappa Sigma Fraternity nationals.
The e-mail, whose author claims to be a member of Kappa Sigma, asks the members of the fraternity to relate all of their sexual encounters in “Tucker Max format.” Tucker Max writes and blogs about his drunken activities and sexual exploits.
The author of the e-mail refers to women as “targets” for the entirety of the message.
“I will refer to females as ‘targets.’ They aren’t actual people like us men,” the e-mail reads. “Consequently, giving them a certain name or distinction is pointless.”
The e-mail contains a glossary of explicit terms to define males, females and descriptions of body parts. The author of the e-mail also details a way for the members of the fraternity to rate the physical attractiveness of their partners. Women are then categorized by their nationality and ethnicity in the e-mail.
“The content [of the e-mail] is contrary to everything [Kappa Sigma stands] for and we are not going to allow individuals to attempt to tarnish our name in any form or fashion,” said Mitchell Wilson, executive director of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. “We will pursue this as far as we can.”
The full text of the e-mail has been circulated to many students both Greek and non-Greek, and it has been posted on online college gossip sites.
Wilson said he received a phone call Monday from Zach Timm, president of Kappa Sigma at USC, about the e-mail.
“Obviously we are appalled that [the e-mail is] associated in any way with our name because the e-mail is disgusting and offensive,” Wilson said. “We are going to do our best to identify who the author is and hold the person accountable.”
Though the e-mail purports to have been sent from a member of USC’s chapter of Kappa Sigma to the other members of the house, Lauer said IFC has yet to confirm who sent the e-mail, if the e-mail really was sent from a member of USC’s chapter of Kappa Sigma or how the e-mail was disseminated to the public.
“We have been told and understand that this e-mail was forwarded from another source outside this community, but there have been so many contradicting facts being uncovered,” Lauer said. “At this point we are going to wait for Kappa Sigma’s nationals to conduct their investigation before making any conclusive statements.”
Until Kappa Sigma nationals has finished its investigation, the university and IFC will not decide on a course of action.
Wilson said Kappa Sigma nationals has been in touch with its legal commission, which will investigate if there are ways to go through internet service providers to track the source of the original e-mail.
“Certainly the content is not reflective of our fraternity and we don’t want someone associated with our fraternity who would say such a thing. If there is such a member, he will go through our disciplinary process which could be suspension or expulsion,” Wilson said. “But what we see in some situations are individuals of other organizations or students who were trying to pull pranks put together such types of communication like this to get chapters or members of our organization in trouble.”
Ray Carlos, assistant director of USC’s Office for Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development, said he does not currently know if there will be repercussions on the university level.
“Until all of the facts are revealed, I cannot speculate on the outcome,” Carlos said.
Lauer said he is disappointed an e-mail like this would be connected to the Greek community at USC.
“The e-mail is repulsive, it’s ridiculous, it’s insulting,” Lauer said. “It’s just really sad that this e-mail doesn’t reflect the standard of any fraternity or chapter in our community. What’s more shocking is that such a respected fraternity’s name is on that e-mail.”
Gummadi said members of Greek houses should remember they are reflections not only of their chapters but of the Greek community as a whole.
“There’s obviously a freedom of speech allowance, but we also have to remind ourselves that when we pledge a fraternity or sorority we commit ourselves to holding ourselves to the highest possible standards of the community,” Gummadi said.
Gummadi said PHC hosted an event in February called “Something of Value” that focused on women fostering positive images. She said PHC will continue to host bi-weekly roundtable discussions to reinforce positive healthy behavior.
“Sexual behavior is based on individual decisions,” Gummadi said. “That said, I think one of the strongest things we can do is be good role models and lead by example. We want to set positive examples in terms of knowing that [women] should have standards, be safe and not engage in risky sexual behavior.”
Lauer said successful fraternities at USC follow a similar model of leadership.
“Younger guys in the house look up to older members who succeed socially, networking with women in positive ways, and create models that people can look up to,” Lauer said. “By creating those self-sustaining models of leadership, we can rid ourselves of [sentiments] like this.”
Lauer and Gummadi believe this incident will serve as a reminder to students about the positive and negative powers of social media.
“It just kind of serves as a lesson that we need to be diligent about what we say on private or public listservs,” Lauer said. “This is a clear reminder that we are always wearing our letters. We as Greeks are a part of something much bigger than our individual selves.”