IFC statement says e-mail did not originate at USC


USC’s Interfraternity Council released a statement Thursday to clear up rumors that have been circulating about the viral e-mail that was linked to USC’s Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

In the statement, IFC and the Panhellenic Council condemn the “racism, sexism, and other bigoted content of the e-mail,” and provide several updates on the investigation into the e-mail’s origins.

The e-mail, the statement says, did not originate at USC. According to IFC, the e-mail was forwarded to USC’s Kappa Sigma chapter by someone who “is not a registered member of the USC greek community.”

IFC and PHC will be taking a stand against the offensive language and concepts that were in the e-mail, according to the statement.

The two organizations have created a Gentleman’s Pledge for every fraternity member at USC, and it was signed by all of the fraternity presidents. The Pledge emphasizes proper conduct and respect toward all women and individuals.

The two councils will also work with the Women’s Student Assembly and the Center for Women and Men to fight sexual violence.

IFC and PHC plan to further review the priorities on The Row.

65 replies
  1. Tommy
    Tommy says:

    Bunch of racists. Typical ‘SC, sticking up for their white frat boys. Where are Nikias and the rest of the university’s brass here? I know its spring break, but I would like to see these ignorant bastards thrown off campus. When so much of what USC is rides on public perception, allowing these racists to remain on campus is a mistake that is literally going to cost the university.

  2. Sophie
    Sophie says:

    Here is what I want to know…
    – Why was Elliot one of the Social Chairs for a house he was not a member of?
    – How was Elliot able to mass email all members of Kappa Sig if he was not a member?
    – How much in dues did Elliot pay to Kappa Sig since he transferred to SC?
    – Why/how did Elliot get kicked out of a house he was not a member of?
    – How many “unregistered” members does Kappa Sig have?
    – Why didn’t IFC or Kappa Sig release any proof the email came from Harvard?
    – Why does the email mention “distinguished gentlemen of Kappa Sigma” when there is no Kappa Sigma at Harvard? Also the email ends with “AEKDB…” same as the bottom of the Kappa Sigma Crest – AEKD(Delta)B
    – How many minutes did IFC investigate the email and Elliot’s membership status at Kappa Sig before issuing their statement?

  3. Nick B
    Nick B says:

    SOMEONE’S NAMING NAMES!

    Go to Jezebel dot com and search: “Student Explains Frat Email’s Origins, Alleges Cover-Up.”

      • Nick B
        Nick B says:

        THIS STORY IS JUST BEGINNING. Investigations by private sources (IFC and the national chapter of Kappa Sig) with a vested interest in shielding the image of their program do not constitute a true inquiry.

  4. Real Investigator
    Real Investigator says:

    Ten Question Kappa Sigma, IFC and the DT Can’t or Won’t Answer:

    1) Why was Elliot one of the Social Chairs for a house he was not a member of?
    2) How was Elliot able to mass email all members of Kappa Sig when he was not a member?
    3) How much dues did Elliot pay to Kappa Sig since he transferred to SC?
    4) Why did Elliot get kicked out of a house he was not a member of?
    5) How many “unregistered” members does Kappa Sig have?
    6) Why didn’t IFC or Kappa Sig release any proof the email came from Harvard?
    7) Why does the email mention “distinguished gentlemen of Kappa Sigma” when there is no Kappa Sigma at Harvard? Also the email ends with “AEKDB…” same as the bottom of the Kappa Sigma Crest – AEKD(Delta)B
    8) Who is the mystery girl at SC that proofed the email for Elliot back in January?
    9) Why did Kappa Sig and Elliot ask the mystery girl not to talk with the media?
    10) How many minutes did IFC investigate the email and Elliot’s membership status at Kappa Sig before issuing their statement?

  5. Michael
    Michael says:

    I’ll laugh when this guy you ‘outed’ sues you for posting his name for all to see. Next time, you might want to wait for the facts before calling someone out. I’m assuming these frat guys come from money and if not, their fraternity surely does, so this guy you called out will hire some heavy hitters to go after you. Add in your student loans and you’ll be broke til you’re 50. Great way to start out in the real world.

  6. MZ
    MZ says:

    THE ENTIRE STUDENT BODY OF USC SHOULD DEMAND 100% TRANSPARENCY FOR THIS INVESTIGATION. Give the name of the student who wrote the email so he’ll be publicly ridiculed and so we’ll believe the “facts” that states that it wasn’t originated at USC.

    The empty gaps within this story is the cause for SKEPTICISM.

    • Frat Boy V
      Frat Boy V says:

      The investigation is 100% complete and nothing was found wrong. USC accepted the investigation and this story is 100% dead. Please move on.

      • Nick B
        Nick B says:

        THIS STORY IS JUST BEGINNING. Investigations by private sources (IFC and the national chapter of Kappa Sig) with a vested interest in shielding the image of their program do not constitute a true inquiry.
        The fact that so many people in the Greek system, including you “Frat Boy V,” are telling people seeking the truth to “move on” only seems to indicate that something more sinister is going on.

        Go to Jezebel dot com and search: “Student Explains Frat Email’s Origins, Alleges Cover-Up.”

  7. PWN PATROL
    PWN PATROL says:

    “The vast majority of male students do not gang rape. The fact that some do should not be ignored.”
    –Ehrhart & Sandler

    **SOME CURSORY RESEARCH ON FRAT CULTURE**

    Back in 1985, the Association of American Colleges published a 3-year study they’d conducted on the status of women in U.S. colleges. Their original intent for the study was in no way to focus on gang rape or fraternities’ role in the status of female college students. What they found, though, was that of the 50 recorded instances of gang rape [of female college students] over a 3 year period, the majority–60%–were perpetrated by fraternity members (30% involved athletes; 10% were attributed to men living in dorms/off-campus housing).
    >Perhaps the most repulsive element of this study reported by researchers (Ehrhart & Sandler 1986): “In fact, in almost all instances the men men involved are unaware that their behavior is gang rape, in their minds they are ‘only’ engaged in group sex with a ‘wilIng’ partner.”
    >>(If it makes you feel any better, follow-up research conducted a few years after this initial study [Warshaw, 1988] similarly found a disturbing trend of gang rapes taking place in fraternity houses, although he noted that “more one-on-one date rapes and acquaintance rapes occur in fraternity houses than do gang acquaintance rapes.” So there’s that…)

    Since this extremely troubling inaugural data first came to light, there have been numerous studies/surveys conducted which attempt to determine what is the correlation–if there’s any at all–between fraternities and violence against women (sexual and otherwise). If you’re willing to take a peep, I’ve posted some more-recent research findings on the subject in a reply to this comment.

    Recently (2005) researchers Bleecker & Murnen conducted a studying examining “whether fraternity men were more likely than other men to display sexually degrading images in their college residences,” and “the link between the display of such images and rape supportive attitudes [RSA].”

    They found…
    > “It was predicted that fraternity men would have more images of women in their rooms than would non-fraternity men, that the fraternity men’s images would be more degrading, and that the degree of degradation in the images would be correlated with the rape myths held by the men. Empirical support was found for all of these hypotheses. Fraternity men had on average two more images of women in their rooms than did non-fraternity men. In addition, their images were judged more degrading…”
    > “A smaller effect, although statistically significant, was a significant correlation between the degree of degradation in the images and rape myth acceptance
    > “There was a significant correlation between fraternity membership and RSA” [Rape Supportive Attitudes], “r(58) = –.62, p >An overall analysis of the study’s participant responses surmised that, “Fraternity men report a belief in male dominance and the inferiority of women. Fraternity men use language and possess pictures of women that are judged as degrading. Fraternities likely play a role in perpetuating a rape culture. Although we cannot [categorically] say that these groups cause SA [Sexual Assault] against women…”

    >>>In a different, earlier study conducted by Murnen (2000), she found that “fraternity men reported more use of degrading sexual language to refer to women’s bodies than did men not involved in a fraternity” She argued that “the sexual degradation of women might lead women to be seen as “legitimate” targets of SA.

    *********
    Sanday (1990): “Cross-cultural research demonstrates that whenever men build and give allegiance to a mystical, enduring, all-male social group, the disparagement of women is, invariably, an important ingredient of the mystical bond, and sexual aggression the means by which the bond is renewed. As long as exclusive male clubs exist in a society that privileges men as a social category, we must recognize that collective sexual aggression provides a ready stage on which some men represent their social privilege and introduce adolescent boys to their future place in the status hierarchy.”

    Bohmer and Parrot (1993): “the men who are most likely to rape in college are fraternity pledges”

    Martin and Hummer (1989): Found that fraternity members are more likely to have a narrow conception of masculinity, espouse group secrecy, and sexually objectify women.

    Quantitative studies demonstrating greater rates of coercion and assault among fraternity men (and/or athletes) than among men not involved in such groups–
    >Akers, 1991; Boeringer, 1996; Boeringer, Shehan, & Akers, 1991; Crosset, Ptacek, McDonald & Benedict, 1996; Frinter & Rubinson, 1993; Garrett-Gooding & Senter, 1987; Koss & Gaines, 1993

    Research where no have found no statistically significant differences were found–
    >Schwartz & NoGrady, 1996

    Research suggesting that fraternities an association between fraternities & acceptance of attitudes linked with Sexual Assault–
    >Boeringer, 1999; Kalof & Cargill, 1991; Lottes & Kuriloff, 1994; Schaeffer & Nelson, 1993
    *********

    “Let’s face it, eighteen-year-old girls are *older* than eighteen-year-old guys. These women are telling them…to behave. The more mature guys can deal with it and end up making friends among women. The ones who can’t handle it run away to fraternities. Here at last, they think, their fantasies will come true. But what their really doing is retreating to a place where they will see women only when and where they want to.”
    –An interesting quote from a university Dean interviewed during the initial 1985, Ehrhart/Sandler study.

  8. Martin
    Martin says:

    It seems that an independent investigative body is needed to resolve this situation. It is clear SC and the IFC are hiding or altering facts to their own benefit.

    Let’s Break Down the Apparent Mis-truths for the IFC Press Release:

    1) The emailer is not a registered member of the fraternity? Why? Did he not pay dues or attend meetings? Why did he have a position in the house such as social chair? Why was he able to send out mass emails to all the members? Why did he need to quit or get kicked out of organization he was not a member of? Was his unregistered status a simple oversight on the part of the fraternity not submitting his name to Greek life as he was a transfer from another school or a larger conspiracy to protect their house grades or some other unknown reason? How many other “unregistered members” does Kappa Sig have and why?

    2) The email originated outside of USC? Harvard has been mentioned by many as the source of the email. Why Harvard? Do they have an original email or text that indicates it was written at Harvard (JoeMisog@harvard.edu?) . If so, why hasn’t this story not moved to Harvard and that student been confronted with the this email? Why does our email mention “Brothers of Kappa Sig” when there is no current Kappa Sig Chapter at Harvard? Did our local boy alter the email and resend it? By altering the email and reshaping it for his own Chapter, did he not take ownership of it?

    3) Why did the IFC hastily prepare a press release on this matter? Why did they state the matter had been fully investigated and resolved when the time frame of their investigation was only a day perhaps two? Does this seem like a thorough investigation? Why did they not release any evidence such as the original “Harvard email”. On what basis is IFC an investigative body of apparent misdeeds in the Greek System and if so, does this investigation follow the same procedures and timeline of earlier investigations? When does IFC convene investigative bodies and who are the members of such a team where do they meet and what powers of investigation do they have? Are there previous press releases such as the current one with similar wording and findings?

    If anyone can answer these three questions, I will be satisfied that nothing wrong went on.

  9. Jon
    Jon says:

    There are still few substantial answers available, but one enraged USC student has gone to Jezebel with her version of events. According to the anonymous student, the email was originally written in January. Its author supposedly meant for it to be taken quite seriously and actually did receive gullet reports from his frat brothers. The student expressed her anger at the author, the Daily Trojan, and university officials for the handling of the events in three main points.

    1. the email is real, NOT SATIRE/A JOKE, and 100% originated from USC’s Kappa Sig. I even heard the author actually received “gullet reports.”

    2. The author has been expelled from the frat – but only now that this has come to light. The original email was sent in January.

    3. IFC, Kappa Sig, and the Daily Trojan are obfuscating the facts to try and put the blame outside USC and save the image of the Greek system/the university.

  10. ATen
    ATen says:

    Someone at the Trojan should investigate this IFC claim that the email did not originate at USC. At other schools the frat houses are privately owned. LA County recorder website should tell you who owns the actual property for KS, which might allow you to puncture the IFC claim.

  11. ATen
    ATen says:

    If I were you gals at USC I would boycott parties at this frat house, like, forever.
    Gals across the country, show some pride and never darken the doorstep of these lame, insecure, misogynistic frat boys again.

    • S
      S says:

      I agree with this wholeheartedly. In order to truly change the misogynistic mentality at a basic level, girls need to stop going to these parties, so that the fraternity guys stop dehumanizing girls in this way.

      • wait, what?
        wait, what? says:

        So now women are responsible for changing men’s misogynistic attitudes and beliefs?

        Women not going to frat parties doesn’t mean boys (they don’t deserve to be called “men”) will suddenly stop dehumanizing, objectifying, and degrading women. They can objectify and degrade women all they want, whenever they want. That is not limited to the confines of a fraternity party. I see and hear it all the time. It is a pervasive culture. The only way it will change is for men to stand up and stop bowing to the expectations of a misogynistic society.

        Yes women will play a role in this culture changing–but it is by no means THEIR responsibility to change it. Women didn’t create patriarchy or misogyny. And they are not solely responsible for dismantling these structures either.

  12. George (Soros?)
    George (Soros?) says:

    They SAY the e-mail originated outside USC, which bolsters my theory that it actually began it’s little electronic life in Kenya. Of course the (school) administration will deny this all day, but why won’t they just release the long-form IP certificate and prove, once and for all, where this e-hussein-mail is from? I’M JUST ASKING QUESTIONS!

  13. Simca
    Simca says:

    The origin of the email becomes somewhat less relevant when you realize that men at USC sent it to their buddies because they thought it was “funny”. I have read the full text and the author (USC student or not) crosses all kinds of lines: the line between “funny” and “racist”, the line between “funny” and “misogynist”, the line between “funny” and “dehumanizing”…

    You get the idea. I consider myself the proprietor of a somewhat twisted sense of humor, and I don’t self-identify as a feminist. This email is unsettling because of its content, sure. But it’s just as unsettling to be on the treadmill at the Lyon Center, wondering if the guy next to you read the email, laughed, and sent it to his friends.

    • Katy
      Katy says:

      Seriously! Making the presidents of the fraternities — what? 15 guys? — sign a pledge isn’t going to change or really address anything at all. They’ll sign it, have a laugh about it at Monday dinners and move onto something worse.

      • Michael
        Michael says:

        Exactly…and if you had half a brain, you’d do the same thing. Laugh about it and move onto to something else.

    • Michael
      Michael says:

      Simca…the answer to your last question is ‘yes’ and if I were you, I’d turn up the speed on that treadmill a notch or two

  14. CornerStore
    CornerStore says:

    News travels fast. Wondering about how this will play out.

    If it isn’t a student, it’s the coach.
    My bad.

    It would be great for people to hold one another accountable, and hold ourselves accountable. We may, in time, be able to focus on how to do things and say things the right way.

    Wouldn’t it be great if you did not have to cover things up, but identify and correct quickly problems? If, for example, there was a circulated email, and those around the individual confronted and addressed the person/problem, it would not be the mess it is now.

    The same goes for many other issues. We just need to hold one another more accountable. And address issues quickly.

  15. KnowTheFacts
    KnowTheFacts says:

    This email was written by someone at Harvard. This was the irrefutable evidence that exonerated that guy from KSig. USC would not dare to falsify information. You honestly believe they would lie to the entire student body? Why would they? They have a lot more to lose, than a single individual. I think everyone owes Kappa Sigma and the alleged author an apology.

    • Jon
      Jon says:

      The actual source of the email is irrelevant compared to the general reaction of the trojan student body. I’m ashamed and appalled that anyone would find this filth funny, dismiss it as a “joke,” or tell others to “lighten up” about it.

      That said, it would not surprise me in the least if this came from someone associated with the greek system here. I’ve heard the same BS since I started attending, I’m just surprised it didn’t come out sooner.

  16. Alan
    Alan says:

    I’m thinking right about now would be a good time to protest. Get this idiot kicked out of our school – let them know we’re not going to associate our brand with this classless moron.

    • Michael
      Michael says:

      Give me a break…that email is funny, I don’t care who you say you are. The only ones complaining clearly don’t understand how guys interact with one another (which means you probably have a small group of insecure friends who have nothing better to do than complain about someone else’s behavior…get a life). And for the folks who called out the so-called writer of the email in this public forum, especially now that he’s been cleared even though you refuse to believe it because then you’d have to admit to yourselves that you were wrong from the beginning, which we all know will never happen. Well, if I were him, I’d be talking to attorney’s figuring out how to sue for slander/etc. Watch out…the tides have turned

    • Michael
      Michael says:

      Dude, the guy wrote an email…that’s it. He didn’t hurt anyone, he didn’t actually rape anyone…he didn’t do anything other than make his friends laugh. It was meant to be comedy, nothing more, which clearly you’ve never heard, seen, or watched. Or understood for that matter. Get a life you loser because all this fake outrage over something that has nothing to do with you can only mean a couple of things…you either have no friends (if you did, you’d laugh at the email for what it is) or you secretly desire to be on the inside of the Greek system but are stuck looking on from afar and are jealous that others are having more fun in life than you.

      • Holly
        Holly says:

        Wow! No he didn’t actually rape anyone but he did encourage exactly the kind of misogynistic attitude that encourages and excuses rape. Not least with his “there’s a fine line between non-consent and rape, don’t cross it” comment. No there isn’t, non consensual sex is rape. End of story!

        • Holly
          Holly says:

          Disregard that, I have never once laughed at an over the top movie (such as Borat) and so have no sense of humour whatsoever. The only reason why I’m angry at this is because I’m perpetually living in the 60s (I am probably an indie chick) and looking for any cause to support and rally behind that vilifies men.

  17. mc
    mc says:

    are they claiming the email did not “originate” at USC because it was composed off campus in the frat house? disgusting.

  18. haha
    haha says:

    Disappointing that USC decided to dismiss it so quickly. I agree that it makes USC look bad.
    People here KNOW who wrote it.

  19. C.Art
    C.Art says:

    THIS IS A LIE! We all know exactly who it was. HE GOES TO USC. HE WAS IN KAPPA SIGMA. This is making USC look 100 times worse. DISGUSTING.

  20. George
    George says:

    Well now, here I thought everyone was going to wait until the national members figured this out. I realize there’s innocent before guilty, but this is ridiculous. The bright side is we might not make the news again. The dark side is we’re right back where we started with nothing done. Way to support your own, IFC. *rolls eyes

    • Frat Boy
      Frat Boy says:

      Facts:

      1) Not written by a USC student
      2) Not emailed by a registered member of Kappa Sig
      3) No one acted on the “Joke” email

      Time to apologize Georgie!

      • George
        George says:

        Okay, I’m sorry for jumping to a conclusion about Kappa Sig without knowing all the facts. Assuming the facts are the facts.

      • George
        George says:

        By the way, Frat bro, what “evidence” do you have? Did you trace the email back through the IP address chain yourself? Do you even know what that its? Or did you just read this article and assume fact? I feel like you should be ousted from our university just out of stupidity.

  21. Frat Boy
    Frat Boy says:

    Sorry people but this story is over. USC and IFC have done a complete investigation and everything is fine.

  22. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    I can assure you I’m not the other 1 or 2 people who commented, and I’m sorry for the genuine people who don’t know they’re being duped, but I KNOW the guy who wrote the e-mail and he goes to USC. This coverup is insane.

    • Michael
      Michael says:

      If there’s a coverup, it’s simply their way of telling all you idiots that everyone found that email funny (because they have a brain and realize it was some guys trying to be funny within their frat, nothing more, and while they of course couldn’t say that publicly, they want this to go away because even they realize how ridiculous this whole thing has gotten. (Kick him off campus and their whole frat, and while you’re at it, just kick every frat off campus, and on and on) Wake up, that’s how all guys talk to each other whether they’re in a frat or not so assuming you already know this, then you clearly have a vendetta against the Greek life in general. I’m therefore assuming you wanted to be in that life but clearly no one would have you…why else are you targeting just frat guys? Bottom line, stop overreacting and go enjoy your own life and stop worrying what other groups of friends are doing.

      • Jayden
        Jayden says:

        If there’s a cover up its actually their way of avoiding accountability since it would be incredibly embarrassing for them. There is a difference between being un-PC and being dehumanizing. One is simply offensive to some while the other is actively dangerous. Regardless of the seriousness of the intent the e-mail crossed the line from joke into what could easily be argued is hate speech when it hit such a dehumanizing level. Women are not people, they are targets and there is a difference between non-consent and rape are two very dangerous and inflammatory statements to make given that 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted and 1 in 6 will be raped. Also there is no difference between non-consent and rape, non-consensual sex is simply a euphemism for rape. Furthermore, to say that all guys talk like that is disingenuous. Perhaps all the ones you hang out with do, but I don’t and most other guys I know don’t, at least not to that extreme. And many of us resent being tossed in with that crowd. Full disclosure: my brother, who is a great guy, is a Kappa Sigma (though not at USC). I have nothing against the organization as a whole and his house seems to be a pretty pulled together group of reasonably decent guys. I would rather see them just fess up and move on. Trying to justify it or sweep it under the rug will only make the controversy drag out longer and undermine public trust in both the fraternity and the Greek system as a whole.

  23. Sc'er
    Sc'er says:

    Bella YOU are a racist, shame on you judging others. So, with your pea brain you assume that white men lie. Frankly, someone should track down who you are and protest your racist remarks that attempt to castigate and condemn all white men. And the other fools that are passing judgment on here, how about an apology to these guys instead of rushing to judgment. So Kevin, JJ, and Anthony, (AKA the same person) you are all disgusting to accuse people of lying with no proof. Shame on all of you!

  24. Anthony
    Anthony says:

    Don’t like to be a downer, but who are they kidding? Most frat boys won’t follow the Gentleman’s Pledge

  25. JJ
    JJ says:

    This is terrible. They need to own up to it. Lying about it isn’t going to make people forget or make frats look better.

Comments are closed.