CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Numerous emails with racially offensive undertones were shared between frat brothers at the University of Chicago.
The leaked emails show offensive behavior against, Muslim students, African American students and women.
Several racially motivated messages were obtained by Buzzfeed, an online new organization, after a fraternity brother with the Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter shared them.
In the emails, the authors use the N-word, refer to a Muslim woman as a terrorist and describe an abandoned lot as “Palestine.”
The brother who shared the emails called it a “toxic culture” that went on from 2011 to 2015. The emails were shared between the fraternity brothers using a listserv.
One email provided to Buzzfeed described how to celebrate "Marathon Luther King Jr. Day" by day-drinking and eating fried chicken.
“My first reaction was disbelief because I have a lot of friends in AEPi and this isn't something that I thought they would do,” said one student.
“The fact that would come out of this school is really upsetting,” said another student.
The fraternity is a predominantly Jewish organization, and according to the AEPi website, “Develops leaders for the future of the American Jewish community.”
A man claiming to be the chapter president wrote the following on Facebook in the public group, “Overheard at UChicago:”
"Dear University of Chicago Community,
I'm Josh Benadiva, the president of AEPi.
We are disgusted by the emails sent to the fraternity listhost in past years, and regret that such hate was ever a part of the discourse in AEPi. The current Executive Board is doing everything in its power to investigate and confront the individuals of the fraternity who sent these emails. We whole-heartedly condemn this behavior and reaffirm that there is no place for these hateful and bigoted sentiments in our fraternity.
We can and will continue to do better. We have solicited additional educational resources from the University of Chicago and from our national fraternity organization to improve our educational program and will continue to do so. To our friends who feel hurt, betrayed, or let down, we ask for an opportunity to regain your trust and confidence.
Feel free to message me individually if you have any comments, questions, or really anything."
“The stereotypes about Muslims and all that those are all the dark part of this country and I feel like a community of intellectuals such things should be condemned,” said an international student on the University of Chicago’s campus.
The university’s Dean of Students, Michele Rasmussen, released the following statement regarding the emails:
"The language used in these emails is offensive, and it is not consistent with the University¹s values or our strong commitment to ensuring that people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives can thrive on our campus.”
A spokesperson also noted that fraternities and sororities are not recognized student organizations at the University of Chicago. They are independent and off-campus groups.
Students who take part in any organizations have the same rights and responsibilities as other members of our community.