(HLN) — In response to an incendiary e-mail that drew criticism from online sites and on-campus organizations alike, a Georgia Tech student and Phi Kappa Tau fraternity member has stepped forward and issued an apology in the school’s newspaper.
The e-mail, which instructed fellow fraternity members on “luring rapebait” and contained several references to using alcohol as a means of sexual persuasion, caught the attention of online communities and prompted Georgia Tech and Phi Kappa Tau to issue statements and conduct investigations into the incident. The national chapter of the fraternity temporarily suspended the campus chapter.
The sender, identified as Matthew, says he was his chapter’s social chair, a position he has since relinquished. In the apology, he claims the e-mail was written as a joke, but should never have been written in the first place.
“Misogynistic behavior is everywhere online and unfortunately, my attempt to ridicule it in an immature and outrageous satire backfired terribly and in a manner I mistakenly underestimated,” Matthew wrote in Technique, Georgia Tech’s student newspaper.
Matthew explained the origin of the e-mail’s central term, “rapebait,” as a nickname that became an “internal fraternity joke.”
“In retrospect, it was a nickname I should not have embraced but continuing to use the term was my fault. As a leader I should have put a stop to it in any reference,” he wrote.
“I know I cannot fix all the damage I have done, but I will strive to become a better man as I work through this episode in my life,” Matthew said.
Matthew ended his e-mail by saying, “I will conduct myself to more honorably reflect the ideals of Georgia Tech in the future.”
The Georgia Tech community has been vocal over the incident. Judging from the comments on the Technique site, the apology seems to have been well-received, with many students even saying the incident was a “silly joke,” or a “tempest in a tea pot.”
Many campus organizations outside of the fraternity have condemned the note, and some students have commented on Technique’s Facebook page, saying they have “no sympathy” for the writer.
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