Georgia Tech
6:00 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Georgia Tech Students React To "Rapebait" Email

Tech Tower
Tech Tower
Credit Matt Johnson via flickr.com / http://www.flickr.com/photos/39017545@N02/6239737546/
UPDATE: The Georgia Tech student newspaper, The Technique, has published an apology letter from the alleged email sender. Read it here.

An email from a Georgia Tech student to his fraternity brothers has been making national headlines this week.

The email, written by a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and originally posted to the humor website Total Frat Move, is signed off “in luring rapebait.” In it, the student instructs his fraternity brothers how to approach, woo and bed women, telling them if anything fails to “go get more alcohol.”

Hunter Hakimian is a freshman in physics. He says he started to read the email but stopped mid-way through because it made him feel uneasy. However, he thinks the email was meant to be a satire.

“I think he intended it to be a satire of the typical frat guy and how horribly they see the idea of trying to face girls,” Hakimian says. “And he’s trying to take it to the extreme of saying oh yeah this is what they think, and people saw that and realized, OK, even if you do think this is a joke, that is not something you send in an email.”

Many students declined to comment, and a handful wearing Greek letters said they were told not to talk, though it was unclear where that directive came from.

Some students, however, said they hadn’t heard about the email.

Nick Middlebrooks is a junior in business. He hadn’t read the email, but he said it’s not OK to joke about rape.

“That’s like joking about trying to plot to kill someone,” Middlebrooks says. “If it’s that serious in court, it should be that serious of not being able to joke about it.”

And some students seemed to be more concerned with the act of emailing the note rather than what it said.

Tiffany Wang is a graduate student in bio-medical engineering.

“This kid is going to go get a job, and forever this email will be something he’s written or said or whatever, and I mean, that’s not great,” Wang says.

Faith Rogers is a junior in business information technology, who says she has friends in the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity.

“Some of the guys in the frat, they can’t believe he sent it out. My opinion is he was never taught that if you shouldn’t say it in front of your grandma, you shouldn’t put it on the internet,” Rogers says.

She called the email “locker room talk.”

“You kind of expect it from some certain frats on campus, but, it’s kind of unexpected to actually see it put on the internet,” Rogers says.

A spokesman for Georgia Tech says the school learned of the email last month and that an investigation is underway.  

"Georgia Tech is aware of this incident, and its Office of Student Integrity is currently engaged in an investigation to determine the facts,” said the school in a statement Tuesday. “Phi Kappa Tau's national office, as well as Tech's student-led Interfraternity Council, are also reviewing the matter to determine whether to take any independent action. The Institute does not condone this type of behavior and continues to provide resources and education designed to create a supportive campus environment for all students, even those who exercise extremely poor judgment."

A statement from the Phi Kappa Tau national office says the Georgia Tech fraternity has put itself on suspension – though calls to the headquarters as to what that means were not returned. The statement also says the student who sent the email has been suspended from the fraternity.

“The referenced email is extremely inappropriate and does not reflect the values of the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity, Alpha Rho chapter or Georgia Institute of Technology,” reads the statement. “The Fraternity takes any activity seriously where its members or chapters are not in line with its commitment to learning, leading and serving. The written expression of this thinking by a member is disturbing to everyone associated with Alpha Rho chapter and the Fraternity.”