UPDATED: Office of Civil Rights and Title IX investigates vulgar email
Cathy Scroggs: “It is one thing to state our values, it is another to practice them.”
Feb. 19, 2016
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs said Friday that an email regarding Greek Week pairings sent by an MU sophomore was “extremely degrading to women.”
Sophomore Edward Lowther, a member of Alpha Gamma Rho, sent the email in question to his fraternity brothers Wednesday. Alpha Gamma Rho is paired with Pi Beta Phi. The pairings for Greek Week were announced earlier that day.
“Get your towels ready because it’s about to go down,” the email reads. “... Point is we get to stick our arrows straight up their tight little asses. Now don’t go be ass hats, go be as social as possible with our new friends.”
Lowther and the fraternity apologized for the email earlier in the day.
“We are extremely sorry for the actions of this member and we do not condone these thoughts whatsoever,” the statement read. “This is not the culture for which we the men of Alpha Gamma Rho endorse. The member who sent the email has reached out the women involved and apologized for his comments.”
Scroggs said the incident has been reported and is being investigated by the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX.
“It is one thing to state our values, it is another to practice them,” Scroggs said in her statement. “It is clear we have much work to do to educate some members of our community on what it means to be respectful and responsible.”
The executive board of the Interfraternity Council said in a statement that they were working to address the issue.
The Panhellenic Association’s executive board said in a statement that the email challenged their value as women in the Greek community, and they will not put up with any actions or comments that minimize their contributions to MU.
“As the largest all-women’s organization on campus, this is our problem,” the PHA executive board said in the statement. “Although we cannot always be responsible for what is said, we reserve the right to hold those accountable that choose to lessen our value in the Greek community.”
Pi Beta Phi declined to comment on Lowther’s email but retweeted Alpha Gamma Rho’s statement. The steering committee for Greek Week tweeted that they were aware of the email.
Response to the recent emails from member in a participating GW chapter. pic.twitter.com/LVqQ7QuTGQ— MU Greek Week (@MizzouGW) February 19, 2016
Alpha Gamma Rho also said in their statement that they have reached out the the Department of Student Life for assistance.
For philanthropy events, the fraternity has partnered with the True North shelter, which aids victim of domestic violence. They raised $4,000 last fall for True North and for University Hospital’s burn center, according to the chapter’s newsletter.
“One of our charities is True North which supports women who have been the subject to abuse and that charity holds great importance in our house,” the statement read. “As men, we take great pride in our treatment of women, but this incident undermines our values. We are addressing the situation, and will continue to learn from these mistakes.”
Lowther did not respond to requests for comment.