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February 28, 2011 - 11:12pm

AEPi issues apology for 'Pursuit of Jappiness' video


LSA sophomore Ben Richter, president of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, issued a formal apology to the University’s Greek community last week for the “Pursuit of Jappiness” video, which was made by two members of AEPi and one other individual.

In an e-mail to the Panhellenic Assocation on Friday morning, Chris Haughee, assistant director of the University's Office of Greek Life, wrote that Richter read a statement to the Interfraternity Council last Wednesday night. Haughee included the text of Richter's statement in his e-mail.

In the statement, Richter said though two AEPi brothers made the video, AEPi as a fraternity had no involvement in the video's creation. Richter also apologized for any offense the video may have caused.

“On behalf of the two brothers in the video, and the rest of the (AEPi) house, I would just like to apologize for any inconvenience this video may have caused you or your members,” Richter's statement reads.

The “Pursuit of Jappiness,” which was uploaded to YouTube on Feb. 10, parodies Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” and presents common stereotypes about the University’s Greek community as “Jewish American Princesses/Princes.” It currently has more than 210,000 hits.

Richter said in his statement that the video “might have been perceived with some offensive undertones” but wasn't made with derisive purpose.

“After speaking with the creators of the film, it was made without any insulting or ridiculing intentions,” Richter said in his statement. “More than anything, it was only intended to portray a childish, yet miniscule aspect of Greek Life at the University of Michigan.”

In his e-mail to Panhel, Haughee wrote that he asked Richter to issue a “statement/apology” because of the “stir (the video) caused in our community and on campus.”

LSA junior Sarah Smith, Panhel’s vice president of public relations and a Michigan Daily columnist, said to her knowledge, Panhel had not made any specific complaints about the video that led to the apology.