University investigation of crass and racist list at a stand still

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 12:30pm

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Design by Jack Silberman, Photo by Alec Cohen

The University of Michigan claimed it is continuing to investigate a vulgar scavenger hunt list that went viral nearly two weeks ago. The list detailed numerous sexual acts, called for public nudity and the use of a racial slur.

University spokeswoman Kim Broekhuizen explained there are no new developments in the investigation. In addition, The Michigan Daily, as well as the Office of Public Affairs and Internal Communications were unable to contact the Division of Student Life investigating the incident because its members were at a retreat.

Meanwhile, LSA senior Casey Jong, who first posted the list on Facebook under the title “The Elite Bar Crawl," said she has yet to be contacted by the University, the Interfraternity Council, the Division of Student Life or the Bias Response Team with which she filed her complaint.

“On my (bias) report I indicated that I would be willing to provide further information if needed,” Jong said. “Other than the automatic email indicating they had received my complaint, they never contacted me again.”

Despite the lack of information and communication with the University, Jong has received plenty of positive feedback from people just as frustrated with the racism and sexism detailed on the list.

“There are a number of comments and I did get a few messages, but they’re pretty much all in support of investigating and getting the responsible parties off campus and putting pressure on the University to see real repercussions,” Jong said. “Nobody has contacted me or told me that I have been spreading lies outside of the AEPi international member who was quoted by The Daily.”

Jong explained the list could be traced back to the fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi because she received the list via a group message containing several AEPi members. In addition, Jong said several of the redacted names on the list belong to AEPi members or women associated with AEPi members.

The list also features several acts that could only be performed by female participants, such as, “Call your mom tell her you’re pregnant.”  Following rumors of a potential sister sorority involved with the list, when approached regarding their involvement with AEPi and similar bar crawls, members of Kappa Kappa Gamma and Delta Delta Delta declined to comment.

Despite numerous students seeming to have information regarding the list, none were willing to come forward, claiming possible social and or academic repercussions. One anonymous source explained the difficulty of coming forward because the Greek community is a tight-knit group.

"I feel like it’s hard for people in Greek life to speak on these issues because it’s such a small community and it feels like everyone knows everybody and people want to avoid placing judgement on anyone else in the community in such a public way, especially when discussing contentious issues in Greek life — like drinking or certain traditions," the source explained. "Nobody wants to be the person that ruins the fun for everybody else, and they certainly don’t want to be known as the person that did that, so it would be hard for people to come out and say how they feel."

Amid the rumors regarding the creation of the list and those involved, Jong expressed disappointment with the University’s response to the incident.

“To not have heard any word on it and now coming up on two weeks, it's just really disappointing,” Jong said. “As far as the student body can tell and as far as the students who were targeted by this list can tell, nothing is happening and that is incredibly impactful.”

 

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