Why, oh why must the media fixate on stories where I wind up having to be the bad guy? With another week gone by we have yet another report involving a college fraternity, this time on the campus of Washburn University in Kansas. This one doesn’t involve any sort of gang rape story showing up in Rolling Stone or professors sleeping with their graduate students. The boys at Phi Delta Theta are in hot water after a series of vulgar text messages somehow wound up in the local news. Yep… you read that correctly. Text messages exchanged between members of the frat.
A Washburn University fraternity has been suspended by its national leadership after sexually vulgar text messages between its members were discovered.
The Phi Delta Theta International said early Thursday it suspended the Washburn chapter as it investigates the messages. Jake Gregg, the president of Washburn’s Phi Delta Theta chapter, is apologizing.
“I don’t think that anyone in our fraternity honestly feels in a way that would reflect the things that were said in those messages,” Gregg said.
Well, I suppose if the text messages are bad enough then action will have to be taken. So what exactly were these horrible little smart phone missives?
A Washburn University fraternity member posted a photo of a man with a topless woman in bed…
One person commented, “Women are equal and deserve respect … just kidding they should (expletive).”
Another insinuated a 12-year-old girl is old enough for sex.
I’m not saying this is the most shining moment for these kids, but this isn’t exactly shocking stuff. Reading through the second link above, the 12 year old girl in question was the sister of one of the frat members and one of his brothers seems to be busting his chops, not making some sort of general statement in support of pedophilia. There’s also some question about the photo they found. The reporters describe it as “a man with a topless woman in bed.” If the man was a frat member and the woman was a coed from the campus and she was incapacitated or something then we might be on the trail of a crime. But wouldn’t they have described it as such if that were the case? It sounds more like this could have been a screen capture from Kim Kardashian’s latest Facebook post.
This looks more like young guys who are being intentionally shocking for the purpose of humor. Honestly, I’m sure I’ve posted something nearly as bad on Twitter without having to go too far back in my archive by joking that some of my female friends / followers should get busy making sammiches. (I’m generally met with a good natured response suggesting I do something anatomically impossible.) This is what we’re suspending fraternities for these days? Even the ACLU is weighing in on the case already and saying that all of this qualifies as protected First Amendment speech and the students can’t be hit with any sort of prosecution from it.
I suppose it would be nice if the entire planet was composed of young people who were always absolutely perfect, polite little gentlemen and ladies, but college kids tend to push their boundaries and mimic some of the bawdy entertainment they see every day from around the world. Some humor is offensive, but if that’s all that was going on here then we are once again overreacting in the name of political correctness.