Oregon university leader condemns fraternity Facebook posts

SALEM, Ore. (AP) A Willamette University fraternity has been roundly criticized for Facebook comments labeled crude and misogynistic that included a suggestion a school official be kicked in the genitalia for her questions about initiation week activities.

About 40 students on the Salem campus demonstrated Monday, calling for the Sigma Chi Delta Zeta chapter to be disbanded and its leaders barred from positions of power on campus, the Statesman Journal reported.

"We don't want to see it swept under the rug," said freshman Genevieve Gahagan. "We don't want to see a case closed after an 'I'm sorry.' "

The university president and a national Sigma Chi leader were among those who condemned the posts from a private Facebook group that surfaced in a link to a blog.

The fraternity itself posted an apology, on Facebook, saying the remarks didn't reflect the organization's goals and ideas.

In the private remarks, one Sigma Chi member said people should kick the school's director of student activities, Lisa Holliday, over her questions about initiations. Another said that "woman's rights are the biggest joke in the US" and threatened to "beat" a female student who got into an argument with another member.

"I'm appalled that a young man would even begin to say these things let alone put it in writing," Sigma Chi national executive director Mike Dunn said. "It's certainly embarrassing on the part of Sigma Chi."

President Stephen Thorsett said in a campus email the posts were crude, misogynistic and deeply upsetting.

He also said the university wouldn't tolerate retaliation such as the slashing of a fraternity member's tire, which was reported Monday to the Salem police.

The fraternity's apology said it was "the beginning of our steps to evaluate our chapter and make good on the promise we know make to improve ourselves and repair the damage done to the community."


Information from: Statesman Journal,

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press