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Racist Messages In FIJI GroupMe Surface, Involved Members Asked To Disaffiliate

On Saturday night, Bwog received screenshots of messages from the GroupMe of Columbia’s chapter of Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI). These messages, part of a conversation taking place on Saturday, depicted a few students making and defending a racist joke regarding the recent Black Lives Matter protests after the death of George Floyd. Following backlash from other members within the fraternity, FIJI has “demanded withdrawal of affiliation of certain members,” according to an organization-wide email sent yesterday, and plans to take further action to sustain inclusivity.

The conversation began with one user sending out a meme that described police’s use of tear gas on a Black protestor as “giving out post quarantine nuts” and “one doozy of a facial,” dehumanizing a Black protestor and minimizing police brutality. Several users called the joke out, while another member justified the meme by describing the recent surge of support for BLM as “bullshit” and “inconsistent.”

This meme additionally sexualizes a Black protester after being covered in tear gas. It seems to follow a pattern within the GroupMe, as later messages indicate that members had previously made and laughed at “jokes about sexual assault and so many other fucked up shit.”

In a statement to Bwog, Columbia FIJI’s president, Alexander Gouws ’22, maintained that “the organisation was […] against the comments and in total support of our fraternity brothers of colour.” Indeed, not only were the members involved asked the disaffiliate, but the president also pointed out that FIJI has been planning additional initiatives to maintain inclusivity.

Its leadership is currently in talks with brothers of color on how to best support them. “We are currently running a donation drive to raise awareness and plan to run more initiatives in the future,” the president said. “The action that has already been taken will not be our only action.” The statement highlighted that FIJI itself is not a racist organization: “We weren’t idle and we certainly did not turn a blind eye to the event.”

Regarding the comment about previous jokes about sexual assault among members, the president said he believed it did not have any “genuine reality behind it. I cannot speak for comments made in private […] but whenever the organisation is made aware of things we deem to be inappropriate a hard stance is always taken.”

Echoing many of these same sentiments, leadership also addressed the situation in an email to the chapter yesterday afternoon. The GroupMe messages were described as “insensitive and unacceptable” comments that “fundamentally contradict the core values of this fraternity.” The email again emphasized that guilty members would be asked to disaffiliate and that FIJI would launch a philanthropic event to raise money for the Minnesota Freedom Fund.

The email did not mention other allegations made in the messages, such as the jokes about sexual assault. The full text can be found below.

When Bwog requested comments from the University on the messages, the University instead only pointed to Friday’s statement from Executive Vice President for University Life Suzanne Goldberg, which acknowledged the “recent killings of unarmed African Americans” and the “tremendous pain this violence has caused to many in our own community.”

Our intention, in posting these screenshots without names, was to advance the critical discussion of racism on campus and the idea that systemic racism is a pervasive problem afflicting our University, rather than to malign or pinpoint this as an issue with a few individuals. This is one conversation in one group and not a problem confined to FIJI itself. Bwog condemns the anti-Blackness demonstrated in these messages, at our institution, and throughout the world. Black Lives Matter.

Photo via Bwog Archives

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87 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous More outrage over this than the senseless murder of Tessa Majors.

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Tessa was supportive of the black lives matter movement and was against injustice. I hope she haunts your b*tch azz for trying to use her death for your twisted agenda. Shut up!

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      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Facts don’t care about your feelings no matter how many times you clear your cookies and upvote your own comment.

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      2. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous then why was she killed by black teens anyway?

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        1. Anonymous says:

          @Anonymous Because of fucking poverty

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          1. Anonymous says:

            @Anonymous So if these guys blamed their texts on “poverty” you’d forgive them and move on?

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        2. Anonymous says:

          @Anonymous Because of poverty

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    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous yo shut the fuck up you piece of trash. don’t bring tessa’s name into the conversation as if u even give a shit about her and aren’t using her for ur own political motives. how absolutely pathetic and sad you must be.

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      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous You are getting awfully emotional here. That is what children do when shown they are wrong. No matter how many times you comment the same thing, it will not change the fact that the circumstances surrounding Tessa’s murder contradict all of your cultural indoctrination. Which is why people like you defended and made excuses for her murderers while condemning those who make jokes that hurt your feelings. I suggest you work on that. Emotional instability is unattractive.

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        1. Anonymous says:

          @Anonymous No one is defending the murderer but rather stating the fact that using Tessa’s death as a political motivation against BLM is deranged. It’s like bringing up white people who have been killed by the police to undermine BLM. You didn’t care about them when they died so why do you pretend to care now? Tessa’s death does not contradict our “cultural indoctrination,” in fact it highlights how poverty is an insidious thing in this country and is interwoven with race.

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  • Sir Francis Galton says:

    @Sir Francis Galton I honestly have no idea what is going on in these texts. The meme is offensive but wouldn’t be that out of place in mainstream stand up comedy (for example).

    And what is the rest of it? I can’t even tell who I’m supposed to be mad at at the end (whose side is purple on and who is he talking about)

    Doesn’t seem particularly newsworthy to me. Why are we trying to overturn people’s lives about this vague vanilla @$$ stuff?

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Maybe the posters should try their hand at stand up comedy and see how that goes for them. These attitudes towards women and black people have no place in any other workplace. Also what’s vague here? The disrespect for black women protesters and about making rape jokes are plainly stated

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous @Bwog, what was the rationale for blocking out the names? Why not hold students accountable for their statements?

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous read the last paragraph

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    2. Well says:

      @Well Because none of them are white and that sort of hurts the narrative.

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      1. Thx for making my eyes bleed says:

        @Thx for making my eyes bleed The only thing men have is the audacity.

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    3. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous If you give people no opportunity for reconciliation and hence no opportunity to participate in society or earn a living, there’s nothing stopping them from organizing and violently taking your property. Remember Weimar. Which is exactly why cancel culture will backfire. Only a matter of time.

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      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous if you have to compare all conflict in your life to Germany in the 30s you are an i d i o t. I hope you are not a student here and just some other online turd

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        1. Anonymous says:

          @Anonymous Not a substantive argument. Clearly you don’t go to Columbia.

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous FIJI is full of racist a**holes in greek-life-centered institutions everywhere. Wish I could be surprised!

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous show these racist bitches names why protect them

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous What do you mean by protect? It sounds an awful lot like you’re threatening them, which unlike making politically incorrect jokes is a crime.

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous show these racist bitches names! why protect them

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous With all the dialogue going on right now regarding the Black Lives Matter Movement, I can understand the frustration and outrage over the insensitivity of such a comment. Nonetheless, I feel this particular instance demonstrates the continued opposition between students affiliated with Greek life and those who aren’t. Since setting foot on campus, I’ve come to notice the resentment of students as well as faculty towards Greek life. Despite the continued inclusivity of Greek organizations on campus, many still regard Greek life as flawed sexist institutions exemplifying toxic masculinity. Greek life isn’t just fraternities, there exist sororities but it seems fraternities are always the culprits giving Greek life its negative connotation. This isn’t news and this doesn’t reflect Greek organizations as a whole. It more so seems to be an insensitive joke made by an individual and the fact that people demand FIJI as a whole be punished is wrong. The fact that FIJI is having that particular member disaffiliate is demonstrative of the strong values of FIJI and Greek life as a whole at Columbia.

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous “I’m just saying we’ve made jokes about sexual assault and so many other fucked up shit and all of you have laughed”
      And are we really going to praise FIJI/Greek life for asking this member to disaffiliate? Moral standards are bare minimum

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      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous >appeal to morality
        It’s okay for child drag queens to hang out with naked grown men. Shut the fuck up

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        1. Anonymous says:

          @Anonymous lol wut are you talking about?

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    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous The green commenter literally stated that they have made various “jokes about sexual assault and other f*** up s***” and all of you have laughed”, so I don’t see how this incident has given FIJI/Greek life at Columbia a shred of the strong values you claim they have.
      If anything, it underlines how low the moral bar is set for them and how depressingly normal it is to skip over comments like that and praise FIJI for doing the bare minimum to “”combat”” racism in its ranks

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      1. Wayback machine is a great resource says:

        @Wayback machine is a great resource All the people disliking your comment are in Fiji. Boys y’all really out here exposing yourselves.

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous SHOW THE NAMES

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous One individual made an at worst: terribly racist, at best: terribly bad taste joke. It was promptly called out by members in the chat, and action was quickly undertaken.

    I think the main difference between KDR incident of past and this is that there is a conversation in this GroupMe, and not blind, unquestioned prejudices.

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    1. 201X Grad says:

      @201X Grad Stop pretending like you think the joke was too far. It wasn’t. Don’t let Bwog and all of these fascist liberal double speak people force you to cede ground, even if it’s f@kking dumb like the meme.

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      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous It doesn’t look like you know what fascist means, babe.

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      2. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous I seriously believe that Fiji members should read some books. Do you all even know what culture it?

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        1. Anonymous says:

          @Anonymous They got into Columbia. You go to Barnard. It is pretty obvious they are smarter than you.

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          1. Columbia grad says:

            @Columbia grad Caught you, FIJI boy!

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    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Did you miss the part where these folks brag about laughing at sexist and racist jokes in the past?? This frat protects rapists and racists. That’s not “one individual”. That’s a group of pigs.

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      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous How did you make the jump from “laughing at sexist and racist jokes” to being a rapist? That’s a bit extreme.

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      2. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous I agree with the pig part.

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous It is a well-known fact that FIJI has harbored rapists in their fraternity, including one who has assaulted multiple women with violent force—myself included

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Report the brother involved and get the justice you deserve

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      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Maybe you haven’t noticed but the criminal justice system has been absolutely failing to deliver justice–particularly to women who have suffered sexual assault and to all black people–and the police harbor more racists and rapists than the general population

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous How about when FIJI let their alumni waterboard their pledges as part of hazing rituals? That got swept under the rug by the school, but is certainly more harmful than an off-colour joke. Still, couldn’t have happened to worse people.

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I can’t fathom how anyone is comparing this to KDR. From what I remember, KDR guys used the “n word” and continuously supported one another in using racially and sexually derogatory language throughout their group chat. That was systemic, this FIJI chat doesn’t appear to be even on the same wavelength. I’m sad that anyone would even think to post something like this given the times we are currently in but I’m glad that swift, concrete action has been taken, unlike previous cases. Speaks to the integrity of the leadership at the very least.

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous dont be mistaken, action was only taken because they were caught. ALL ifc orgs act like this, they are just better at hiding it

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      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Seems like action was taken before article leaked given content in the emails posted but let me know if I’m missing something. Regardless, don’t recall KDR taking any action either before or after, let alone even acknowledging what took place…

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  • Hmmmmmmm says:

    @Hmmmmmmm Ok so names And faces have been leaked on Twitter and…literally no one involved in this chat is African American AND people on both sides (incl green and yellow) are Latino…..seems to change the story a little bit

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous You can be black and Latino, dumbass

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    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Uhhh you can be black AND Latino , but even if they weren’t this is still a problem

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Many IFC organizations act like this. Delta Sigma Phi for example has a group chat that is deleted every few weeks and a new one appears. In it, are jokes about rape, politics, racist comments, abuse, beastiality, and crude impersonations of women on this campus. Members are never punished. Group chats like FIJI’s or DSig’s are in EVERY fraternity across Columbia. I only can comment on this specific organization because I’ve seen screenshots from my roommate, but many more of my friends have seen it in other IFC orgs. This is nothing new and we do not need to act shocked. Something must be done whenever we see it. Not just when it is sent to BWOG or Spec.

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Yes punish all who hurt my feeling with their words. Hold old are you five? Normal people don’t give a shit.

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous ALL ifc chapters at columbia have groupchats exactly like this. theyre just more careful to not let it get out. they change gc every few weeks to delete past explicit content. this is a school wide problem. not just fiji

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous This is simply not true

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I have personally been treated in a shockingly hateful way by 2 FIJI members. I have the proof and I think it’s time to come forward with my story.

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous go cry more you loser. Just a sensitive little snowflake who will never amount to anything.

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      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous You’re definitely in FIJI lol.

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous This is disgusting….it’s not just racist but also misogynistic, sexually degrading a black woman protester. It does not surprise me to hear either that this group finds sexual assault funny or, as another comment mentions, that this group harbors a violent rapist.

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Looks like the frat boys are here! Word of advice: don’t watch porn. You’ll get erectile dysfunction. Lol.

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      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Just reported you to Pornhub, youre done for

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Yes more thoughtcrime. Punish all wrongthink. Meanwhile, rioters are killing people and no one says anything. Spare us the moral outrage. You have lost all moral high ground.

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    1. You are a fucking moron says:

      @You are a fucking moron *reads 1984 once*

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      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Okay. How is policing speech that hurts your feelings and sentencing offenders to a lifetime of punishment with no opportunity for reconciliation significantly different? Care to make an argument or are you going to continue with ad homs and strawmen? Because that’s all you have so far.

        And sorry you weren’t able to understand the novel after the first time through or the second or whatever time you’re on.

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      2. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous >the absolute state of liberal arts now
        So how is policing speech that offends your fragile worldview and sentencing offenders to a lifetime of punishment with no opportunity for reconciliation significantly different? Care to make a real argument or will you resort to another ad hom / strawman?

        And sorry you weren’t able to understand the novel your first time through, or whatever time you’re on now.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous So FIJI is just spamming this comment section now? Cool cool cool, great job boys. Way to out yourselves as racists and rapists, or at the very least apologists

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous Fiji douchebags never learn what apologies are. They do shits and always defend themselves with lies and nonsense.

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous fuck you bwog

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous I clicked on the link and got an error. Medium says it isn’t showing the article because the author lied.

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      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous actually medium doesnt publish texts so the article is now here: https://stopsilencing.me/posts/ethan-gould-is-a-predator/

        the author did not lie and medium doesnt say that they did anywhere

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous There is not a single fraternity on campus that has not made me or my close friends uncomfortable–maybe with the exception of SigChi since we don’t really go to their parties. I’ve been groped multiple times at the SigNu house, pushed and yelled at outside a FIJI Party, and even verbally harassed at a DeltaSig day event last homecoming. This article underlines key issues that constitute every Greek organization on campus–one just got caught.

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    1. come on now says:

      @come on now You generalize all fraternities as the same but then only specify FIJI, SigNu, and DSig. How about the other 5+ fraternities on campus lmao? Oh wait that would ruin your point.

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous People please send all the screenshots of Fiji douchebags being racist/sexist and asshole to recruiters at all the big companies at tech and financial industries and spread the words. I have some of the proof.

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    1. No one actually cares says:

      @No one actually cares You have to be an idiot to believe recruiters have any say in the hiring process. They’re administrators who set up meetings. There are also tens of thousands of them, and the turnover among the ones who deal with entry level grads is massive, so they will be gone by the time any of them graduate. What you’re looking for are hiring managers. Good luck finding every hiring manager at every company. Dumb fuck.

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      1. head of small pp org says:

        @head of small pp org I feel we are the real dumb fuck bro.

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous It’s clear from all the hysterical comments that Barnard girls aren’t getting any in lockdown.

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous ok but no one should be getting any in quarantine

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous so is CU really not gonna do anything about these guys?

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous They can’t. it would be a breach of contract you dumbass. CU agrees to support free speech and open dialog in their agreements with students. In doing so, they are contractually bound to abide by the first amendment. 6th circuit and 3rd circuit have overwhelmingly upheld this interpretation re due process. Analogizing to the first amendment is trivial. Separately, your outrage is entirely viewpoint based. You chose to take offense, they did not choose to offend you. Therefore, I suggest you grow the fuck up and put your big girl pants on.

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous lol they’re supposed to be brothers and one of them leaked their group chat? I’m not condoning what was said but everyone has a group chat where people say fucked up shit, thats just what having real friends is like. If you can’t relate then I guess you have no actual friends which probably isn’t super surprising when 90% of people at this school are fake and will step on anyones neck to get ahead.

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    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous a member was definitely uncomfortable and released the information. I think the action of releasing the messages was applaudable because they’re trying to call out the culture of the group they’re involved with

      — something that everyone is calling out in the comments but instead of being positive about that one person trying to cancel the group as a whole. Cancel culture is toxic y’all

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    2. a normal person says:

      @a normal person my dude my guy, I have plenty of friends (my close friend group is about 15, and I have a larger circle of friends that is like 50-70), and I can guarantee nobody has any sort of secret racist groupchat. frat boys really do have worms for brains bc no sane person would ever fucking do that.

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    3. People Who Join Frats Have Blank Weak Minds says:

      @People Who Join Frats Have Blank Weak Minds That’s why social morality and law exist because human natures need constraints and you can’t just expect one practices integrity without watching eyes. Friends does not equal to criminal accomplices. Or at least, it’s very unclever of you if you think of frats as real friends lol.

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  • Privileged says:

    @Privileged Hey ‘member when the multicultural fraternities were among the fraternities busted for dealing drugs and were the only ones the administration allowed to stay on campus?
    I ‘member.

  • Tod Howard Hawks says:

    @Tod Howard Hawks EXPEL ALL RACISTS FROM COLUMBIA!

    Tod Howard Hawks, Columbia College, Class of 1966

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