Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Unauthorized incident shuts down fraternity

The Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at Indiana University was revoked after a sexually explicit video surfaced the internet earlier this month. The video, taken on a smartphone, shows members cheering on an active member of the fraternity as he was participating in a sexually explicit act with a woman. Wynn Smiley, the national chapter’s chief executive, mentioned that the man in the video was 21 years old and the women involved in the video were exotic dancers that were hired by another active member.
The national organization of the fraternity stated that the Indiana University chapter is shut down following the release of the inappropriate and disrespectful video. The chapter is closed and the charter is revoked.
On the national fraternity’s website, they released a press release on the matter of the video. They clarified the incident and that “no pledge was compelled to participate” in the video and or unauthorized acts that were occurring in it.
Interestingly enough, I find it odd that the press release had to clarify that no pledge was involved in the incident. That simply reiterates that there is this connotation of embarrassment and humiliation with pledges of national fraternities since videos and investigations have been taken place in the past with other colleges and universities.
I praise the national organization for taking quick action on the matter and shutting down the chapter at Indiana University. They acted promptly and were cooperative with officials and authorities at Indiana University. However, punishment for the actual members involved is yet to come.
I personally have not seen the video, nor do I wish to do so, but I can only imagine the inappropriate images that are shown. I still am intrigued as to why someone would take a video of such acts and then actually go about and either upload it somewhere or have it accidentally leaked. This could have all been avoided without the need of wanting to get it on camera.
This case, along with many others, has many consequences for all of Greek Life around the country. Cases in the University of Oklahoma and the University of Huston have also had similar allegations incidents from the chanting of racial slurs to hazing. It puts the community under a microscopic lens and does not allow it to shine for the great attributes that it brings to its members.
Unfortunately, scandal will always bring more attention than accomplishments because of its controversial aspect. It is unfortunate that the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity now has this on their shoulders to carry which effects all of its 215,000 members nationwide.
Above all, people on the outside of Greek Life need to understand that not all fraternities and sororities are the same. I am not saying that this incident portrays or reflects the entire Alpha Tau Omega fraternity as a whole, but I am saying that these incidents are not to be put into thought when generalizing and making assumptions for all of the chapters that are in the Greek system.
There are many Greek groups that strive for a strong involvement in their schools, a high GPA, proving service to their communities, and along many other great things. These are all characteristics that people should look into when making their judgement on Greek life.
Partying, hazing, and videos like this are always something that is constantly brought up in the media that perpetuate this negative image that many people have on the Greek system. There is always going to be the negative bunch in the larger pool, but it does not set the standards for the majority of everyone involved.

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Unauthorized incident shuts down fraternity