Zeta Psi fraternity faces possible derecognition after the discovery of “sex newsletters” produced by members of the house, a source close to the administration told The Dartmouth.
The papers, apparently printed at different times, include lewd references to sexual acts between brothers and named female students. One newsletter references a future issue’s tips on date rape techniques, among other offensive and illegal topics.
The other uncovered newsletter describes the sexual escapades of one female student with a host of brothers, all competing for the “Manwhore Hall of Shame.”
Zeta Psi President Gene Boyle ’02 confirmed that the papers were indeed printed by members of his fraternity, but he said, “Obviously, we don’t condone this kind of behavior.”
“An investigation has been started; I learned that today from [Acting Assistant Dean of Residential Life] Cassie [Barnhardt]. I’m eager to work with Cassie,” Boyle said. “I hope the outcome is fair and just.”
“We are willing to comply to the best of our abilities with College officials,” he said.
He said the newsletter, which is a regular event at Zeta Psi, is usually “much tamer,” but recent issues have prompted debate within the house.
“We’ve been talking about if and how things should change,” Boyle said.
He said brothers are instructed to destroy the papers after reading them and not to distribute them outside the house.
Judicial Committee Chair Lauren Lafaro ’02 confirmed that an investigation had begun but could not say when it would be complete.
“Obviously, right now, many of the details are unclear so we can’t jump to any conclusions. However, I would say that the nature of the letters and what I know thus far is disgusting and unacceptable,” Lafaro said.
Lafaro said one of the primary goals of the investigation is to determine whether the publication of these newsletters is an institutionalized practice.
“If such degradation and objectification is a part of their weekly meetings, then that speaks of a much greater problem,” Lafaro said. “And that’s not only a problem within their house, but within the Greek system as a whole.”
Boyle would not say who made the newsletters, only that “it’s something that has been passed down from different people in the house.”
The first paper features color pictures of three female Dartmouth students with captions such as “The Ex: [student’s name]?” and “The sure thing: [student’s name]?” under the headline: “If YOU were pledge [X] which guaranteed hook up would you choose?”
The second paper, titled “The Zetemouth,” uses a template taken from The Dartmouth. One headline reads “More gratuitous Cancun porn!” over a picture of a topless girl supposedly in Cancun, Mexico. The topless girl is not a Dartmouth student according to the caption, which mentions a brother’s girlfriend and another brother’s sister.
The caption to the photo reads: “No, it’s not [Brother X]’s girlfriend ([Female student]’s tits are too small), [Brother Y]’s sister (too round) or even [Brother Z]’s Cancun hookup (not old enough to have tits). Yup, it’s just another Cancun chick faced with the easy choice of either flashing hundreds of strangers or spending the night with [Brother A].”
An anonymous female student told The Dartmouth that she and another student discovered the first paper this summer.
“After seeing the first letter, I was appalled that any group would attack its friends and girlfriends in such a demeaning way,” the student said.
“I felt personally attacked by the statements about me, but even putting aside my own feelings of violation, the date rape comment is what really hit home for me as a woman,” she continued.
At the bottom of the paper, a line reads: “Next week: [Brother X]’s patented date rape techniques!”
The two students made a photocopy of the paper, but chose not to come forward after assurance from Zeta Psi brothers that such papers would not be printed again.
However, one of the students was later told by a brother of Zeta Psi that the fraternity would never stop printing the weekly newsletters because they are an “institution.” That student said she also saw another letter but did not obtain a copy.
Then, last Wednesday night after Greek meetings, a group of four students recovered a torn-up copy of “The Zetemouth.” The students cleaned vomit and beer from the scraps of paper and pieced the newsletter together.
“When I saw the second letter, I felt less sad and more threatened and angry after receiving proof that this was an institutionalized, organized hatred of women,” the anonymous female student said.
This second paper appears to have been printed after Spring break of this year. One of the anonymous students said she believes the first paper was printed in July 2000.
The students, who all asked to remain anonymous, said they turned both letters over to Dean of Residential Life Martin Redman. As of last night, no hearing had been scheduled for the fraternity, but sources say one is in the works and derecognition is likely.
The first paper, entitled the “Sigma Report,” includes an “interview” with a brother about his sexual activity. “Sigma” is an officer position in the house who handles the weekly sex newsletter, according to a source close to Zeta Psi.
The “Sigma Report” contains a conversation between the Sigma and another brother. The Sigma says to the other brother, whose nickname is used, “I believe you didn’t hook up with her, but what about when I came into your room at about 3:30 in the morning to borrow some shaving cream and I saw you doing her up the dirty hole?”
The paper uses the names of four different Dartmouth women and the pictures of three of the women.
The second paper, “The Zetemouth,” details the passing of a “Manwhore” title from one brother to another based on his alleged sexual immorality. “The Zetemouth” refers to another female Dartmouth student in the headline: “[WOMAN X] STRIKES AGAIN — [BROTHER B] LATEST VICITM [sic].”
The sub-headline reads: “[Brother D] dethroned from Manwhore of the Year.” A female student is referred to by name several times, including “[Woman X]’s cunt couldn’t get any looser” and a fictitious quote attributed to her: “Hey — back off my man[whore]. He did nothing wrong. We can all appreciate a piece of ass.”
“Commenting on [Brother B]’s chances for a highly-coveted spot in the Manwhore Hall of Shame, [Brother C] said ‘Are you kidding me? Rancid snatch like that makes you a fucking lock,'” the paper continues.
“The Zetemouth” also refers to one brother’s affinity for “felching” with lab rats.
(The Dartmouth removed the names of all individuals mentioned in the newsletters to protect their identities.)