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People Now Actually Believe Mizzou DU Makes Their Pledges Date Rape To Get Initiated Because People Are Idiots

mizzoudeltaupsilon

A person has to be so blindly, willingly, and totally stupid to believe that a fraternity would require its pledges to date rape a woman to be initiated that I can barely comprehend it. What “The Skulls” sequel do these people think they live in?

One of my best friends is also, by far, my most conservative friend. I’m talking, like, “Info Wars isn’t that far off sometimes” conservative. Myself, I’m pretty squarely moderate — center-right, you could say — so from time to time we’ll end up firing off a series drunken text flurries at each other, exchanging political thoughts, arguments, etc. He is, generally, an extremely well informed conservative. More well informed than I am on a lot of issues (and when he is I just lie and act like I totally get what he’s saying as I frantically Google shit).

Still, my friend is pretty damn far right, and sometimes he’ll say something to me that I know makes sense to him, based on both the lens through which he views the world and the media he consumes that, ultimately, helps to craft that lens. Though I understand the not totally unfounded logic he uses to reach these sorts of conclusions, objectively, they’re still kind of actually fucking crazy to say or believe no matter what your worldview is. And if he took a step back to give these sorts of conclusions a long (not even that long, really) hard look, that these ideas are more or less batshit would be pretty evident. He once said to me, “Hillary Clinton is evil and stands for everything I’m against.”

Evil. Not a bad candidate. Not sketchy, incompetent, or flippant. Not even uncomfortably ruthlessly driven. Straight. Up. Evil. Evil like Sauron or Stalin or every clown.

And it wasn’t hyperbole. To him, it was the truth.

So I sat there, read that, and wondered, “How can anyone fucking believe that?” It’s not rational.

___

The Columbia Daily Tribune today published a story detailing about a year’s worth of misbehavior by Mizzou’s Delta Upsilon chapter, as described by a multitude of reports filed to and by various University of Missouri administrators and offices. Here’s the full PDF of the reports.

In case you don’t remember, Mizzou DU was the fraternity that was baselessly accused of shouting racial slurs at black students (black students who had, to be fair, just been legitimately accosted with racial language by other students, none of whom were DU members). There is zero actual evidence that any of what the black students claimed about DU members making racial remarks actually happened. I mean, not that most people really give a crap about that last bit, at all, but, like when someone brings up their fantasy team in conversation, I figured it was worth mentioning despite no one caring about it.

But back to the most recently unearthed Mizzou DU related incidents. I’ll be honest, it’s not a short list, which isn’t a great. And at one point a police officer more or less notes that DU is back up to their old bullshit again (that bullshit being almost entirely drugs, drinking, rowdiness, and vandalism — unheard of in college). Even I have to admit that the reports make it sound like DU parties need to lay off the hard stuff. For the sake of their guests’ safety first and foremost, but also at this point for their own damn reputations.

Still, there’s a hazing allegation that was later proven to be false. A drunk pledge with a bloody hand was confronted in his dorm by his RA and told the RA that he hurt his hand because he was forced to fight other pledges. (Again, the pledge said this drunkenly — something that probably would’ve totally discredited him had he been a witness for the fraternity at the time, but hey, fuck it!) However, he later admitted to the Office of Greek Life that he had actually just punched a wall. DU was ultimately only punished for providing alcohol to a minor.

In fact, the vast majority of the complaints are alcohol related, more specifically related to underage drinking which, of course, is sick, horrifying, and not at all common in literally every social corner of college… that is if a fraternity is accused of it and you need character evidence to make a baseless (but super clickable!) story seem, you know, not baseless.

The totally unverified accusation that makes said super clickable story that I’m referencing in this instance, is, uh, a fucking bombshell. I mean, it would be if it was true, anyway.

Here’s the accusation, summed up nicely in a snippet quoted by the Columbia Daily Tribune, and other outlets, from a letter sent to Delta Upsilon by Mizzou’s Office for Civil Rights and Title IX:

“Active members of Delta Upsilon fraternity allegedly provided each new member with three pills and instructed them to drug women for the purpose of incapacitating them prior to engaging in sexual activity,” MU Title IX Administrator Ellen Eardley wrote in a letter to Delta Upsilon’s MU chapter. “It has been alleged that new members are required to engage in such conduct in order to complete the initiation process.”

Mizzou Delta Upsilon was accused of providing their entire pledge class with three pills and told that if they didn’t date rape a girl before the semester was over they wouldn’t be initiated.

Oh balls. Big, huge, dirty balls. Shut this motherfucker down. BURN THIS MOTHERFUCKER DOWN. Evil lives here. This really is some Sauron-level shit.

But hold on. Just for fun, before I lock the doors to DU with everyone inside and start chucking Molotov cocktails into their windows (for justice), let’s see if maybe there was anything more to this accusation that was left out by the various outlets that quoted this letter. Like, say, where the accusations originated. That feels like something important to know. I highlighted the parts from the quoted paragraph that weren’t included by the Columbia Daily Tribune or anyone else. Again, for fun, because it’s not like it actually fucking matters to 90% of people.

Dear Missouri Delta Upsilon Chapter,
The Office for Civil Rights & Title IX received a report that on or about Monday, August 22nd, 2016
active members of Delta Upsilon fraternity allegedly provided each new member with three pills and instructed them to drug women for the purpose of incapacitating them prior to engaging in sexual activity,” MU Title IX Administrator Ellen Eardley wrote in a letter to Delta Upsilon’s MU chapter. “It has been alleged that new members are required to engage in such conduct in order to complete the initiation process. The information was circulated on social media and/or GroupMe and numerous individuals contacted our office. MUPD was also notified.

Gun to my head, if I had to list my most trusted sources of information, they’d be as follows:

  • The Wall Street Journal
  • The Washington Post

This is going to take a while so we’ll skip a few thousand down…

  • A hobo who insists his information is beamed to him directly from the moon

Still not there, let’s skip a few thousand more…

  • Random, totally unverifiable gossip matriculated through “social media and/or GroupMe”

And, to be fair, Mizzou’s Title IX office didn’t put a lot of stock into that source either, because later in the letter they said the following:

Should my office receive information indicating that there is any veracity to the allegations that Delta Upsilon promoted sexual misconduct and hazing, an investigation will begin immediately.

No one included that bit, by the way.

Also, “Should my office receive any information indicating that there is any veracity to the allegations,” if you’re not aware, is another way of saying, “the information we have currently is a total bullshit rumor that’s about as actionable as one student threatening another with a wand they got at Harry Potter World.”

The Columbia Daily Tribune, it’s worth mentioning, said this about where the accusations came from:

The information was reported by numerous people who contacted the office and was circulated on social media, Eardley wrote. The office received the information Aug. 22.

This isn’t an inaccurate statement. The information was reported by numerous people who contacted the Title IX office. And information was circulated on social media. What it really doesn’t convey though — because, as with bathroom stalls in public restrooms, total transparency isn’t usually in your best interest in journalism — is that the accusations were reported after being heard on social media and GroupMe.

Take for example, the difference between these two statements, both of which technically convey the same information, though one offers some illuminating context:

 

  • The information about the potential terrorist attack was reported to Homeland Security by numerous people who contacted the agency and was shouted by a hobo who said he heard about the attack from the scientists beaming news to him via the moon.
  • Multiple people reported information about a potential terrorist attack to Homeland Security after hearing about it from a shouting hobo who claimed to be getting his information from scientists sending it to him via the moon.

 

Kind of paints a different picture. Sort of? Ah fuck it nobody cares.

Or, if you want an even more illuminating illustration of the veracity of these claims, why don’t you check out this actual text about DU between two Mizzou girls.

duaccustaion

My roommate’s boyfriend’s roommate. That sounds solid.

___

Mizzou Delta Upsilon was accused of providing their entire pledge class with three pills and told that if they didn’t date rape a girl before the semester was over they wouldn’t be initiated.

Here I am, asking myself again, “How can anyone fucking believe that?”

A person has to be so blindly, willingly, and totally stupid to believe that a fraternity would require its pledges to date rape a woman to be initiated that I can barely comprehend it. What “The Skulls” sequel do these people think they live in?

This is an outright conspiracy theory. Regardless of whatever else is in those reports, this accusation is pure, baseless, rumor turned conspiracy trash.

Ironically, this accusation against DU is almost literally one of the very same things the University of Virginia Phi Psi chapter from the now infamous and retracted Rolling Stone article was falsely accused of: that rape was a part of their initiation. That accusation ended up being one of the biggest red flags that caused other, infinitely more responsible journalists than Rolling Stone’s Sabrina Rubin Erdely, to look into the case and eventually completely debunk the entire story. Glad we all forgot that lesson already.

Yes, sexual assault happens at fraternities. No, that does not make the idea that rape is a part of a fraternity’s ritual, unofficial or otherwise, plausible. To believe that idea is to reinforce your own worldview about who and what you feel — not who and what actually is — right and wrong, good and bad, etc., because that’s what you want to believe. What anyone wants to believe doesn’t matter. The truth matters. Rationality matters.

Take a step back. Take a long (not that you should need that long) look at this accusation. A fraternity is accused of ordering at least 31 young men to rape women in order to gain membership, and providing them the physical means to do so. Yet, the only evidence of any of that is third-party rumors on social media and in GroupMe. No DU pledge has come forward. No DU active has come forward. And trust me, DU isn’t the fucking Illuminati. A snitch isn’t going to turn the keys to his ignition one day and get barbecued in his BMW. There were roughly a hundred people supposedly privy to this horrifying knowledge and not a single one had the conscience to come forward? And there’s no actual evidence anywhere? Do you understand the sheer amount of loose ends in this scenario? What do you think Nate Silver’s odds on this accusation being true would be? How does that idea not seem batshit to you, no matter what lens you view the world through?

But by all means, people who want to believe this, enjoy insinuating or outright insisting that a bunch of innocent college kids are serial rapists for, at best, minor monetary and career gain (the media) or, at worst, and much more likely, mere schadenfreude that will have stopped being satisfying in about a week, while everyone you gleefully watched suffer because they’re not the same as you is marked for life in one form or another. I bet those people must have fun lives.

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