Local fraternity's Facebook comments lead to anger on campus - KPTV - FOX 12

Local fraternity's Facebook comments lead to anger on campus

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A local fraternity chapter is under fire after violent and misogynistic comments made by their members leaked onto the internet.

Willamette University officials in Salem confirm they are investigating members of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Over the weekend, comments from their private Facebook page were posted on a blog which prompted protests by fellow students.

The posts included a comment about women's rights being the "biggest joke in the US".

Another talked about beating a girl who argued with a chapter member and another referenced kicking the school's activities director in the groin because she questioned the fraternity members' initiation plans.

Students say the blog went viral on campus.

"I don't think they should've done that on a Facebook wall," said freshman Madeline Bergan. "I don't think that kind of behavior is really good any time, but the fact that it was on a fraternity wall made it seem kind of rude."

Although several members were inside, no one would open the door for FOX 12 reporters at the Sigma Chi house on Tuesday.

But their national director Mike Dunn spoke about the issue over the phone, saying he was appalled.

"To go to that length of degrading other people is absolutely intolerable," said Dunn. "It is nowhere in the values that we profess."

Since Monday, Dunn says 12 members have been kicked out of Sigma Chi at Willamette as a result of the controversy.

Dunn says they will hold diversity training and the chapter has posted an apology online.

Students are still angry.

A group sat down in protest in front of the house Tuesday afternoon, saying the fraternity's comments create a dangerous environment for female students.

Many of them also signed an open letter to school administrators, urging them to shut the house down completely.

Willamette University officials said they are taking action and have launched a conduct review of several Sigma Chi members.

Spokesman Adam Torgerson says all students sign an agreement of standards and values when they're admitted and this does not reflect that.

"Yeah, you saw the reaction because we hold these values very highly," said Torgerson. "When someone says something that's so counter to what we stand for, it upsets people, rightfully so."

University officials say a Sigma Chi member's tires were slashed over the weekend, possibly in retaliation for the comments.

Salem police are investigating that incident.

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