University of Tennessee fraternity members offer rebuttal
By now, you are likely aware of the alleged “butt chugging” alcohol enemas incident at a University of Tennessee fraternity last week. The men of the chapter are vehemently denying that anything of the sort ever happened. Before reading the rest of this blog, watch their press conference here.
I felt sad watching their press conference, because I don’t think they are helping their cause, at all. Some thoughts on this evolving situation and on their press conference:
1. It seems a lot less likely that the university police and hospital staff conspired to frame a student than it does that a highly embarrassed parent lawyered up. If this ever goes to court, I suspect these young men are going to be much more embarrassed when the police and hospital reports become part of public record. Meanwhile, their lawyers will rack up fees as the parents seek relief from their misdirected embarrassment.
2. If it’s true that the men were not anally ingesting Franzia Sunset Blush, this incident still speaks clearly to how irresponsible consumption of alcohol by a group of individual brothers can shut down a chapter. Regardless of what end the Franzia entered, this young man very nearly drank himself to death. That’s what his parents should be worried about. They should be hiring him a psychologist, not a lawyer.
3. The lawyer said that the activities took place even though the members were told not to do it. I’m skeptical. “Hey, why are the guys bringing in multiple boxes of wine? Didn’t we tell them that was against our risk management policy?” Unlikely. This is probably what they are telling the national fraternity, although I’m sure the very intelligent staff members at Pi Kappa Alpha can see through it.
4. The homophobia in the video clip is shameful. While some in the Knoxville community might find an obvious link between homosexuality and fraternity men (allegedly) funneling wine in their rectums, most intelligent people do not. To deny that homophobia is playing a role in this rebuttal would be naive. If the men did indeed butt chug, it had nothing to do with their sexual orientations. Indeed, a 2012 report from the Centers from Disease Control “found that 44 percent of straight men and 36 percent of straight women admitted to having had anal sex.”
5. Feel free to giggle each time the lawyer says “butt chugging.”
6. In the press conference, the young man (through his lawyer) swears to his Pi Kappa Alpha brothers across the nation “on his oath” that the incident never happened and encourages them not to believe the media reports. He never apologizes for the embarrassment and shame his actions brought on his fraternity. He could deny everything and still be sorry for the fact that his behavior caused the closing of his chapter and shame to his brothers.
7. The whole “blame the media” thing is tired. Go after the police department and the hospital, if you think that’s going to clear your name. But blaming the media for reporting something that came from presumably credible sources just makes you look dumb enough to actually be anally ingesting boxed wine.
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