TechTowerSign

I am writing in reference to a recent email that I sent to members of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity that has recently received extensive media attention. The content of this email was offensive and it should never have been written.

I am deeply sorry for the pain and embarrassment my actions and lack of judgement have caused the students at Georgia Tech and my Phi Kappa Tau brotherhood as well as those who otherwise came into contact with the email. As hard as it may be to believe, it was written as a joke for a small audience that understood the context and that it is not my nor my fraternity’s actual beliefs on the subject. I have now come to realize this is a very serious topic that should not be taken lightly.

Misogynistic behavior is everywhere online and unfortunately, my attempt to ridicule it in an immature and outrageous satire backfired terribly and in a manner I mistakenly underestimated. In fact the “locker room” banter that characterizes this email was wrong in and of itself whether or not contained in a written communication. I am both embarrassed and ashamed at this dialogue and realize now that any sexual statement that is demeaning to women is never a joke.

One particular term originated from the nickname I received as a pledge, which was “4th Grade Rape Bait” due to my youthful looks and the connotation of what may happen to someone like me in prison. This became an internal fraternity joke and the term found its way into several communications, inappropriately and even nonchalantly. In retrospect, it was a nickname I should not have embraced but continuing to use the term was my fault. As a leader I should have put a stop to it in any reference.

I understand the magnitude and seriousness of this issue and the pain I have caused this community. I certainly have been forever changed by this incident. I have resigned as my fraternity’s social chairman and have proactively identified and implemented actions in consultation with the Office of Student Integrity.

I know I cannot fix all the damage I have done, but I will strive to become a better man as I work through this episode in my life. I am a devout Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket and regret the dark shadow that I have cast on this fine school. I will conduct myself to more honorably reflect the ideals of Georgia Tech in the future.

Sincerely, Matthew

  • http://www.kanav.net kanav

    good apology. let us all learn and grow from this

  • anon

    Satire is a powerful tool. I hope it’s not stifled entirely by those who didn’t get it.

  • doubter

    “…my attempt to ridicule it in an immature and outrageous satire backfired terribly and in a manner I mistakenly underestimated.”

    hmm yes satire is *exactly* the tone of the original email

    • Rob

      I assume your last sentence is sarcastic. I disagree with you.

      Even though I ultimately still thought the email was sincere, I was taken aback by how over the top it was and remembering finding it hard to believe it was real. It sounded more like a 14 year old who had no experience with women rather than a misogynistic college student. It actually makes more sense now that I know it was satire.

      • Eric

        “a 14 year old who had no experience with women” is pretty much exactly how I would describe the maturity of the average Georgia Tech frat boy.

  • Ryan

    Well written and sincere, but there’s no purpose to the 4th paragraph and it just sounds more like an excuse. I know this is a tough time for you and it takes a lot to make a public apology like this. Stay strong.

  • http://www.simplysabrinablog.com/ Sabrina Nooruddin

    Really? That e-mail was many things.. but satire was not one of them.
    But, the apology is appreciated nonetheless.

  • Jim

    Tempest in a teapot – the note was silly but ‘locker room banter’ is a component of millions of private male AND female conversations, of which this was one. The phrasing could have been more considerate, but it was a note about being successful with the opposite sex, not some exhortation to rape.

    The level of self censorship and pointless sensitivity in this country is staggering, and it’s distracting from real issues we should be focusing on.

    • OK

      So what you’re saying is rape isn’t a real issue?

  • Ranger Bagel

    Mind blown. Good job. I hope you and your brothers put these words into action and that you endeavor to alter the misogyny and pressures of hyper-masculinity that are so prevalent in the Greek community. You can be an instrument of change. It is very admirable and encouraging to see someone offer a sincere apology for transgressions and change as a person.

  • http://hipcider.com/ tdhurst

    Great “I’m sorry” letter that actually comes across as apologetic. Learn and move on.

  • Vinnie Paglioni

    This apology is something everyone should read. Anyone who knows Matt or any brother of Phi Tau knows they are good guys and that this was a horrible, stupid mistake. Props for making this public apology, it takes some serious courage.

    • morefiend

      The only reason this fool is “embarrassed and ashamed” is because of the backlash. As for courage…Since when is it courageous to stand up AFTER you get busted and say “Oopsie! I didn’t mean it!”? It would have been courageous for this ‘person’ to stand up before and say “I don’t treat women like pieces of meat”. His letter only confirms the rape culture frats perpetuate.

      • Brandon Pasvanis

        You can have your opinion, as everyone is entitled to, but anyone who knows, has heard/taken the oath of a Phi Tau, or generally interacts with members of a bonafide chapter of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, knows that anyone associated with our brotherhood was ashamed and mortified by his actions. They in no way reflect our beliefs, or actions.
        Labeling all fraternities as proponents of “rape culture” based on the very small percentage of incidents by several individuals might as well be the same as claiming no one should ever walk outside, because rape happens there.

        • Jack

          No, but this kid is not sorry for what he said. If you’re sorry, then you don’t make excuses. If everyone was so ashamed, then he should be kicked out of the fraternity.

          • Brandon Pasvanis

            I never defended him. I actually put up to our resident council that he should be removed, but that is not in the direct power of them, unless the situation was slightly different.
            What I defended was the image of Fraternity and the generalization one person was making. Personally I’m ashamed this man has the privilege to wear my letters.

      • CoolStoryBrah

        You just made a blind assumption about millions of people based on a single email. Your opinion is irrelevant.

      • ras

        It is way more common to hear about faults in judgement then when people learn from a mistake and try their best to correct it. When someone does something on “spur of the moment” and later regrets that action, the self rationalizing of the situation comes clear to the individual and correction action to change alone with the feeling of letting yourself along with others down around you. I personally have done some foolish things that I immediately regret, what way would I correct this? apologize to the media? No, an apology should reach out as far as the extent that the incident reached. Have you never been sorry based on the way you approached something? Using your logic, your perfect. Don’t make a mistake in the first place, if you didn’t mean to make the mistake, don’t make it. thus you meant to make the mistake?:

        Your generalization seems immature. By stating that because 1 member of 1 fraternity said something stupid, which yields that “all frats have a rape culture”. Not at all! Do you also believe in stereotypes, because you just mentioned one. Have you ever met any fraternity members? Because not everyone is the same.

        However, I do agree, what he said is completely inappropriate, but I do not believe we have the right to make assumptions based on student organizations (fraternities) cultures that are through out the United States. I am in a fraternity, and my chapter prides itself on non-hazing, gentlemen like qualities.

  • Megan

    The apology is appreciated however it has damaged the reputation of the school and the greek system overall. You can’t take that back.

    • CW

      This will not damage the reputation of Georgia Tech or detract from the quality of the education received at the Institute but it does reinforce the stereotypes that already exist regarding the greek system.

      • Steve

        As someone with no affiliation with the university, this absolutely changes my view of Georgia Tech graduates.

        • CW

          Right…because one college boy’s poor judgement is a reflection of the thousands of quality graduates of the university…………….

      • morgan

        And 99.99% of the time the stereotypes about the greek system are untrue, yet it is difficult enough to try and disprove them without some idiot screwing up so largely. Greeks run companies, greeks donate millions of dollars and hours of service to various philanthropies a year, greeks have better graduation rates. On and on. When stuff like this happens, it detracts from the positive things greeks do and just make greek life the scourge of campuses nationwide. Further, this made it to news channels. It won’t just go away. It does affect the school because then companies falsely assume we are all immature and have the same attitudes. It creates negative perception.

        • CW

          As someone who recruits heavily at Georgia Tech, I can tell you that my perception of Georgia Tech has not changed because of this note. This also has not changed the views of the other people who recruit with me.

          As someone who was Greek and has a management position, I agree that former Greeks have a large contribution to society after graduation (but so do non Greeks). 75% of the leadership positions held by Georgia Tech students are Greek. Greek people represent 25% of the student body at Georgia Tech. So it further proves that the type of people the Greek community at Georgia Tech creates are leaders. But you cannot deny the fact that the stereotypes about Greek communities across the nation exist. They exist for a reason. Because year over year some idiots exhibit behaviors like Matthew and this just happens to be one (of the many examples) that made the national news.

    • student

      everyone will forget about this in a week. The fact that it was made this big of a deal is idiotic

  • Preston T

    Good man

  • anon

    I do not accept this apology. He should be expelled from the school and the fraternity. This was not some joke that was supposed to be a guide to “being successful with the opposite sex”. This was a rape guide and I hope that this email and it’s implications continue to follow
    Matthew [Ed: Matthew has asked that we not publish his last name].

    It was not a satire. It was a contribution to the continued misogynistic atmosphere prevalent at Georgia Tech. He wrote this so that he could excuse himself from his behavior and because the office of student integrity made him write it. Had the original email not gone viral, he would have never given a second thought to what he did.

    • Vinnie Paglioni

      There is absolutely no basis for his expulsion from the Institute. His email was terribly insensitive and a great example of poor judgement. However I know Matt and most of the brothers personally, and I can guarantee you that this behavior is nonexistent in the house. They are a great group of gentlemen who, like most guys, make lots of off-putting and insensitive jokes, usually without thinking. I do it, all of my friends do it too. Unfortunately, Matthew took it to an extreme. Also, the fraternity has already taken steps of its own in dealing with this matter, what they decide is their decision though I hope he is not dismissed because of a terrible mistake.

      • mgnmnwtz

        “like most guys, make lots of off-putting and insensitive jokes” thank you for admitting that most guys DO take advantage of their privilege by being sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.

        • recentalum

          I’m sorry, but how is “most guys DO take advantage of their privilege…” not a sexist remark?

          I really despise feminism and the hyper-sensitivity of our wussy culture.

          • mgnmnwtz

            dude, do you see how I’m quoting him? Like, he said it? also you’re responding negatively to something I said that targeted men. how do you think women feel when it happens all the time?

    • LiveAndLearn

      Right. Because I’m sure you’ve never been young, immature, and done
      something bad that you later felt generally remorseful about… Please step down from your ivory tower.

    • anon

      Does he say anything about raping someone anywhere? I believe he only specifically says “NO RAPING!” If by raping you mean giving a girl alcohol, then I guess all women should not drink in fear of being surprised rape around any corner of the dance floor.

      All he wrote was a completely legitimate guide to being successful with picking up women and perhaps having sex with them (oh no! it’s almost as if girls want to have sex too!!)

      I’m sure there’s another email chain floating around many sorority sisters that says something very similar such as “wear slutty looking clothing, grind on guys’ dicks to turn them on to increase your chances of getting laid!”

      Anyone upset about this email clearly just does not know how the party and college scene honestly is nowadays and needs to go reevaluate what they think is misogynistic.

    • Masu

      Your thoughts are your own, but your perceptions are off. It was a lame attempt at humor due to immaturity and naivete´ and the apology was initiated and completed on his own without review or knowledge of the OSI. He had begun action steps weeks ago as this email originated in September. Maybe that is hard to believe, but it IS the truth…from one living close to this.

  • Snapdragon89

    Thank you for this. I hope other people who do stupid things can learn from you to find the grace and humility to learn from their mistakes instead of defending them.

  • Kate

    For people to sweep this under the rug as “locker room talk” is a slap in the face to the countless females (and males) who actually are raped by being coerced with alcohol into doing something they didn’t want to do. Matthew made a huge mistake in writing this email, but I don’t think he would have regretted it for one second if it hadn’t been leaked.

    • LiveAndLearn

      People generally only issue public apologies when things actually go public…

      • Kate

        you can still have your own regrets though??…

        • LiveAndLearn

          I’m sure he is regretting this tremendously. The jokes were insensitive and indefensible. But they WERE jokes. And now he will pay for making them for the rest of his life. If you can’t understand that a 21 year old is capable of making a horrible immature mistake–and if you can’t understand how genuinely terrible he feels about it–you have just as much to learn as Matthew.

          • Kate

            I am sure that he does regret it, and I know as young adults we all make mistakes. I know he will grow from this and move on, as we all hopefully will as community here at Tech.

          • bill

            How were the jokes “insensitive” when they were aimed at the rapists, not the rape victims? Do you understand satire at all?

        • Guest

          I’m sure he regrets this tremendously. The jokes he made were extremely insensitive and indefensible. But they WERE jokes. And now he will pay for making them for the rest of his life.

          And if you can’t see that a 21 year old college student is capable of making an immature horrible mistake–if you can’t see how genuinely terrible he feels about all of this–you have as much to learn as he does.

          Let’s all learn something and move on from this together. Go Greek life. Go Jackets.

  • http://dannyscorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Danny

    You know if we take the time to look at where this behavior comes from instead of pretending it starts and ends with women it would do a lot of good in confronting it.

    We aren’t going to solve this issue by focusing solely on women.

    • Casey

      Good point. Everybody should be given flu medication, not just people sick with flu.

      …wait, what?

  • student

    Why is an apology even necessary? People need to get their panties out of a bunch. it was a silly joke that nobody but whoever he sent it to should have read. It was an off-color joke and that’s it. It’s disgusting when people get offended by something not meant for them and turn it into hate crime. This an absurd waste of time. I’m embarrassed for anyone offended by this.

    • Casey

      You might be a misogynist if… you use the phrase “get your panties out of a bunch” referring to people who were offended by a skeezy email that was titled and signed with the word “rape”

      • student

        You might have missed the point if the phrase “panties in a bunch” bothers you so much. Maybe you should get your own panties out of a bunch

        • Watchdog

          Maybe you should study up on the definition of a hate crime. Your obvious closed minded reaction shows that you have not learned from this, and you should probably take a class in ethics. I feel sorry for your wife one day.

          • BW

            Sending an email to your close friends full of crass jokes is not a hate crime. Perhaps you should use your brain and learn what a hate crime is. student does not phrase what he means well by saying “get your panties out of a bunch”, but his point is clear. People these days go out of their way to take offense at everything. I’d say almost every single human on this planet has said, typed, or gestured in an offensive manner. Let his apology stand, wipe your tears, and move on.

      • CommonSense

        Do you want the director of Superbad to issue you an apology letter as well?

    • morefiend

      You can see it as a joke. And maybe others do as well. But what about the “bros” who don’t see it as a joke? What about the fools who think of that email as a guideline. And please don’t insult anyone’s intelligence by even suggesting that no one would. Would you still think of it as a joke if a female relative of yours or your was referred to as Rapebait? Would it be a joke if they were then raped?

  • someGuest

    This is an excuse, not an apology. I hope you do the walk of shame for a long time. You’ve embarrassed a lot of the GT community. Your poor judgement should not be forgotten.

    • Unbiased Outsider

      Excuse me, but as an unbiased person who has an ability to view issues from outside his own point of view (not to claim contrast to you; you may very well be unbiased and have the ability to look at things from all angles; I just want to establish myself and where I’m coming from), nobody should be embarrassed by his email. If you didn’t know this type of activity went on at fraternity parties, you are either absolutely naive or you never leave your dorm. I heard a similar conversation going on at a table next to mine in CULC not more than 2 or 3 weeks ago.

      If you claim he embarrassed the Greek community, he didn’t. The only people who would claim that everyone who “identifies” as Greek thinks this way are just as immature as Matthew himself is.

      Now in my opinion, what is truly embarrassing to this “man” is his need to make excuses rather than outright apologize. Don’t put it off as satire, don’t give reasons for why you wrote the email. Just admit that you were immature and what you wrote was wrong, but you are improving yourself and your sensitivity as an attempt to avoid future mistakes like this.

      I still have very little respect for this child.

  • dontbelievethehype

    As someone who was sexually assaulted at this frat relatively recently I cannot accept an apology that fails to recognize the impact this email could have had on a woman’s entire life.

    • someguest

      So if you were sexually assaulted at Phi Kappa Tau, why haven’t you gone to the police, or the Tech administration? Why are you making an anonymous accusation instead?

      • Kate

        how do you know this person hasn’t gone to the police? You don’t. Should they list all their contact info so people know she is a sexual assault victim? Stop with the victim blaming.

        • someguest

          I don’t believe in blaming the victim. But I also don’t believe in false accusations. If a crime has been committed, there is no better time to report it than now.

          • Steve

            Should they start reporting crimes directly to you? You are a representative of the police and administration?

          • someguest

            No, I’m not a representative of the police or the administration. On the other hand, do you think posting to an anonymous bulletin board is the appropriate way to report a crime to them?

            Sexual assaults do happen on college campuses. So can anonymous false accusations by people who want to stir up more trouble for this student. He has apologized for the email he wrote, and I’m willing to accept his apology as a sincere one unless evidence to the contrary appears.

          • cs

            I feel ya man. This could really cause trouble. What if Dean Stein’s reading this right now and going “This one sentence with vague details someone wrote anonymously on the internet saying they were raped ‘relatively recently’ is more than enough evidence to exile this man from Georgia Tech…PERMENANTLY. Investigation over. Cased closed.”

        • Mike

          There’s no victim blaming going on here so let’s not discuss that right here per se, but I agree with you that we have zero knowledge at this point of whether dontbelivethehype has approached the police in addition to making an anonymous accusation.

          someguest and Kate, play nice.

        • stephen

          If she had approached GT, we woild know. IFC and GTPD provide legally have to tell us.

          Look up Clery act.

          • guest

            “relatively recently” is vague in terms of when this may have happened. this person isn’t on trial y’all. focus on the apology.

          • Christine

            The Clery Act does not actually report all sexual assaults to IFC or students due to respect for the victim’s privacy. I’m a student and when I was raped just off-campus by another Greek student. There were no Clery Act emails that went out to everyone about it. They keep sexual assaults on the “down low”.

          • stephen

            IFC still tells us.

          • alum2011

            They don’t “legally” have to tell you anything. All of the information related to reported crimes on campus is required to be made available publicly in the form of crime statistics and a crime log. If I remember correctly, Tech sends out its crime statistic report annually to students, but they are not required to send an emails to students and faculty every time there is a crime reported on campus.

            The Clery Act only requires that the institution send timely warnings of crimes that represent a threat to the safety of students or employees. This is why students get notifications of sexual assaults or sexual battery committed by unknown persons on campus. However, a sexual assault/battery/rape committed by a person known to the individual and committed in the context of a fraternity party would more likely be equated to date rape, which is viewed by most as not posing an immediate threat to the safety of others. This type of crime would not get sent out via email to students.

            I cannot speak regarding GTPD’s policy of notifying IFC of alleged sexual assaults or rapes within fraternities because I am unfamiliar with the policy. However, I do know that according to Georgia Tech’s policy, students can file confidential reports for inclusion in the annual crime statistics, but this does not lead to a formal investigation by GTPD or the Office of Student Integrity. I would imagine that IFC would not be notified of such a report.

            Further, the student is not required to report the incident to GTPD at all, but instead could file a report with the Atlanta Police Department.

            In conclusion, there are plenty of ways in which dontbelievethehype could have notified GT of the incident without having that information disseminated to the student population.

      • John Jacob Astor

        exactly haha

    • student

      Nobody cares that you were offended. The email wasn’t meant for you to read. Get off the internet if you can’t handle it.

    • guest

      dontbelievethehype, If you need support, there are people at Tech who can help you. Even if you aren’t ready to report (go to the police or OSI), there are resources where you can receive completely confidential support and resources, like the Counseling Center or even Women’s Health. If you’d like to speak to an advocate about your options, the Women’s Resource Center can help you with that. Please know that you are not alone.

  • taylor

    So what are we allowed to joke about?

    Sincerely,
    Orange Mocha Creepachino

  • CloseNoCigar

    Points made in apology:
    1.Sorry Georgia Tech (who has an ongoing investigation about me and my frat. maybe now I’ll get in less trouble.)
    2.Sorry Frat (this sucks because now I ruined everybody’s good time)
    3.I was smart enough to get into one of the best universities in the world but not smart enough to know that rape was a “serious topic”
    4.Ladies, it’s okay. Somebody called me rapebait too.
    5.I changed overnight. just trust me you guys.

    In conclusion, “I’m sorry I got caught”

    • CommonSense

      There is nothing wrong with clarifying what he meant in the email. “I was making an insensitive joke that pertained to my nickname” is waaaay different than “I want to lure rape bait”.

      Before this apology letter, people were offended by this email because it seemed to endorse rape. Clarifying that that was not the intention whatsoever is pretty important.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Why hasn’t this fellow signed his full name? He obviously has no remorse if he refuses to be identified.

    • LiveAndLearn

      He has been identified. His name is all over the internet. Chill.

  • Tech in AK

    Non of you can know whether the guy is sincere or not, without knowing him very well, and even then you may be wrong. For society to function, you must give him the benefit of the doubt until he shows otherwise. That is simple human decency.

    Now aside from the apology, in this country we have something called the Bill Of Rights, which is part of the Constitution. It guarantees the right to free speech. The only exceptions to that right are explicit statements that are slander/libel or could incite disorder or are commands to commit a felonious crime or similar. I admit that I didn’t read the original email, but from what I have read about it, it does not qualify for any of the aforementioned exceptions. Was it insensitive and incredibly stupid? Maybe, but that depends on the true intent and the delivery. It could have possibly been intended as some less forgiving people have claimed, as an instruction manual for raping a woman. It still falls under the freedom of speech protection guaranteed in our Constitution as he did not tell anyone to go do that. If this young man is expelled from the Institute for having written this, and that is his only alleged crime, then I hope he finds a decent lawyer to sue Ga. Tech. Because he will not have to work a day in his life afterward, but I guarantee that your tuition will increase.

    • Alex

      Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Sure you have freedom of speech, but you should exercise it responsibly.

      • Tech in AK

        I absolutely agree with you. We should exercise all of our rights responsibly, but we know how that is going these days. Regardless if he exercised it responsibly or not, he is still protected.

        • Alex

          Sure, he is protected by law to say whatever he wants. However, he’s not protected from the judgement and social repercussions of his actions which in the end are most just than the law unfortunately. You can stubbornly hit your head against a wall for the rest of your life stating that the law allows you to do it, but doesn’t mean you should.

    • Peter

      The First Amendment guarantees that the government cannot prevent you from speaking outside of several exceptions created later by courts (e.g. threats, public safety, etc). And there are many more exceptions to the First Amendment than you list in your post, I assume becasue you’re not a lawyer. That’s OK, but saying “the only exceptions…are slander/libel or could incite disorder” etc, simply factually and legally incorrect.

      The First Amendment does NOT guarantee that when you speak, other private citizens do not also have the right to criticize, mock, or belittle you for your speech. You seem to be focused on this point, of other private citizens believing the author is lying or insincere. This is by far the dumbest and most pervasive “interpretation” of the First Amendment that continues to be perpetuated in the public domain.
      The notion that the freedom to speak inherently contains a freedom to be free from criticism or private judgment based on that speech is ridiculous and legally incorrect.

      Also based on its own social conduct policies, GA Tech may actually be able to legally expel him. Not having read their policies, I wouldn’t know

      • joe schmoe

        So, you offer your “expert” legal opinion without without “having read their policies”?

  • Amy

    Trust is built not on your ability to never make a mess but on your ability to clean up whatever messes you do make.

    Good job. I really respect you for taking full ownership- that’s the kind of apology that makes people feel safe. You are a good man and I hope all the best for you :)

  • Watchdog

    sounds like a BS attempt to clean up a mess that he made for everyone. Actions speak louder than words. How about you actually adhere to this apology, and treat women with respect.

    • Techtastic

      How do you know he isn’t?

      • TrollKiller1

        anyone who pens that email has no respect for women

    • EveryoneCalmDown

      Do you know him? How do you know how he acts, and whether or not his actions have changed? Sit down and get off your high horse.

  • Steve

    I am disgusted by the entire university, this is clearly the culture they are cultivating at that institution.

    • stephen

      That’s blatantly wrong.

  • Derek

    It’s a good thing responsibility was taken for this email, but how can you possibly say it was a satire looool. These excuses are pretty pathetic. I truly hope that this incident makes you and your frat buddies realize how horrible and sexist you guys were and causes you guys to clean up.

  • Deborah

    having known matt for a long time, I know he is sincere and a good guy. if half the things i hear guys say got as much publicity as this email, his email would seem tame. he was just unfortunate enough to get carried away and that it got leaked. keep your head up kid and learn from it

  • Jeff

    Well, Rapebait was actually my nickname… What a BS apology, you’re just making up excuses for everything you said and calling it “locker room banter.” You were clearly explaining how to get a drunk chick in your bed so you can implement the “7 E’s”

  • Why Not

    Boys will be boys.

  • EveryonesSoIndignantTheseDays

    This is completely ridiculous. Everyone needs to get off of their high horse. Yes, of course he and EVERYONE think rape is serious and terrible when it happens, but he never encouraged anyone to rape anyone.

    It’s amazing how this has blown up. That email was not a press release stating the opinion of all of Georgia Tech or his fraternity. It was a joke he sent to his friends that was never meant to be read by anyone else. Is every word you say something you would tell the whole digital world? Do you never make jokes that other people might find offensive in the privacy of your own friend circle? It takes a lot of courage to issue a public apology so people need to stop dissecting it.

    Of course he had to explain the “rapebait” terminology because that’s all anyone took away from the email. Because of the presence of the word “rapebait” everyone thought this email was a guide to rape…but it just wasn’t.

    Saying he should be expelled is ridiculous.

    Also, drunk sex is not rape, and it’s an insult to rape victims to say it is.

    • Someone

      I agree with most of this, but, at least how I was taught (and could be mistaken), if you are not sober then, by law, you can file rape charges against people you’ve had sex with as you are considered ‘mentally impaired’. The difference is whether or not you know you would’ve made the same decision while sober. If so, then there’s little problem.
      If not? It’s, by law, rape, even if the other person did ask and get a ‘yes’. Alcohol really messes with your head.
      Again, this is just what I was taught. It might’ve changed since I last learned.

      • Jack

        If it’s not consensual, and you’re too impaired to make a sound decision as to your consent, then it is rape. Most agencies you report something like that to will take the time to investigate the totality of the circumstances, to see if they lend to the allegation of non consensual sexual encounter. They’re not just going to go around slapping rape charges on people that didn’t earn them. On the contrary, Court systems frequently decline to prosecute cases in which the evidence seems inconclusive.

    • E

      drunk sex IS actually defined as rape. better luck next time.

      • Really?

        so having sex while you’re intoxicated is automatically defined as rape? better luck net time, E.

        • KimA

          Actually, in some states, it is. If the female is drunk it is considered rape EVEN IF the man is drunk as well. So better luck next time…again.

          • Try again

            Which ones?

          • CoolStoryBrah

            Well I guess you should stop drinking. Derp.

          • Really?

            such as? and how id “drunk” defined?

          • joe schmoe

            So every bar in Buckhead that allows a man to buy a woman a drink is an accesory to RAPE?
            I don’t think so!

  • http://damnsurebetterthanrain.wordpress.com/ laurenemb

    Props to him. This is a heartfelt and sincere apology.

  • Mike Jin

    I am a member of the Greek community at Duke and I respect you for making this apology. Be careful next time brother

    • TrollKiller1

      by “be careful” i’m guessing you mean “be sure no one outside the fraternity sees this kind of thing”…despicable

      • Mike Jin

        TrollKiller, I know you are angered by your fellow classmate’s poor judgement and I feel the same way, but let us be mature adults here. It’s only through understanding and forgiveness that we make progress in gender equality, not by calling someone’s sincere advice “despicable”. Remember this friend.

  • 123

    No. Absolutely no. I understand the apology and this email lets everyone in on a little of what the mentality behind a lot of these frat boys. It was not meant as a “joke” as Matthew seems to make it seem. I hate the excuse that “people make mistakes” or “young people make mistakes” and then just brushing off this behavior. Grow up. Man up. Stop making excuses. Admit your previous mentality and change that. Don’t tell me it was a joke.

  • tallGuy

    Too many excuses and after-the-fact justifications waters down the apology.

  • susankasher

    It’s clear that that apology was not written by the same person who
    wrote the email inciting rape. Someone, probably a PR professional, was
    doing damage control and wrote that.

    • Techtastic

      He wrote this on his own accord. Try again.

      • susankasher

        No way he wrote that! His father’s lawyer or a PR professional wrote it. No way the same guy who wrote that original email inciting rape and ill will towards women wrote this apology. That apology was clearly written by a professional who has a background in writing and communications.

        • Masu

          You are forgetting he is a student at GT with Above Average intelligence AND the two writings are of completely different tones and styles. Thoughts are expressed and someone that is better at word choice can help. Simple as that.

          • firefly

            Then explain the absurd difference in grammar & style between the rapebait email & this public excuse apology? After how viral this went, it would have been irresponsible for him to write this letter by himself… at the very least he had massive amounts of help.

    • Jonesie

      I know the guy. He wrote both.

      But you can continue being wrong on your own accord, if you’d like. Everyone’s got the right to believe lies.

      • Peter

        Oh well if YOU say so, I guess that solves that

  • TrollKiller1

    leave school and your “apology” will be accepted

  • Christine

    As a rape victim that was assaulted by a Greek member while intoxicated in the past year, this email was painful to read and brought up many traumatizing memories that I’m still trying to overcome. Rape is an unjustifiable crime that wrecks the life of any woman OR man who is a victim of it. To me joking about rape is like joking about cancer or murder, there’s no excuse and it’s not funny because it strongly affects so many lives including friends and family. While an apology is nice, I am sure he is only sorry he was caught because this will affect the rest of his life just like my assault has affected the rest of mine, and being labeled a sex offender will affect the life of the one that raped me for the rest of his life. This is a stain on the greek community and the school. For every person who justifies this email, it shows just how many people still do not understand the true weight of this crime.

    • Apples&Oranges

      Nobody is defending this email. It should never have been written and it can’t be defended. But what crime are you speaking of? The email this kid wrote, or ACTUAL RAPISTS? Because there is a big difference between the two, and some people here fail to realize that.

      • Christine

        I’m speaking about rape obviously. His email was not a crime. I think you fail to realize that in his email, what he writes about is unfortunately not a mentality that is just his own and in fact shared by many. His email says “if anything ever fails get more alcohol” so yea that mentality is definitely not anti-rape. However, there is a connection between his mentality and one of a rapist regarding the use alcohol to coerce sex. I’m sorry you fail to see that. And when I said people justifying his email, I mean people that are saying it’s just “silly but’ locker room banter’” or that “drunk sex is not rape.”

      • Christine

        You failed to see what my main point was, and it’s that you should never try to satirize rape.

  • Christine

    I thought the term “rapebait” was offensive still when he tried to justify it as that. Many women and men are greatly affected by prison rape. When he tried to excuse it by giving that definition it was just like the effect of smudging with and erasor…

  • circaV3

    derp

  • lorcha

    One of the pitfalls of the Information Age that we haven’t quite figured out how to deal with is the ease with which writing can be taken out of its intended context and audience, and then placed in an entirely different context in front of a different audience. That email that came across as an obvious satire to anyone who has ever been in a fraternity got dissected in the national media, and boy did that ever change its meaning!

    It sounds like you’ve done a lot of soul searching, and good for you. College is the time for that. Good luck to you in all of your future endeavours.

  • CCSF

    Matthew, I’m a teacher and former sorority member. My husband attended GT for his B.S. and M.S. and I spent my college years near the social and fraternal organizations of GT. I’m familiar with the misogynistic “locker room” banter that exists between young men, fraternal member and not. I believe that most of the guys truly wouldn’t act on the things they boast or joke about, but what has always bothered me, is that there is a national culture which allows for women to be the butt of sexual jokes. In your apology, you acknowledge this, but I wonder, have beliefs truly changed about misogyny, or are we just acknowledging that it’s not okay to share these publicly? Sure, we all make racist and sexist jokes behind closed doors, but we’d neeevvvver say these things in public… it’s still sexism. That, however, is something we each have to wrestle (or disregard) on a personal level. What I really see at the heart of this, is email culture in a younger generation. I teach children who’ve never lived in a world without smartphones and email, and yet they constantly surprise me by their complete lack of electronic etiquette or understanding that NOTHING electronic is private. Say what you will behind closed doors, but the moment it goes onto the Internet, it doesn’t belong to you anymore. So Matthew, I honestly don’t care whether or not you’ve suddenly become a modern feminist (it sucks to be publicly chastised for making fun of the “weaker sex”, doesn’t it?), but perhaps this incident can bring more attention to email missteps and poor Internet decision-making

  • GT Mom

    Matthew: Your letter made me cry. It is so painful to have done something that, in hindsight, was thoughtless and in poor judgment. Yet we all, each and every one of us, will do this if we live past childhood. (I speak with 56 years’ of life experience.) That is what those who would judge you further must remember. Part of living into adulthood is to have made huge mistakes, the likes of which others think they would never make. But they are so young. They will make different painful mistakes that have as much power to harm as yours; they just don’t know it yet. But it’s part of life’s process. I encourage my son, a pledge at a different Tech fraternity, and anyone who can, to seek you out and forgive you. It’s how we all become better humans: admit our mistakes, apologize sincerely, forgive ourselves, learn from our ways, forgive others theirs, and move on. May we each go do some random act of kindness this weekend.

  • bobby Williston

    His “apology” is dishonest, self-serving, and disgusting. The unmitigated gall of claiming that this email was a misconstrued joke.

    • Jonesie

      Except it was a joke.
      But you can continue to throw stones if you’d like.

  • Womyn United

    Georgia Tech needs to expel the author of this “apology”. The fraternity needs to expel him too. We are womyn, we are at Georgia Tech and we are not going to stand for this any more!!!

  • Jud

    An apology is expected. It doesn’t matter what the Georgia Tech fans post on here. Most of the outside world will still assume he meant those things. I would never trust this guy or any of the members of this fraternity. Its typical behaviour and its way too common. At least we know who they are now.

  • gt122386

    I have trouble believing that it was written “as a joke”. It just sounds like an excuse because he got caught.

  • ActLikeMen

    In order for men to develop authenticity, vulnerability, honesty, trust, character and traits of spiritual maturity–we must cultivate healthy relationships with our brothers on this journey. Men, we need to step up more and hold each other accountable. We need to take a stand in love. We need to let Mathew know we are not judging but forgiving. We need Mathew to go through this process, but not alone. We need to learn from it and we need to grow from it. I hope that one day, Mathew will become a great father and husband because of this hard lesson.
    Mathew, you should not be identified by this experience. You can use your weakness to strengthen others. You can teach other men at your school to avoid this kind of behavior. You can define yourself not by what you did but how you responded to what you did. That is what it takes to be a real man! Don’t forget this day. Carry these words with you forever. Use them to persevere. Be a great husband one day and show your children what it takes to be a real man.

  • ActLikeMen

    In order for men to develop authenticity, vulnerability, honesty, trust, character and traits of spiritual maturity–we must cultivate healthy relationships with our brothers on our journey. We need to Act Like Men and we need to hold other men accountable for our actions. One day, I hope you become a great husband and father because of the hard lesson you learned this week. I hope you teach other men that’s life’s not about the tough things that happen to us in life but how we respond to the tough things that happen to us in life. That’s a real man Mathew! Be that guy. Be the brother, leader and spokesman you appear to be in your apology letter for now on. Write like that forever. Never stop wanting to be a better man.
    Mathew, though what you did was morally wrong, I forgive you now. I know that if you really did write that apology that you are going to be a heck of a husband, father and leader one day. Be strong, stand firm in the faith, Act Like Men and lead by example for now on. Other men are counting on you!

  • bf

    Agree it is a nice, non-defensive apology. Also agree the original email wasn’t satire on misogyny but instead an example of it. But as long as it has been publically called out as wrong, let this kid move on. It sounds like he has thought about what it means to treat women this way and may be a better man on the other side of this.

  • Greek rapes are real

    Anyone who knows Greek culture would be aware that this “joke” was never intended to be a joke. Rape of young women is very real in the Greek system and I find it hard to believe this particular frat is an exception. He’s only apologizing for getting caught. He apologizes for the “pain and embarrassment” of the community… but he did not, and never will (in any real sense) apologize for the behavior itself.

    • Jonesie

      Go take a peek at rape statistics for Georgia Tech. They are some of the lowest in the country. And notice that they aren’t being committed by the Frats, they are almost always from people outside the institution.

      GT Greek isn’t like most of the other schools’ Greek. They don’t let the same things fly, and that’s why they’re at Tech and not other slightly more eastern schools.

  • ActLikeMen

    Mathew, if you see this message will you keep us posted as to how your doing from time to time? I’m asking you directly if you would be interested in becoming transparent in the near future and keep us posted some how on the good or bad choices you make in life. Ultimately, I would love to see if you really did take ownership and how you used it to better yourself and others.

  • Brandon Pasvanis

    I’m going to be honest. I’m a brother of Phi Kappa Tau, although from a different university, this entire debacle has been the only time within my (going on) 4 years of membership that I have been embarrassed to wear my letters.

    While his apology is sincere, I operate under the notion that a true Man of Character should never have to be worried about being caught in such a situation. I understand the “boys will be boys” behavior, believe me, I like to have plenty of fun too, but reading that email was just ridiculous. Come on, brothers, get it together. That’s not what we stand for.

  • Shilo Rives

    Hi Matthew. You did good by making the apology and clearing up some of the confusion. People have speculated that you had help and guidance, but you followed whatever advice you got, and it’s a good apology. thank you.

  • Matt

    This fool is responsible for completely maligning GT’s reputation in the world by this thoughtless and foolish email. How can someone who should be aware of the potential of emails to be circulated BEYOND the recipients still do this crap.

    Idiots.

  • Dr. James Russell

    Regarding this very serious issue, I believe the time has come for Georgia Tech and the Greek community to come together and resolve this issue amicably. The people who are truly affected by rape and those who understand the serious effects this has on the victim need to speak up about this and raise awareness because there has been a recent tendency on university campuses to blatantly avow such goings on. This is unhealthy for the perception of the Greek community in general because it reinforces some of the jock stereotypes associated we have tried to get away from for a long time. This should be fixed as soon as possible.

  • :-/

    From what I could tell, nowhere in this email did it say that rape was ok. All I took from this email is that in a joking manner Matt implies alcohol increases your chances of having sex with the opposite sex, and that you should use it. Last time I checked this was common knowledge. It wasn’t like the man was saying go out and buy date rape drugs and unwillingly drug someone. He was just stating the obvious, in the presence of alcohol sexual activity is more likely to happen. Maybe instead of getting wasted to the point that you cannot avoid unwanted situations, maybe just drink in moderation and then guess what, the alcohol strategies that this email discussed, won’t work. I am not saying rape is not a serious issue. All Im saying is this email did not condone rape but instead just state its easier to get laid with the presence of alcohol.

  • older than you…

    Uh… people this guy’s attorney wrote this for him… catch up.

  • RLee

    Well said and I pray for forgiveness from all – live on Phi Tau

  • Jack

    If you make excuses for yourself at all, i.e. “It was intended to be blah blah blah…this was a reference to blah blah blah,” then you’re not sorry for what you did. If it “should have never been written,” then you shouldn’t have written it…no matter what the reason was. I refuse to believe that this was “satire” as you referred to it. There isn’t any excuse for the things you said, so be a man, and quit making them.

  • anonymous

    Matt,

    Don’t let others, or your recent actions, now define you. That would be a waste.

    It’s not the falling down, its the rising up and learning that builds character. It’s up to your to move forward.

    I do hope you revisit your balance of needing to impress your male peers with building a life you can feel pride in.

  • shell

    Apology is insufficient. You should be expelled and get some therapy. We all have fun in college but your crossed the line big time. There was nothing funny about your email. Do you have a mother, a sister even if you don’t it’s unacceptable. And the only reason you apologized is to save your own butt. You may as well switch schools. The girls on campus will not go near you or any of your friends.