First, and foremost, I want to apologize on behalf of the entire brotherhood of Chi Gamma Epsilon for any distress or harm we may have caused through the production of our Homecoming T-shirts. The issue of deserved respect for all members of the Dartmouth community is not something that I, nor the Executive Board of Chi Gamma Epsilon fraternity, take lightly. We are all deeply troubled by the recent downturn in gender relations around campus. While we have long since expressed our regret to the leadership of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, we want to further apologize in this public forum for any actions that were hurtful to the Dartmouth community at large. It was highly unfair of us to target the women of Kappa Kappa Gamma in an immature attempt at humor. Nevertheless, we must say that there was no intent whatsoever on our part to call attention to any stereotypes surrounding any specific organization on this campus.
We realize that anything and everything that is viewed through a public medium, regardless of intentions, is subject to analysis and interpretation. The fact that members of the Dartmouth community interpreted our T-shirts to be offensive is saddening and reflects poorly on our organization. Yet, to be clear, there was never any intention to perpetuate a stereotype of eating disorders at Kappa or among Dartmouth women in general, as Lucy Stonehill '10 contends in her article ("The Laurelled Sons and Daughters," Nov. 8). Stonehill and the "Daughters of Dartmouth" come to two unsubstantiated conclusions.
The first faulty assumption deals with the nature in which they propagate the intended message of our shirts. Yes, our T-shirts were offensive. But assuming our shirts were "blatantly making fun of eating disorders" implies everyone interpreted the shirts in this same fashion. Our intent has been misrepresented in a misleading and unproductive fashion by Stonehill's claims that Chi Gam maliciously sought to expose a "highly negative stereotype" of Kappa. In doing so, Stonehill has projected an alleged stereotype onto our shirts, not vice versa.
Furthermore, the anonymous ad campaign has certainly worked to incite outrage and anger on our campus regarding one of Dartmouth's most critical and persistent issues. It is never easy to engender genuine discussions about universal respect on this campus, and for that we applaud them. I can assure you that Chi Gamma Epsilon looks forward to entering into discussion regarding our own stereotypes as well as our place in a more gender-equitable Dartmouth.
However, the merit of such tactics ends there. These mysterious justice-seekers have effectively sought to ridicule and embarrass certain organizations on campus in a public fashion geared entirely towards shock value. This strategy works in the sense that it will spawn publicity for their group and fill the pages of The Dartmouth, but it represents no solution to the problem at hand, while making reasonable and productive discourse more difficult by heightening campus tensions. There is no constructive criticism on these flyers and, most importantly, there has not been any attempt by any member of the "Daughters of Dartmouth" to bring the conversation directly to our door. If the "Daughters of Dartmouth" or any other group on campus wishes to truly incite change on our campus, I strongly encourage these individuals to at least approach those who have caused offense. We are all Dartmouth students and, thus, more than capable of settling difficult problems without resorting to "naming and shaming."
It has been a distinct honor to occupy a position at the helm of Chi Gamma Epsilon Fraternity over the past year. We are an organization of campus leaders, Dartmouth athletes, boyfriends and close friends. We are future captains of industry, human rights advocates, doctors and teachers. We are not unbridled misogynists, and we are not representative of everything evil in the world -- or at Dartmouth -- as the "Daughters of Dartmouth" or Lucy Stonehill might have you believe. We look forward to discussing the issues of respect and integrity with anyone who is ready and willing to converse with us rather than simply talk at us.
Again, I would like to apologize on behalf of the brothers of Chi Gamma Epsilon for any pain we may have caused members of the Dartmouth community with our T-shirts. We only hope that those who have been offended will be motivated to converse with us on an issue about which we care deeply rather than channel their anger through anonymous or uninformed condemnation.