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University of Chicago fraternity member leaks ‘toxic and racist’ emails

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CHICAGO – A member of Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi at the University of Chicago leaked emails regarding what he called a “toxic and racist” culture within the fraternity.

All the emails were sent between 2011 and 2015.

In some, there was the use of the "n" word.

Another described an event celebrating Martin Luther King Day, asking members to start drinking in the morning, eat at a fried chicken restaurant and then watch the movie “Black Dynamite.”

Another email referred to a female Muslim student as a “terrorist,” and members called an empty lot filled with gravel next to the fraternity house as “Palestine.”

Students on campus said it was unacceptable and offensive.

No one answered when WGN knocked at the fraternity’s door, but the national chapter of AEPi responded, with:

“As a Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi is especially sensitive to hate speech and behavior towards any minorities. Especially during these troubling times of increased anti-Semitism on college campuses, we are very aware of the harm that negative speech -- even in such non-public usages -- can do.”

The Dean of Students at the University of Chicago responded with:

"The language used in these emails is offensive, and it is not consistent with the university’s values or our strong commitment to ensuring that people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives can thrive on our campus."

The university also stressed that fraternities and sororities are not recognized student organizations with University of Chicago, calling them “off campus” independent groups.

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