A Washburn University fraternity has been suspended while its national leadership investigates sexually vulgar text messages between members on the Topeka campus, fraternity and school officials said.
Phi Delta Theta International said Thursday it suspended the Washburn chapter as it investigates the messages. University spokesman Patrick Early said the Office of Student Life was interviewing fraternity members.
Messages obtained by the Capital-Journal document several exchanges conducted over a group texting app. One exchange includes the statement: “Women are equal and deserve respect . just kidding they should (expletive).” In another, someone writes: “Remember, women are objects.” Another suggests a 12-year-old is old enough for sex.
Phi Delta Theta International said in a statement that the messages were “inappropriate.”
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“We are very concerned by the messages reviewed thus far. Phi Delta Theta is a values-based organization and any behavior or statement contrary to those values is subject to significant action,” said Sean Wagner, associate executive vice president.
Jessica Barraclough, the director of student activities and Greek life for Washburn, said the fraternity cannot host any events or participate in any university events during the suspension but members can still live at the house.
Fraternity vice president Luke Warnken and president Jake Gregg said they couldn’t comment until they spoke to their attorney and heard from chapter advisers.
Dustin Struble, fraternity chapter adviser, became aware of the investigation Wednesday evening.
“Much like any investigation, we need to do fact finding,” Struble said. “We need to establish what happened, what violations of fraternity policy there were, if there were any violations of fraternity policy.”