Sigma Alpha Epsilon President Apologizes for “Rush Boobs” Incident

Sigma Alpha Epsilon President Apologizes for Rush Boobs Incident

Campuswide Senator Thadeus Odom read a statement from the current president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the A.S. Council meeting Wednesday night, nearly one week after a pledge was caught asking a student to send him “rush boobs.”

SAE President Robbie Wilson’s written statement to A.S. Council reiterated that the fraternity’s leaders were unaware of the pledge’s actions.

“On the [Sunday before the incident occurred], I asked to see the member education portfolio for the current quarter and [‘rush boobs’] was not on the outline,” Wilson said in the statement. “Nobody on the executive board had any knowledge of this happening. The new member educator asked our newest initiated class to do this and only one person listened.”

Wilson apologized to Council and said he felt guilty for not being more involved in the member education process before the incident occurred.

“I am a leader of this organization and shouldn’t have been as complacent as I was,” Wilson said. “If I [sic] went to that first meeting,  I could have prevented this from happening. Furthermore, I could have asked more questions when I saw the member education outline last Sunday. I am so sorry that this happened and that my chapter offended so many people. I blame myself for this and therefore, I am putting the effort of change for this chapter on my shoulders.”

He mentioned that SAE had contacted the Women’s Center for advice on developing guidelines for educating its members and added that the chapter is going to elect a diversity and inclusion officer at its next meeting for the same reason.

“It’s worth noting that the educational process we adopt will be getting national recognition for SAE, meaning that our nationals are letting us formulate an education process that will take into effect for chapters across the country in years to come,” Wilson explained.

Associate Vice President of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Daniel Juarez told the UCSD Guardian that although they appreciated Wilson’s statement, it should not be misinterpreted as an end to the ongoing conversation about equality.

“What is desperately needed are people who will be willing to listen to those that want to share their experiences, to educate themselves and members in their own community, and most importantly, to change and/or alter their everyday practices that may be perpetuating racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism, etc.,” Juarez said. “I am glad that a statement has been made, but now I am looking forward to see action, action that will yield tangible results.”

Senator Odom, who was the president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon last year, said that the fraternity was focused on fixing its mistake and finding a solution to prevent similar incidents in the future.

“It’s a tough situation,” Odom told council members after reading the statement. “It blindsided us, and we’re just trying to react in the best way possible, once again, not to try to save our image on campus but to just try to help this issue to not be as much of an issue anymore. As we’ve seen, it’s happening far too often.”

Campuswide Senator and Greeks United for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity member Lauren Roberts recommended that Odom and SAE executives reach out to the EDI peer education team for help with creating workshops to educate members, a suggestion A.S. President Dominick Suvonnasupa strongly seconded.

Juarez added that their office has been in communication with the leaders of the Greek system as well as the Independent Review Committee and is scheduled to meet with them for the third time this Friday.

“We’re hoping that through collaboration there will be a willingness to make changes that produce a different culture,” Juarez said. “We want these conversations to be solution-oriented. They can’t just be symbolic; they have to have an outcome.”

Juarez further explained that in order for these meetings to be productive, leaders across organizations needs to prioritize enforcing their new policies as well as promoting them.

“If we just let people slide through with a slap on the wrist, that’s not going to do anything,” Juarez commented. “The university needs to make a stance and decide what’s acceptable and what’s not.”

Wilson confirmed that two members of SAE  — the pledge who sent the message and the fraternity’s member educator — were expelled hours after the incident went viral last Thursday.

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