A University of Georgia fraternity has self-suspended operations indefinitely after “racist, sexist, and otherwise discriminatory comments” were made by members on a messaging app, according to a statement from the University of Georgia Interfraternity Council (IFC).
The university’s Equal Opportunity Office is investigating the matter, University of Georgia in Athens (UGA) said in a statement.
Arianna Mbunwe, a Black student, shared screen shots on Twitter of some of the offensive messages, many about her, written by members of the Lambda Chi Alpha chapter on the app GroupMe.
One writer who used the handle “Ghost of Aunt Jemima” posted the woman “just sits in her room saying how white people are racist because she’s mad she didn’t get a bid lmao.” Other posts used the “n” word and other racist terms, as well as derogatory terms for women.
UGA confirmed to CNN that its statement was in regards to the messages which were later shared to Twitter.
“Such statements of bigotry and intolerance do not have any place on our campus, and we condemn them in the strongest terms,” UGA said, calling the comments “outrageous and offensive.”
Lambda Chi Alpha’s national organization also issued a statement, apologizing to everyone “disparaged by members of the UGA chapter, particularly those who were identified by name.”
“We are disgusted by the senseless, reprehensible actions and messages of these men,” the organization said.
The posts are a violation of the fraternity’s mission, the organization wrote.
The fraternity’s national organization confirmed that the chapter’s operations have been immediately suspended.
According to the organization, the issue is being investigated and the fraternity is coordinating with local authorities.
“We will take all appropriate steps to restore decency, dignity and integrity to our Lambda Chi family,” the statement added.
UGA IFC also condemned the messages.
“These disparaging remarks are odious to the Council’s desire for any member of the University community to feel welcomed in Greek Life and on campus,” UGA IFC President Brennan Cox said. “We have much work toward this vision, and the Council remains committed to forging such reality for our generation, and the next.”
The IFC will work with the chapter and its national organization to “hold the organization and individuals accountable to the consequences of their actions,” Cox said.
Mbunwe told CNN affiliate WSB-TV that she wants the students expelled and the fraternity charter revoked.
The student said she had been vocal about people not wearing masks and social distancing on campus, and she believes her activism is what prompted the racist remarks, according to WSB-TV.