Rutgers Student Newspaper Embroiled in Controversy Over “Ugly Sorority” Article
A satirical, student-run newspaper at Rutgers University has come under fire for taking a joke a little too far. The newspaper has issued a formal apology for running an article that compared members of the school’s Alpha Chi Omega sorority chapter to livestock.
As the sorority is set to close due to low membership levels and financial difficulties, the Medium opted to cover the imminent closure with a satirical article titled “Alpha Chi Omega to Shut Down; ‘We don’t want to be like you ugly bitches‘ Potential Pledges say.”
Authored by “Satanic Yoda,” the article stated that AXO’s incoming pledge class “consisted of a measly three wildebeests and an elephant,” and mainly consisted of jokes about the weight of the sorority members and included a picture of a cow in front of a barn with the sorority’s Greek letters painted on the front.
The article sparked a rally held by members of the school’s Greek system, which saw approximately 200 students in attendance.
“It’s kind of a shock to see that at such a diverse university, stuff like this is still happening,” Cassandra Kotsolakis, president of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, told the Targum, “and honestly, it shouldn’t be tolerated because at this day and age, women are just as equal as everyone else, and playing on body image is just not the right way to go about things.”
The Medium has responded to the controversy by pulling the article from its website, and has issued what the paper’s editors call a “rare” apology over their content:
It was written in a cruel, debasing manner that does not reflect the values or goals of our organization. Our aim is to create humorous content which will entertain the University community; the article that ran this week was cruel and relied on cheap jokes in lieu of humor. By publishing the article, we made a poor judgment to experiment with a style of humor that had entertained our audience years ago.