SWARTHMORE, Pa. (CBS) – Two fraternities at Swarthmore College voted to disband amid outrage over leaked internal documents which included images and videos that appear to show former members making racist remarks and joking about rape. The decision to disband Delta Upsilon and Phi Psi was announced late Tuesday night on social media.
The alleged illicit behavior is supposed to have happened between 2013 and 2016 before many of the current fraternity members were at the college, but they voted to disband the fraternities.
Last month, Swarthmore College’s student newspapers published several years of alleged minutes recorded at the two campus fraternities. The alleged minutes included explicit details of raunchy, racist and homophobic behavior. The college said the authenticity of the documents has not yet been verified.
“It was shocking in that people felt that they needed to write down those horrific things,” JJ Balisanyuka-Smith, a protester, said.
“Their own descriptions of their own acts of sexual violence.” Daria Mateescu, another protester, said, “which is really astounding, I think that not only do we see that and name it for what it is but they too see it and know how bad it is.”
Protestors took control of the Phi Psi house as the school administration suspended all activities at both fraternities and announced an investigation.
Under intense pressure to fold Tuesday night, both fraternities announced on social media their intentions to disband and relinquish their houses, which were social, not residential halls.
“Over the last few weeks, Swarthmore Delta Upsilon has listened to the concerns and feelings of the campus community,” Delta Upsilon posted on Facebook. “After much discussion, the members of Delta Upsilon have unanimously decided that disbanding our fraternity is in the best interest of the Swarthmore community. We hope that our former house will provide a space that is inclusive, safe, and promotes healing.”
On Wednesday, school administration released a letter saying the external investigation will continue, as well as a task force now looking at all the social activities on campus.
“This space is no longer theirs,” Mateescu said. “We are going to reallocate thoughtfully to the groups on campus who have long been denied space and resources at this school.”
CBS3 reporter Cleve Bryan and the Associated Press contributed to this report.