In the wake of anonymous sexual assault allegations made against its members, Alpha Epilson Pi, a Jewish fraternity, voiced their concern about falling “prey to the cancel culture spurred on by the power and reach of social media.” In a news post entitled “It’s Time” on the group’s website, AEPi also condemned any form of sexual harassment and assault.
AEPi St Andrews were implicated in a number of anonymous allegations of sexual misconduct that were posted on the Instagram account, St Andrews Survivors.
The statement reads, “If an AEPi Brother is found guilty of these heinous acts, we will immediately move to expel him and hope that he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. There is no room for such behaviour in our fraternity. Our mission – developing the future leaders of the world’s Jewish communities – is too important today to have people guilty of these acts to distract us from it.”
The post stated, “We need to be careful about using these sites or stories – painful and often horrifying as they are – as a substitute for an official investigation by proper authorities. Too often, those identified in these posts are being tried and convicted on social and traditional media and, that too, is unfair.”
This comes after the MSP for North East Fife, Willie Rennie, demanded for the fraternity’s internal probe into the allegations to be handed over to local police officials.
Speaking to The Times, Kirsty Thompson, the legal director of The Scottish Women’s Rights Centre stated, “We want to be clear that survivors should be cautious about disclosing abuse online as there could be potential consequences for their justice process and their personal safety. However, we also acknowledge that social media has given survivors a collective voice … and it has also encouraged many of them to seek the support they need.”
It is understood that AEPi St Andrews’ official Facebook page has also been taken down.
On 7 July 2020, in a previous statement on their page, after the allegations were initially made, the Chapter noted that they would update the public on progress with their commitments. As of 1 August 2020, no such progress report has been released.