Stanford denounces Spiegel over leaked e-mails

University is "positively ashamed" that one of its alumni wrote those e-mails

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
May 31, 2014
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If I could have my choice of people to be at this very moment, I think its safe to say that Snapchat co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel would not be at the top of my list.

The man, whose incredibly stupid and sexist college e-mails were released earlier this week, has just about been obliterated by the Internet and the press, with headlines outright calling him an "ass" and a "jerk." The dude doesn't seem to have many friends right now. (Not that I feel bad for him, mind you. He brought all of this on himself.)

Now his alma mater, Stanford University, which Spiegel had enjoyed a pretty close relationship with until now, is taking him to task as well.

In a letter sent to that was sent out to the entire Stanford undergraduate community, and obtained by the Huffington Post, Stanford University Provost John Etchemendy called the e-mails "crude, offensive, and demeaning to women."

"Like most of you, male and female, I found those messages abhorrent. I am writing now to convey clearly that the sentiments expressed in these emails do not reflect what we, as members of the Stanford community, expect of one another," the letter said.

"I have no reason to doubt his statement or the sincerity of his regret. But that does not change the fact that the emails were sent. And in my mind, that raises a troubling question for the rest of us."

Such behavior, he said, has to be rejected outright, rather than choosing "to turn a blind eye to such statements and chalk them up to youthful indiscretion." That is the only way to make sure that Stanford will have "the kind of university culture we can all be proud of, all of the time."

"The author of those emails is not proud he sent them. The members of his fraternity are not proud to be associated with them. And the wider Stanford community is positively ashamed they were sent by one of our members," said Etchemendy.

The University is blatantly saying that they are embarrassed to be associated with Spiegel, which is quite the turnaround after years of a mutually beneficial relationship between the two. Spiegel's family haddonated money the university, and Snapchat was actively recruiting sales people for the company from the University. 

The e-mails in question were sent while Spiegel was an undergraduate, and contained gay jokes, references to "fat chicks" and extremely misogynist language.

For example, one email, titled “URGENT,” included the following: “LUAU FUCKING RAGED. Thanks to all of you. Hope at least six girl [sic] sucked your dicks last night. Cuz that didn’t happen for me.” Signed affectionately, “fuckbitchesgetleid. Spiegel.”

Spiegel has, of course, apologized and tried to distance himself from the words he wrote just a few years ago.

"I’m obviously mortified and embarrassed that my idiotic emails during my fraternity days were made public. I have no excuse. I’m sorry I wrote them at the time and I was jerk to have written them. They in no way reflect who I am today or my views towards women," he said in a statement.

But for many that is obviously not going to be enough, and for people like Etchemendy it is what they call a "teachable moment," one that can be used to spin something positive out of something really, really ugly.'

"This is a good time to reflect on our common values and our obligations to one another as members of the Stanford community," he said in the letter. "As we approach the end of the academic year and, for the senior class, the end of the undergraduate experience, let us celebrate in ways that reflect our best selves. Let us strive to be role models in our interactions with others."

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