Letters to the Editor are written by members of the Elon community, not ENN staff members, in response to ENN coverage. Letters to the Editor and other opinions content are separate from news coverage.

Dear Elon University community,

Our fraternity wants all students at Elon to feel welcome at our events and within our membership. We have worked hard to build an inclusive fraternity that is sensitive to one another's differences. So when our former chapter president, senior Owen Gaffney used a racially divisive term in reference to another student, senior Austin Meekins, it confused and hurt so many of us. 

In a moment of anger, Gaffney chose the most hurtful word he could find, and he unfortunately succeeded in causing deep pain. Gaffney has apologized to Meekins, and he has apologized to our entire membership. He has resigned from his position as president and has faced a standards hearing within our chapter. We believe he is truly remorseful, but we intend to do all we can to ensure our chapter is a safe and supportive environment for all of our members.

I am serving as president and will be helping our brothers continue to address this head on. This incident does not represent who we are as a student organization and as members of the Elon community. We are committed to earning back the trust of our peers, faculty and staff. If any students have questions or concerns, I am always available to talk to them. My email is below.

Additionally, I want to address inaccuracies about the story that is being reported. Meekins was never barred from entering a party, and certainly not because of his race. Gaffney and Meekins were in an ongoing disagreement over academic standards, which Gaffney believed would have prevented Meekins from attending the function. 

We will earn your trust back, Elon.

William Ellick

wellick@elon.edu


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