A Note on the Authenticity of The Leaked Phi Psi Historical Archives
Since President Smith announced in an email to students on April 27th, the first day of the ongoing sit-in in the Phi Psi fraternity house, that the College received and is investigating the unredacted documents in the leaked Phi Psi Historical Archives, comments have been made by administration questioning the documents’ authenticity and relevance to current students.
An article published on the FOX 29 website on Monday reads, “The college said Monday that the authenticity of the documents has not yet been verified.”
Voices has done much work to verify the authenticity of the documents in the leaked archives. Citlali Pizarro ‘20, editor in chief of Voices, was anonymously sent a link to the Google Drive folder they were kept in. The owners of this Google Drive folder were all current and past members of the Phi Psi fraternity, which has since disbanded. Many of their names, graduation years, membership in the fraternity, email addresses, and leadership positions in the fraternity (if applicable) have been verified by Voices. At least two of the documents in the folder were uploaded by current Swarthmore students. The existence of the archive folder has been verified by multiple alums, including Phi Psi’s former President, Conor Clark ‘16, who, in an article published in Voices last Thursday, named himself as one of the owners of the file, and publicly declared that he was mentioned several times in the documents, initially wishing his name had not been redacted from them. The metadata of the files also confirmed their validity, their authors, and the dates they were written. Voices would not have published the files had its members been unable to verify their authenticity.
The existence of the “minutes” documents has been confirmed by several alums, who referred to them as an “open secret” in this same Voices article. Throughout the process of investigating the leaked archives, not a single person interviewed or consulted disputed the existence and authenticity of the documents. Phi Psi itself did not dispute the authenticity of the documents in its public statement about the leaked archives, instead stating they were not representative of the organization today.
In addition to at least two files in the archives being uploaded by current students, Voices can also confirm that the “Philly Scavenger Hunt” document from 2016 contains names of current juniors and suggests evidence of hazing. The Phoenix also reported on this hazing. Further, the leaked archives contained folders entirely of photos and videos, which Voices chose not to publish, due to the fact that many photos appeared to be taken without the consent of the subjects, and that the videos contained publicly identifiable information. These files contained photographs of some current students.
No member of the administration has publicly acknowledged the Tumblr page Why Swarthmore’s Fraternities Must Go, on which Voices has also reported. This Tumblr page documents now over 70 alleged instances of harm in both of the fraternities, spanning the years 2015-2019, according to the page’s creators.
Voices would like to add that, as of today, no members of the administration, nor any external investigator hired by the administration, have reached out to or met with the Voices representatives who had access to the original files and reported on them, to ask questions or request additional information.