Frat Hazing and PTSD: Insiders Share Gory Details

By Laura Roberson

From the outside, the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity house at Penn State University looks idyllic — a stone, Tudor-style mansion with a sprawling lot on a quiet off-campus street. But what goes on inside the house has been the subject of intense scrutiny since January, when a member, James Vivenzio, 21, informed police of an invitation-only Facebook page where KDR brothers regularly posted nude photos of intoxicated women, sometimes being sexually assaulted.

In May, Penn State rescinded the fraternity’s recognition on campus for three years, a reversal of the Interfraternity Council’s initial ruling, which said KDR could remain as long as members participated in sexual-assault-intervention training, among other measures to change the frat’s culture.

On June 4, the national headquarters of Kappa Delta Rho expelled from the fraternity 38 of the Penn State members involved in the Facebook scandal — and on June 9, a new chapter of the drama unfolded: Vivenzio filed suit against Penn State and Kappa Delta Rho, as well as the university’s Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association, claiming the fraternity’s intense hazing left him with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for which he was hospitalized earlier this year. Other alleged outcomes of the hazing include failing his freshman year, despite having been a “successful high school student,” the court documents state, and a stint in rehab for alcohol abuse.

Vivenzio’s lawyers call the fraternity’s hazing “barbaric” and “life-threatening,” claiming pledges endured cigarette burns to the chest; forced consumption of copious amounts of hard alcohol and concoctions of hot sauce, liquor, cat food, and urine during “line-ups” in the frat house basement; and endless rounds of push-ups and wall-sits. At one point, pledges were forced to do push-ups on the basement floor, which was covered with garbage, broken glass, bleach, and cigarettes; one pledge, who was allergic to bleach, had to be given a shot of epinephrine.

Two pledges were reportedly branded on the buttocks with hot clothes..Read Full Story Here