Minnesota college cancels baseball season due to hazing incident

Hazing ugliness has struck again. This time in college baseball. It has cost the St. Olaf (Minnesota) College team the rest of its season.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported the incident took place the weekend of Feb. 28 at a school cafeteria:

A formal investigation by the Northfield college and its independent counsel found that team members violated St. Olaf’s hazing policy in actions that took place both on and off campus the weekend of Feb. 28. The college also said that team members attempted a cover-up.

St. Olaf released a statement Friday that described the events only in general terms, saying they involved “ridicule, harassment and public displays of servitude,” as well as underage students drinking alcohol.

School officials confirmed that the on-campus incident involved younger team members having to serve older team members during a meal in the school’s cafeteria. The nature of the off-campus hazing remained unclear.

Steve Blodgett, St. Olaf’s communications director, said most of the team members were involved in the hazing. He said college administrators learned what happened through student messages on the social media app Yik Yak, which allows users to remain anonymous.

“Violations were compounded by an orchestrated attempt to deceive college officials and the outside investigator and prevent them from learning what had happened,” the release said.

The baseball team was 6-6 before its season ended.

In 1999 St. Olaf canceled its men’s tennis season after drinking at an on-campus party sent a student to the hospital.

Ohio State sorority issued cease and desist letter after reports of hazing

By Chelsea Spears

The Scarlet Scoop: Ohio State sorority issued cease and desist letter after reports of hazing

An Ohio State sorority has been issued a cease and desist letter amidst allegations of a hazing incident.

Reports say that some members of Kappa Kappa Gamma’s OSU Beta Nu chapter were involved in a hazing incident on campus. This week’s episode of “The Scarlet Scoop” has more details on the investigation.

This week’s episode also informs you a future app that could alert students to potential threats both on- and off-campus.

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

Penn State fraternity Facebook whistle-blower sues over hazing

PHILADELPHIA, June 8 (UPI) — A former Pennsylvania State University student who first brought attention to a fraternity’s secret Facebook page with photos of nude women has sued the school for “barbaric and life-threatening hazing” he underwent as a pledge.

James Vivenzio, 21, accused the university of dragging its feet for several months after he first told officials about the Facebook page, sexual assault and hazing rituals he observed and experienced as a pledge with Kappa Delta Rho fraternity.

The complaint, filed Monday in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, said that in the fall of 2012 and spring of 2013, Vivenzio underwent hazing as a pledge of the fraternity, including:

“Physical assault and battery including cigarette burns; physically and mentally abusive late-night line-ups that featured force-feeding bucketfuls of liquor mixed with urine, vomit, hot sauce and other liquid and semi-solid ingredients; ‘gladiator’ games that subjected pledges to significant bodily injuries; directing fraternity pledges to guzzle hard liquor without stopping until vomiting was induced (a ‘ritual’ in which fraternity alumni eagerly participated); requiring pledges to spend hours scrubbing floors and to pick up large quantities of garbage that was deliberately strewn about the fraternity house; and to serve as on-call errand-boys and laborers for older members.”

In a statement released Monday, Vivenzio said he “was afraid somebody could die unless the abuse, the Facebook 2.0 site, and all that was going on, were shut down permanently.”

In January, nine months after first approaching university officials, Vivenzio said he told local police about the allegations, which resulted in the school suspending the fraternity for three years.

The national office of Kappa Delta Rho followed suit Monday, expelling 38 members of the Penn State chapter of the fraternity from the organization and suspending the chapter from operating at the university for three years.

The lawsuit alleges “Penn State recklessly and unconscionably sat on the information” Vivenzio gave them, causing further injuries to other students from abusive hazing and sexual misconduct. Vivenzio says he now has post-traumatic stress disorder from the hazing he underwent and had to enter rehab for alcohol abuse.

“Vivenzio hopes to bring attention to the unlawful, disturbing and dangerous hazing and sexual assault that takes place at Penn State and other university and college campuses, as well, and to force defendants to take all necessary steps to stop hazing and sexual assault so as to protect the health and well-being of all students,” the lawsuit says.

Lisa Powers, a spokeswoman for Penn State, said the school disputes Vivenzio’s allegations.

“Our staff offered him extraordinary assistance on numerous occasions, and went to great lengths to do so over the course of nearly nine months — even sending the director of the Office of Student Conduct to their home to interview them,” she said. “Neither he nor his family were willing to file a complaint, provide documentation, speak with State College Police or participate in pursuing the formal disciplinary process available to them, despite repeated encouragement from University staff.

“Mr. Vivenzio also did not inform Penn State staff members of a private Facebook group. University officials became aware of its existence when informed by State College Police in February 2015.”

The lawsuit names Penn State, the national office of Kappa Delta Rho, the school’s chapter of the fraternity, the Penn State Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Association, and seeks unspecified compensatory damages.

Final 3 defendants to be sentenced in FAMU hazing death

By KYLE HIGHTOWER, Associated Press

The final three defendants convicted of hazing in the death of a FAMU drum major are set to be sentenced.

Benjamin McNamee, Aaron Golson and Darryl Cearnel face up to 20 years in prison Friday after being convicted in April of manslaughter and hazing in the beating death of Robert Champion, who was from Decatur, Georgia.

Attorneys for all three men have asked Judge Renee Roche in court filings to deviate from imposing a maximum penalty. Roche did so earlier this year when she sentenced hazing ringleader Dante Martin to six and half years in prison. Roche did so because she believed it had been demonstrated that Champion was a “willing participant in the hazing ritual.

Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of nine years in Martin’s case.

2 SU students charged in hazing that could cost pledge 4 fingers

By Jolene Almendarez | jalmendarez@syracuse.com
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse police have charged two Syracuse fraternity members in a hazing incident that could cost a pledge four fingers.

Tae Kim, 19, of 401 Euclid Ave, and Jeffrey Yam, 21, of 1111 Madison St., are charged with misdemeanor first-degree hazing.

Police said three pledges at Nu Alpha Phi fraternity were forced to do aerobic exercises at 12 a.m. Sunday at Lower Hookway Park at 1805 E. Colvin St. The pledges were being punished for not doing their chores properly, police said.

A 20-year-old pledge told police they spent about 30 minutes doing push ups..
Read Full Story Here

Parents Sue Fraternity Over Boston University Pledge’s Death

OSTON (AP) — The parents of a Boston University freshman who died after becoming intoxicated at a 2013 pledge party are suing the fraternity and three members of the organization in federal court for wrongful death.

An autopsy of Anthony Barksdale II found that his blood alcohol level at the time of his death was .33 percent.

The Boston Globe reports the family is suing the national Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity, the BU chapter’s then-president, vice president and another brother.

Read Full Story here

Baruch College Bans Rushing And Pledging After Student Death

The Huffington Post | By Alexandra Svokos

Posted: 05/08/2015


All Greek rush and pledge activities have been banned for three years at Baruch College in New York City, The Washington Post reported Friday. This announcement comes shortly after a lawsuit against the college from the family of Chun “Michael” Deng, a Baruch freshman who died during a fraternity pledging ritual in 2013. Deng’s family is suing the school for $25 million, according to DNAinfo.

“Our overriding interest is in ensuring the safety, well-being, and development of our students,” Provost Dave Christy said in a statement Tuesday. “While we know this outcome is not what the members of our fraternities and sororities had hoped for, we firmly believe this course of action is in the best interest of the aforementioned goals.”

During the ban, Greek organizations must submit rosters of their members to the Office of Student Life and conduct all their social activities on campus. They will also participate in mandatory anti-hazing, anti-bullying and sexual assault prevention training programs.

Deng died in December 2013 from a fatal brain injury during a Pi Delta Psi pledging event. Deng was blindfolded and carrying a backpack containing 20 pounds of sand while brothers tackled him in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. He apparently fell and hit his head, leading to his death.

Police said the brothers did not seek medical attention for Deng until more than 90 minutes after his injury..
Read the Full Story here

30 Frats Shut Down In The Past Month

Thirty fraternities have been shut down by either their university or national headquarters since the beginning of March due to hazing, alcohol-related problems, criminal investigations and other student conduct infractions.

Most have been imposed for longer periods, typically two or three years, while some of the suspensions have been handed out on a short-term basis and will be reassessed after the school or police finish investigating reports of potentially illegal behavior. A few fraternities have lost their charters, which will prevent the chapters from re-establishing themselves without a significant endorsement from their universities and national headquarters.
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