The University of Mississippi has suspended a campus fraternity following an alleged hazing incident involving a bottle of bleach that sickened a pledge in October 2020. Charter for the Gamma Iota chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity will remain suspended through May 2025 after an investigation “uncovered acts of hazing,” the university announced in a statement Wednesday, Nov. 10. “The [Pi Kappa Alpha] international fraternity and university arrived at this decision together following a joint inquiry into the incidents,” officials wrote. “Hazing and related behavior that puts student health and safety at risk are contrary to the University of Mississippi Creed and will not be tolerated.”
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Two Texas A&M students are suing Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity and eight other members of the fraternity after they said they were injured during a night of hazing. The plaintiffs said they are now disfigured due to being burned during the hazing and had to undergo surgery.
In court documents filed on October 18 in Harris County, the plaintiffs have requested over $1 million in damages but they have also demanded the case be tried before a jury so the jury may determine how much money should be awarded.
According to court documents, the plaintiffs said they had gone through spring rush and had been notified they were chosen to pledge Sigma Alpha Epsilon, known on campus as SAE House.
The plaintiffs claimed on March 29, 2021, they were forced to do physical activities while they were spit on. The plaintiffs also claimed raw eggs, paint, food, condiments and industrial strength cleaner, also known as SC-200 was poured on them. According to court documents, SC-200 is a high alkaline, solvent-based heavy duty cleaner that can corrode metal and cause severe skin burns.
The plaintiffs claimed they are permanently disfigured due to the severe burns and had to have skin graft surgery. They also claimed the defendants refused to give first aid at the scene.
The suit specifically named eight of the students who were allegedly involved in the hazing, including the chapter’s president. Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Texas Tau Chapter and Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity Inc, the national headquarters for the fraternity are also named.
According to court documents, the plaintiffs claimed the chapter and its headquarters were negligent, failed to enforce national standards when it comes to hazing and that the national headquarters failed to properly train and educate the chapter advisors.
According to Texas A&M, Sigma Alpha Epsilon has been suspended for two years for violating the Student Code of Conduct as well as Texas state law. When allowed to reopen, the university said it will be on probation for two years.
In a statement issued to KAGS News, Texas A&M says the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house is not on campus. The fraternity attempted to appeal the suspension, however, it was denied and the suspension stands. The statement is as follows:
Texas A&M will not tolerate actions or behavior that degrades, intimidates, humiliates or endangers students. We will continue our hazing prevention education programs, which includes outlining what constitutes hazing and the consequences for such poor choices. Hazing is a violation of Texas A&M’s Student Code of Conduct, student organization policies and Texas state law.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Kappa Sigma was the newest national fraternity at SUNY Geneseo.
GENESEO – A SUNY Geneseo fraternity is under interim suspension following allegations of hazing made earlier this month.
Two anonymous complaints were submitted to the college’s University Police Department March 9 via its silent witness form, alleging hazing was occurring at the Kappa Sigma fraternity house at 21 Orchard St. Because the hazing was allegedly occurring off campus, the college notified the village of Geneseo’s Police Department, said college spokesperson Monique Patenaude.
Geneseo Police Chief Eric Osganian said the anonymous tips alleged “there was pledging going on where the pledges were sleep deprived, mentally harassed, being called to the fraternity house at night” in violation of the college’s anti-hazing policies.
College policy prohibits any act committed for the purpose of initiating or maintaining membership in any organization – including a fraternity – that is intended to humiliate, intimidate or demean a student or endanger the mental or physical health of a student.
As part of his department’s investigation, Osganian said village officers interviewed a fraternity member and did a nighttime follow-up at the fraternity’s house on Orchard Street, but “couldn’t substantiate the allegations at this time.”
Osganian said his department’s investigation is now closed, pending additional information coming to light.
While the village’s investigation failed to uncover evidence of criminal activity, Patenaude said the college is conducting its own investigation to determine whether the fraternity violated student conduct policies.
“The fraternity was suspended on an interim basis by the college and their national organization pending the completion of an investigation and conduct review, if applicable,” said Patenaude. Members of the fraternity did not respond to requests for comment.
According to its Facebook page, Kappa Sigma was officially recognized as the national organization’s Tau Alpha chapter in April 2014. According to the national fraternity’s website, Geneseo’s chapter has 48 undergraduate members and has had 192 total initiates since the chapter’s founding.
Indiana University has suspended Kappa Kappa Gamma
A young woman is accusing sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma of hazing her.
Langdan Willoughby of Indiana University Bloomington says she was hazed by the sorority back in 2020. Greek organizations have been suspended in the past at the school for similar activities, per the school’s paper, Indiana Daily Student. And now Kappa Kappa Gamma can be added to the list.
According to the Indy Star, the organization has been suspended.
“Delta Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma at Indiana University is one of our longest-standing chapters, yet we will not stand by while instances of violence or the threat of violence are perpetuated among our membership,” per a statement by the sorority’s national organization last week. “The health and safety of our members are always our top priority.”
Other individuals who were pledges at the time with Willoughby, 19, say what she alleges is true. The teen tells the publication she was told by the members of the sorority, to “Get on your knees” because “The boys are coming!” while in a dark basement at Kappa Kappa Gamma house at 1018 East Third Street.
Willoughby and about 50 other pledges were allegedly told they would either have to inhale cocaine or perform fellatio in a game called ‘blow or blow.’ The sisters of Kappa Kappa Gamma were apparently running around with paddles in lingerie and took the pledge’s cell phones.
But instead of being forced to perform an act, the sisters yelled, “Just kidding!” The entire situation had been a prank but a psychologist who spoke to the publication said the acts are still considered hazing because they were meant to intimidate and define hierarchy.
Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Yale School of Medicine all partner with entities backed by the Chinese military or the Chinese Communist Party, according to a report by the Washington Free Beacon.
The report notes that Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health has partnerships with seven Chinese universities, six of which have “serious security risks,” as they are “tied to other research on behalf of the People’s Liberation Army.”
“Three of the seven universities—Sichuan University, Xi’an Jiaotong University, and Tsinghua University—help develop technologies for Chinese defense, including the Chinese nuclear program,” reads the report, adding, “All three of these universities have links to Chinese cyber espionage efforts.”
Meanwhile, the Yale School of Medicine has a partnership with the City of Shenzhen, as well as a number of hospitals throughout China.
Further, the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Global Health boasts of a partnership with Peking Union Medical College, which, according to the Beacon, is directly overseen by the Chinese Communist Party’s National Health Commission. This same commission has been “linked to human-rights abuses perpetrated against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang,” according to the Beacon report.
In the past year, the U.S. Department of Justice has arrested and convicted a number of American researchers on charges of secretly working for either the Chinese Government or the CCP. Some have been apprehended trying to flee the U.S. with sensitive biological research.
The story comes on the heels of a January Free Beacon report that found American universities had accepted over $88 million in funds from Chinese entities accused of cyberattacks and espionage.
Among the findings of the January report were:
“Duke University operates a joint-campus in China with Wuhan University, a public university that repeatedly carried out cyber attacks on behalf of the Chinese military. Northwestern University and the University of California Irvine have together received more than $4 million in research funding from an entity controlled by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, a Chinese defense contractor that used stolen designs of American F-35 fighters to build planes for the Chinese military.”
A U.S. Department of Education report released in October 2020 found over $6.5 billion in foreign contributions and contracts that had gone unreported by American colleges and universities. The report argued that such financial entanglements may often threaten America’s security.
Read the full Free Beacon report here.
Government promises to update law to protect academic freedom
Jonas Ludvigsson undermined the political argument that schools couldn’t reopen in person with his research findings about COVID-19’s negligible threat to children and minor threat to teachers.
The professor of clinical epidemiology at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute faced such hostility for his findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, that he’s now given up on researching COVID-19, much less debating it.
Ludvigsson’s comments to the Swedish Medical Association were translated from Swedish by The British Medical Journal. He said that he hasn’t been able to sleep more than a few hours for a week as a result of the “angry messages through social media and email” criticizing his study and partly blaming him for Sweden’s contrarian COVID-19 strategy.
His letter to the editor, first published Jan. 6 and listed in the Feb. 18 issue of NEJM, went through several revisions and “formal external peer review,” including statistically, before it was published, Ludvigsson told the association.
A female student at the University of Dallas has recently come forward with her story after being rejected from a summer internship opportunity due to being white.
“It’s not like I was underqualified or anything, I met everything else,” said the student, who asked to remain anonymous so that her future career in the finance field is not jeopardized.
“I had the right major, I had the right GPA, I was the right year in college,” she said, “but I was white so they wouldn’t help me.”
The internship in question was offered by Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, a professional development organization with ties to major financial corporations such as CitiBank, IBM and Goldman Sachs. It was advertised as the “SEO Career 2021 Paid Summer Internship” and the description was for a financial position.
In its emailed rejection statement to the student, a copy of which was obtained by The College Fix, SEO outlined the reason for its rejection.
“Thank you for your interest in SEO Career! Unfortunately, you are not eligible for the program. SEO Career targets Black, Hispanic, and Native American undergraduates, who are underrepresented in the careers they seek,” reads the rejection statement the student received.
The letter then goes on to suggest other ways to develop her career instead of interning for the company, such as making a LinkedIn account and attending career fairs.
“It’s just frustrating that my skin color can stand in the way of my future career when I’ve worked so hard for my grades and do well in my classes,” the student told The College Fix in a telephone interview last week.
“I do all of these things to try and help my resume look better to future employers and I end up being rejected for the color of my skin. It just feels like we’re going backwards,” she said.
SEO’s internship application provided a list of qualifications, all of which the student met prior to her rejection, exceeding the minimum 3.0 GPA with a 3.5, matching the required major of economics, and surpassing the required class placement of sophomore by a semester.
Canadian universities more devoted to diversity than free speech: report
While most Canadian universities commit to diversity and inclusion, very few are willing to commit to free speech according to the 2020 Campus Freedom Index.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms’ annual index released this week found that of the 61 Canadian public universities reviewed, very few espouse any commitment to free speech.
Only 21% of universities express willingness to uphold free speech through their policies, compared to 69% saying they support “diversity” and “inclusion.”
“Free expression and open inquiry are supposed to be the founding principles of higher education,” said Lindsay Shepherd, Justice Centre Campus Free Speech Fellow and True North Fellow.
“Yet most universities prefer to deploy buzzword terms like ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion,’ abandoning the very values they were created to uphold. It seems that free speech is not even worth paying lip service to.”
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The former president of the now-defunct Sigma Pi fraternity at Ohio University pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to drug and hazing charges in connection with the death of Collin Wiant.
Elijah R. Wahib, 22, of the Cleveland suburb of Westlake, entered a guilty plea to two counts of felony obstruction of justice, felony permitting drug use, and two counts of misdemeanor hazing.
Prosecutors said that as fraternity president, Wahib allowed members to haze pledges, including forcing pledges to consume hot sauce and exercise. He also permitted drug use to take place at the fraternity’s unofficial, off-campus house, in Athens. Marijuana, cocaine, Xanax and ecstasy were found at the residence, according to prosecutors.
After Wiant’s death in November 2018, Wahib instructed his fraternity brothers to not provide any information to Ohio University investigators.
A cutting-edge social media campaign conducted last month by the David Horowitz Freedom Center targeted select professors known for their promotion of Jew hatred and support of anti-Israel terror groups at elite schools including Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of California-San Diego, and Rutgers University.
Even as the coronavirus has forced closures of colleges across the nation, anti-Semitism continues to take on new and disturbing dimensions with both Jews and Zionists being blamed for the spread of the virus. National Students for Justice in Palestine—a campus hate group that receives funding from the terror group Hamas—this year instituted a “virtual” Israeli Apartheid week to promote Hamas propaganda and exploit the worldwide pandemic to invoke centuries-old blood libel claims against the Jewish people.
Spurred by this rising tide of anti-Semitism, the Freedom Center published a report this spring exposing the Top Ten Jew-Hating and Terror-Promoting Professors in America. With students and faculty evacuated from campus due to the virus, the Freedom Center conducted a targeted Facebook and Instagram campaign which displayed ads highlighting the atrocious statements and actions of these Jew-hating professors directly to students, faculty, staff, and alumni at four of the ten schools listed in the report. These social media campaigns sought to raise awareness and provoke outrage among individuals with a strong connection to each campus. A second wave of ads promoted a letter-writing campaign to the president or chancellor of each university.
The professors targeted in this social media blitz were Jasbir Puar of Rutgers University, Joel Beinin of Stanford University, Yến Lê Espiritu of the University of California-San Diego, and Samer Alatout of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Each one of these professors has abused his or her academic position to promote malicious libels about Israel and the Jews and to promote the genocidal and Hamas-funded Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
Puar has defended violent acts of terrorism against Israelis and has promoted anti-Semitic blood libels against the Jewish people, claiming that the nation of Israel “mined for organs for scientific research” from the Palestinian population and deliberately maimed them and stunted their growth.
Beinin absurdly claimed that “Israel has been the aggressor for most of its historical existence” and described the First Palestinian Intifada (1988-92) as a “strike for peace” against Israeli oppression and lauded “the first martyr of the uprising” while downplaying attacks on Israeli citizens as a “small number of violent incidents.”
Espiritu decorates her university office door with posters glorifying Hamas and accusing Israel of engaging in “apartheid” and has a longstanding reputation for biased and one-sided instruction in the classroom and a blatant intolerance for students with pro-Israel views.
Alatout has spoken in support of the Hamas-funded BDS movement at events organized by the anti-Israel hate group Students for Justice in Palestine and has repeatedly demonized the Jewish state on social media by describing Israel as an “apartheid” nation and falsely claiming that Israel is conducting “ethnic cleansing of Palestine.”
Using eye-catching graphics and memes, the Freedom Center’s social media campaign was able to place this direct evidence of each professor’s anti-Semitism and support for terror directly in the Facebook and Instagram feeds of students, alumni, and fellow educators from each university. Reaction was swift and condemnatory.
“This is NOT the top ten ranking I wanted to see from my Rutgers alma mater,” commented one Rutgers alum on Professor Puar’s inclusion in the Freedom Center’s report. “While I am all for protecting Free Speech, the BDS movement is based on vile ethnic hatred in the guise of pseudo human rights.”
“I’m becoming embarrassed for my alma mater!” a UW-Madison alum commented on an ad chronicling Alatout’s anti-Semitism. “My school—A COMPLETE SHAME!!!” stated another.
“That’s why I won’t give a dime to my alma mater,” wrote one University of California-San Diego alum of Espiritu’s inclusion on the Top Ten list. “This is great that you are outing her,” another commented.
“You weren’t allowed to be Christian at UCSD either,” responded another alum. “I had to pretend not to care every time the professors made fun of Christians where they were met with applause by the gullible. The professors tore anyone who was Christian to shreds. You had even less hope if you were Jewish.”
“I feel some shame in having attended Stanford,” one alum remarked to Beinin’s inclusion on the list. “Took his Arab-Israeli conflict seminar in 1988-89,” wrote another Stanford alum of Beinin. “I suspected by late in the term that I had to write an anti-Israel final to get an A, so I faked one (and got an A-).”
During the four weeks of the social media campaign, the Freedom Center’s ads exposing Jew-hating professors reached 121,000 people across all 4 targeted campuses and garnered 400,000 total impressions.
An NYU professor of business surmises that because of the effects of the coronavirus, anywhere from one-quarter to almost one-half of universities in the nation may go out of business in the next five to ten years. NYU professor Scott Galloway also admitted that foreign students paying full tuition are the “cash cow” for universities and “might decide not to show up.” He commented, “What department stores were to retail, tier-two higher tuition universities are about to become to education and that is they are soon going to become the walking dead.”
Speaking with Hari Sreenivasanon on PBS’ “Amanpour and Co.,” Galloway spoke of the impact of the coronavirus on colleges and universities, forcing them to hold their classes over the internet, and how that may catalyze flight from the universities and the universities’ subsequent downfall. Galloway stated, “Students I think across America along with their families listening in on these Zoom classes are all beginning to wonder what kind of value, or lack thereof, they’re getting for their tuition dollars … There’s generally a recognition or disappointment across America, and I would argue that it’s not that they’re disappointed in the Zoom classes, it’s more the recognition that Zoom has uncovered how disappointing college education is. I think there’s a lot of households saying, ‘This is what we’re paying for?’”
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – As part of a hazing ritual, a student from Staten Island pledging to join a women’s fraternity at a college in Albany was subjected to a salacious act which was recorded and shown to other people, a lawsuit alleges.
The incident occurred on April 4, 2019, when the plaintiff, a student at the State University of New York at Albany, was seeking to join the Alpha Xi Delta fraternity, said a civil complaint.
One of her initiation tasks required the young woman to let a male student, who was a member of an associated fraternity, lick whipped cream off her breast and videotape it for others to see, said attorney Michael V. Gervasi.
Students at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo are furious after they’ve been asked to purchase an external webcam so instructors can look over their shoulder remotely during exams, despite the fact that webcams are in short supply on online stores.
Mathematics department chair Roman Makarov wrote in a email to all math students taking summer courses that built-in webcams found on most laptops are not accepted and that “there are no alternatives to writing exams in this manner.” This is so that instructors can have a clear view of the students’ desk space in order to prevent cheating.
The cost to buy an external webcam can run upwards of $100 and more if a student needs to by a tripod in order to mount the webcam properly.
In addition, finding a webcam in stock is a challenge with the increase in people working and learning from home. At most online retailors such as Amazon, Best Buy, Staples and Canada Computers, nearly all available name-brand webcams are out of stock. Third-party resellers have taken to sites such as eBay to sell name-brand webcams with significant markups.
Vincent Ngyuen, a third-year computer science student enrolled in a statistics course over the summer, is one of many students who feel that the external webcam policy is out of line. He told the Star that quality webcams have been “impossible to find” and the small size of his working area makes it difficult for him to properly mount it.
“A lot kids can’t afford webcams and tripods …. It was really unreasonable and I was surprised that (the math department) went ahead and did that,” said Ngyuen.
In a statement to the Star, Wilfrid Laurier spokesperson Lori Morisson said that the university plans on offering alternative options for students who face difficulty obtaining external webcams.
“The university strives to balance the need for measures to ensure academic integrity during online courses and exams with the technology and financial realities of our students.”
However, she further added that the math department believes that the external webcam together with the Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor is the “optimal solution for online administration of math exams.”
As for the “alternative measures,” the chair of the Mathematics department has provided suggestions to students as “borrowing or renting equipment and pointing to financial supports available from the government and the institution,” Morrison said.
The president of the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union, Devyn Kelly, said in a statement that the union is concerned about the legitimacy of the external webcam requirements and is actively working to ensure the “proper non-tuition fee/expense guidelines are followed.”
A similar controversy erupted in April at Montreal’s Concordia University, where some instructors had planned to use students’ webcams to monitor their exams, although none of the Concordia instructors required students to purchase external webcams.
He had no official Harvard affiliation, yet Jeffrey Epstein had his own office, key card and Harvard phone line. He would often swing by on weekends to host dinners with academics he wanted to meet.
According to a university report released on Friday, Mr. Epstein, the disgraced financier who killed himself in jail last year, visited Harvard more than 40 times after he was convicted of sex charges involving a minor in 2008.
The report documented more extensive ties than had been previously known between Mr. Epstein and the university, which was one of a number of powerful institutions that he used to help burnish his image. Harvard said it had placed one professor, Martin A. Nowak, on paid administrative leave in response to the findings.
In a letter to the Harvard community, the university’s president, Lawrence S. Bacow, said the university had also donated $200,937 in unspent gifts from Mr. Epstein to organizations that support victims of human trafficking and sexual assault.
Mr. Bacow said that Harvard did not accept any gifts from Mr. Epstein after his conviction in Florida in 2008, when he pleaded guilty to state charges of solicitation of prostitution from a minor and served 13 months in jail. The conviction was part of a widely criticized plea deal that allowed Mr. Epstein to avoid federal charges.
A fired math professor has sued a university in Texas, accusing it of unlawfully firing him over criticizing a flier listing microaggressions.
Nathaniel Hiers filed the suit on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against the University of North Texas, saying he was fired in an “untimely and unconstitutional” manner.
According to the complaint, last November, an unknown person had left a stack of fliers warning about “microaggressions” in the faculty lounge of the math department.
The fliers describe “microaggressions” as “verbal and nonverbal behaviors” that “communicate negative, hostile, and derogatory messages to people rooted in their marginalized group membership (based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, etc.).” The fliers offered examples of statements considered microaggressions — “America is a melting pot,” “I believe the most qualified person should get the job,” and “America is the land of opportunity.”
They also condemned as microaggressions “sexist/heterosexist language,” such as “[b]eing forced to choose Male or Female when completing basic forms.”
Hiers took issue with the claims of the fliers and proceeded to write the message “Don’t leave garbage lying around” with an arrow pointing to the stack.
In response, says the lawsuit, the department chair scolded Hiers for his actions and then dismissed the professor the following week by canceling his contract to teach in spring semester.
“By retaliating against Dr. Hiers for exercising his First Amendment rights, Defendants violated his First Amendment right to free speech, placed unconstitutional conditions on Dr. Hiers’ employment, deprived him of due process and equal protection of law, and breached its contract with him,” reads the complaint, in part.
“The University does not restrain the discretion of its officials or otherwise prohibit officials from punishing or retaliating against a faculty member for engaging in constitutionally protected conduct or expression.”
Hiers is being represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative law firm that has argued First Amendment cases before the United States Supreme Court.
“The right to free speech is for everyone—not just those in power. Tolerance is a two-way street,” said ADF Legal Counsel Michael Ross in a statement released Thursday.
“Public universities can’t fire professors just because they don’t endorse every message someone communicates in the faculty lounge. By firing Dr. Hiers, the university sent an explicit message: ‘Agree with us or else.’”
Hiers, the complaint says, “firmly rejects bias and prejudice against any person or group of people,” but “believes that the concept of ‘microaggressions,’ while purporting to serve those ends, actually hurts diversity and tolerance.
“Dr. Hiers believes that many of the statements that the flier condemns as ‘microaggressions’ can (and should) be interpreted in a benign or positive manner. But the fliers teach people to focus on the worst possible interpretation of the statement, to disregard the speaker’s intent, and to impute a discriminatory motive to others.”
Merriam-Webster defines a microaggression as “a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group (such as a racial minority).”
Jenée Desmond-Harris of the liberal news site Vox.com traced the term back to the 1970s and Harvard University professor Chester M. Pierce, who created the term to describe insults he had witnessed against African-Americans.
“These [racial] assaults to black dignity and black hope are incessant and cumulative. Any single one may be gross. In fact, the major vehicle for racism in this country is offenses done to blacks by whites in this sort of gratuitous neverending way,” wrote Pierce, as quoted by Vox.
“These mini disasters accumulate. It is the sum total of multiple microaggressions by whites to blacks that has pervasive effect to the stability and peace of this world.”
Critics of the term have argued that the concept of microaggressions, while real, is often misused to censor dialogue and to foster a culture of victimhood.
“If you establish a positive right to be free from alienating comments, it’s hard to restrict that right only to people who have been victimized in certain ways, or to certain degrees,” wrote Bloomberg columnist Megan McArdle in a 2015 piece.
“The result will be proliferation of groups claiming victim status, attempting to trump the victim status of others.”
San Diego State University says it is investigating whether the student who represents 14 of the school’s fraternities promoted blackout drinking in a text message posted on social media in February.
The inquiry comes as SDSU is already investigating student drinking and safety in the wake of the death of Dylan Hernandez, a freshman who fell out of a bunk bed and cracked his skull in November, after returning from a night of partying with Phi Gamma Delta, where he was a pledge.
SDSU confirmed the new investigation on Tuesday, a day after the campus newspaper Daily Aztec reported that Interfraternity Council President Steven Plante had advocated blackout drinking on Feb. 8 on GroupMe, a messaging app. The story also says the text contained a homophobic slur.
Plante issued a statement to the paper apologizing for the slur, saying, in part, “My language was not meant in any sort of hateful, demeaning, or derogatory way whatsoever and I acknowledge that it is language I should never use again.”
He also told the Daily Aztec that the text message was merely an attempt to drum up support for a celebration of his 21st birthday.
Plante did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the Union-Tribune.
“The allegations presented, if proven, indicate serious violations of not only the student organization code of conduct, but also the November 2019 Presidential order suspending all 14 IFC-affiliated organizations,” SDSU’s Student Life & Leadership office said in a statement to the Union-Tribune.
“SDSU expects that all students commit to behaviors that uphold University values and maintain student safety and success, by complying with the University’s student code of conduct.”
The university has had problems with its fraternities for years, ranging from underage drinking to noise and health code violations.
The situation turned into a crisis in early November after 19-year-old Hernandez fell out of his campus bunk bed after returning from “Big Bro-Little Bro” night at Phi Gamma Delta, where he was a pledge.
SDSU police estimated that when Hernandez left the party his peak blood-alcohol level was 0.23 percent — roughly three times the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle.
At the time, 10 of the 14 IFC fraternities, including Phi Gamma, were under investigation or suspension.
President Adela de la Torre issued a crackdown, preventing some fraternities from recruiting new members and setting new rules for how, when and where Greek organizations can recruit and socialize.
She also created two task forces, one to study the use and misuse of alcohol and other substances by students, and one to examine student health and safety.
The controversy about Plante’s alleged text comes while the task forces are meeting.
The Feb. 8 text says, in part, “Boys, I know that sometimes I ask for a lot or that sometimes I am dramatic with when we can open and when we cannot open. But at 12:01 I am 21 years old…”
“I know that the current exec board is very against doing something tonight and I completely understand that because I’ve been there, but also.. it’s Saturday and SAE/phi psi are opening…”
The text then appears to invite Pi Kappa Alpha brothers to party.
“If exec decides to veto their decision I would love to blackout with all of my (expletive) dawgs. No one else I would rather spend my 21st with. Thank you all for having my back and if exec doesn’t wanna ope …I’ll open my room to anyone and everyone please show up and black out. Plenty of floor space…”
SAE refers to Sigma Alpha Epsilon, an SDSU fraternity. Phi psi refers to Phi Kappa Psi, another fraternity.
The message also refers to “Pike,” which is shorthand for Pi Kappa Alpha, a third fraternity. Plante used to be president of Pike and is now president of IFC.
The word open “means that someone living in a house is ‘open’ to inviting others over to hangout,” Plante said in his message to the Daily Aztec.
SDSU’s Student Life & Leadership has not publicly set a deadline for completing its investigation into Plante’s text message.
OXFORD, Ohio (FOX19) – Several of the 18 suspects facing charges following a fraternity hazing incident at Miami University faced an Oxford judge on Tuesday.
Hugh Webster, Michael Keen, James MacKeigan, Joshua Karl Plaster, Scott Sidner, Grady McMichen, Samay Pahouja, Bennett Faloni, Jonathan Rauch, Benjamin Grossheim, Liam Newcomer and Conner Meek appeared in court.
There were eight guilty pleas and several other cases were continued.
The victim, Tyler Perino, and his mother also appeared in court.
“The moment I knew something was not right was when the acting members made the pledge class, including myself, stay up all night, jam-packed in a room with no food or water. Sadly, I felt that I was trapped in a group of people that would shame me forever for leaving the fraternity,” Perino said.
“The absolute hardest thing for me to hear, in all of this, was that he was hungry and in need of food and you gave him dog food. That’s the most caring thing to do for another is to feed them… and all of you messed with him instead,” his mother said.
According to an indictment, the violent hazing incident took place last March at the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, where students were beaten with spiked paddles, kicked and forced to drink countless amounts of alcohol and smoke marijuana.
The hazing incident ending up leaving one student hospitalized.
The indictment contains charges of assault and criminal hazing. Some of the men are facing two charges, while others face as many as six.
Maximum penalties for the single hazing charge are a $250 fine and 30 days in jail, however, jail time was suspended.
The assault charges carry a maximum sentence of six months in jail.
Perino’s mother painted a graphic picture of horrific bruising and battering of her son and the forced consumption of alcohol.
“It is nothing short of abuse and no matter what happens as a result in this courtroom today you will have to live with what you did to another human being and how you justified it,” she said.
Jason Londa – Pleaded guilty to hazing
Nicholas Griswold – Pleaded guilty to hazing; $100 fine
Josh Plaster – Pleaded guilty to hazing; $250 fine
Liam Newcomer – Pleaded guilty to hazing; $100 fine
James Mackeigan – Pleaded guilty to hazing; $100 fine, 1-year probation
Michael Keen – Pleaded guilty to hazing; $100 fine
Scott Sidner – Pleaded guilty to hazing; $100 fine
Hugh Webster – Pleaded guilty to hazing; $200 fine
Jonathan Rauch – Continued
Samay Pahouja – Continued
Benjamin Grossheim – Continued
The chapter has been suspended until 2034.
Tyler Joseph Glowaski has already pleaded guilty in this case.
Three other suspects, Nicholas Carmichael, Jason Londa and Alex Niezyniecki, are expected to face a judge on March 10.
The chapter has an option to petition after 10 years in 2029 to be reinstated on campus.