Late last year, Cornell University investigated allegations of alcohol-related hazing at a fraternity after two of its pledges were hospitalized. Initial reports indicated that the students became ill as a result of alcohol intoxication.
The College Fix has an update on the fraternity’s status, which shows there was much more to this story:
The Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity will no longer be recognized by Cornell University after two of the fraternity’s pledges were hospitalized in a “mentally scarring,” “sexually humiliating” hazing incident, a campus official told The Cornell Daily Sun on Wednesday.
“There was one activity where the only thing [the pledges] were wearing was underwear, and it’d be ripped off,” Travis Apgar, associate dean of students for fraternity and sorority affairs, told the student newspaper. “It’s pretty strange on one hand, and pretty serious and mentally scarring on the other.”
The pledges were placed in “really humiliating, sexually humiliating kinds of activities,” Apgar said.
“The pledges were hospitalized after an alcohol-related hazing incident in October, according to Cornell; unless an appeal overturns the decision, TEP’s recognition will be revoked for a minimum of four years,” the paper reported.
The Cornell Daily Sun report offers further details:
Apgar said the decision to revoke TEP’s recognition was clear.
“These are incredibly intelligent young men, how would they not see that there are better ways to build brotherhood and trust?” Apgar said. “Things that are physically or mentally harmful, especially so egregious as this, we cannot and will not tolerate on our campus.”
Representatives from TEP rejected multiple requests for comment.
The announcement follows President David Skorton’s condemnation of the hazing process and a highly publicized effort to eradicate it at Cornell. In a 2011 op-ed in The New York Times, Skorton said “national fraternities and sororities should end pledging across all campuses; Cornell students can help lead the way.”
Following the February 2011 death of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity brother George Desdunes ’13 after a pledging event, Cornell Greek life faces a series of changes as the University adopts policies to end hazing.
Hazing Nightmare: ‘Mentally Scarring … Sexually Humiliating” Incident Gets Frat Banned (The College Fix)