Cornell Fraternity Gets Probation Due To An Alleged Fat-Shaming Sex Game
Hazing is a known, yet illegal, phenomenon on some college campuses, and now it's in the news again. Cornell's Zeta Beta Tau fraternity has been placed on probationary recognition for two years, reported The Cornell Daily Sun, after new pledges of the fraternity allegedly played a "game" wherein they would earn points when having sex with women. According to reports, they allegedly called it a "pig roast," and in the case of a tie, whomever slept with the woman who weighed the most would "win." The University's Fraternity and Sorority Review Board investigated the claims and finished doing so in January 2018. According to the Board, the pledges were allegedly told not to tell the women about the contest. The contest allegedly took place in 2017, though no time period was specified in the review board's investigation. The fraternity was made aware of the allegations back in December 2017, and then a hearing with the review board took place.
"The behavior that Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) fraternity was recently found responsible for is abhorrent to me and antithetical to our values as a community," Vice President for Student and Campus Life Ryan Lombardi said in a statement shared with Bustle. "Behavior that degrades and dehumanizes women contributes to a climate and culture of tolerance for sexual violence. While sanctions have been levied against this fraternity by the Fraternity and Sorority Review Board, the campus community will be watching to see whether the members of ZBT — as individuals and as a group — live up to their public pledge to demonstrate 'through our actions that this inexcusable behavior will not be tolerated.' It is incumbent that all members of the Greek system and the campus as a whole challenge any form of sexual misconduct and the behaviors that foster it."
On February 3, Cornell's Zeta Beta Tau fraternity issued a response to the allegations on Facebook. In part, it read, "…The brothers of the Kappa Chapter of Zeta Beta Tau would like to first and foremost express our mutual disgust along with those who feel hurt or victimized. Your feelings are legitimate and appropriate reactions to something of this nature. The Kappa Chapter of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity is horrified at the notion of the degradation and/or objectification of women, and the impact it has had on men and women across the United States, and at Cornell…"
Here's the full statement from Cornell's Zeta Beta Tau fraternity on Facebook:
Cornell's Zeta Beta Tau Interfraternity Council chapter also wrote about the alleged incident on their university website titled "Hazing at Cornell." By looking at the site, you can see that hazing incidents are nothing new at the university. The site includes a statement from the university's fraternity and sorority review board stating they "Will not implement or tolerate hazing, as defined by the Campus Code of Conduct, in any form, at any time," and "The fraternity or sorority will not tolerate or condone any form of sexually abusive behavior on the part of its members, whether physical, mental, or emotional. This is to include any actions, which are demeaning to any person or persons including but not limited to sexual assault or verbal harassment. Culpability is not diminished for acts in violation of this Code that are committed in ignorance of the Code or under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or improper use of controlled substances."
According to Cornell University, aside from the two-year probation, Cornell's Fraternity and Sorority Review Board implemented additional requirements. A couple of these include: that the fraternity chapter must hire a live-in advisor from the fall 2018 semester up until at least the remainder of the probationary period, and that the chapter will work with the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life (OSFL) staff "to identify campus or community resources such as the Women’s Resource Center, The Advocacy Center, or the equivalent to conduct ongoing education on sexual violence."
You can read more details about the Zeta Beta Tau outcome here.