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Three Sorority Sisters Suspended for Rush-Hazing Stunts

Editor’s note: Due to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the names of the three women involved in the alleged acts are withheld.

TAMPA – Three University of Tampa students were accused of hazing new pledges during a two-month period last semester.

According to a complaint submitted to circuit court last May, Delta Sigma Theta pledges reported that they were “yelled at, made to run, do push-ups, squats, eat garlic wrapped in Big Red gum and drink hot sauce, hold a match between their fingers while reciting a pledge, had rocks and grass thrown at them and that they were paddled.”

The three sorority members specifically identified in the complaint were high-ranking officers within the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. S.C. and L.P. were seniors and M.B. was a junior.

In defense, the women filed a petition stating that, as black females, they were unfairly targeted by the university’s judicial board.They stated that members in fraternities Kappa Sigma and Sigma Phi Epsilon engaged in similar controversial actions including tasering.

These organizations were sanctioned collectively and received a probation period of one semester. The Delta Sigma Theta members were sanctioned individually.

The Hillsborough County Circuit Court dismissed the complaint, stating that the university was not at fault.

Breakdown of Events

A victim who participated in the rush stated that they were told to get into S.C. and M.B.’s car and put their heads between their laps. Once they arrived at a location, they were told to line up as the sorority sisters said their applications were “crappy and that they should put them in the garbage.”

The pledges were given explicit instructions to not wear the color red or to wear shorts, only knee-length or longer pants. On Feb. 24, one of the victims said that S.C. and L.P. made a pledge purchase their breakfasts and have them delivered to L.P.’s apartment by 7:22 a.m.

On Feb. 28, pledges were blind-folded, made to run chains, run suicides, do mountain climbs and do push-ups while reciting sorority doctrine. The victim stated that L.P. threatened to bite her nails off and that S.C. threatened to urinate on her.

Another pledge, said she was forced to “answer like an animal (I believe it was a camel)” whenever she was asked a question. The victim claimed the sorority leaders attempted to leave that evening with the pledge’s phone in their cars. They returned soon after. M.B. attempted to hit the pledges with her car.

Pledges were told to turn in essays to the sorority officers to be titled, “Why We Are Wasting Your Time,” by sunrise.

Around March 3 (a victim reported this may be a day off), pledges received multiple phone calls and were sought after.

They were harassed again that evening from “1:30 a.m. to roughly 4 or 5 a.m.”

The victim said, “we were scared to contact them, walk past them or even talk to them.”

The pledges and sorority sisters met at a Bank of America on March 20, where M.B., L.P., and S.C. yelled because another pledge present, even after she was not invited. The three women were reported to have cursed at the pledges before they “peeled out of the parking lot.”

After this incident, the pledges reported that they received another round of calls from the sorority sisters.

The women said they had “to run chains” and “do push-ups,” and that they were “paddled until tears.” One girl said “we had rocks thrown at us, grass thrown at us and put in our hair and clothes.” And said that they were “cursed at, made to hold huge bricks and do static squats” until “we almost collapsed.”

The Final Call
­­
M.B., S.C. and L.P. admitted to most of the allegations. No legal action was taken against the women. However, they were kept from finishing their classes or taking final exams during their suspension from the university. This resulted in failing grades and kept S.C. and L.P. from graduating in May 2011.

Ashley Kearney, the new Delta Sigma Theta president, commented on the incident:

“I can assure all that Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated is a sisterhood and all actions against our organization’s anti-hazing policy were addressed in the appropriate manner. Any additional information on our policy can be found on our national website.

“I do not wish to point fingers and cannot discuss any specifics. The Tau Iota Chapter is moving in a positive direction under the same advisor. How the situation was perceived is evident through our hosting the National Hazing Prevention week Sept. 19-24th.”

Click on each link to download each of the case documents:

Alex Vera can be reached at avera813@gmail.com

11 Comments on Three Sorority Sisters Suspended for Rush-Hazing Stunts

  1. What’s up, of course this article is actually good and I have learned lot of things from it on the topic of blogging. thanks.

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  2. What these women did was wrong. Deltas are to promote health and wellness and serve the community. Instead these women decided to physically assault and degrade innocent people. I think the pledges should have pressed charges, and the women should have gone to jail!! There was no excuse for what they did, not only was it wrong but very much illegal. A delta should always uphold high moral standards and have respect for everyone!

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  3. It’s funny how the names have been kept out of here, but they are openly available via http://www.deltasigmatheta.org. This is sad though that they took so much before turning the ladies in. I actually am surprised that the national sorority allowed them to even finish their training into full membership. “Pledges” are required to sign forms that they will not allow themselves to be hazed.

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  4. Perhaps the fraternities/sororities could worry more about academic standards–spelling and grammar–and how their brothers and sisters are representing them in the community instead of pointing fingers about hazing. The errors and barely readable comments here are a sad commentary on the state of students’ skill levels.

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  5. SigEp your a brotherhood,so when one brother falls it represents the whole. Just like DST three members who did some unjust things represent all members of DST at UT in one facet or another (it affects them all). If the sigep event was sanctioned or not those boys (2) represent your frat; therfore, you should take the bullet and educate or pick your members more carefully.

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  6. TJ, I somewhat agree with your idea but not the statement. I am a member of SigEp at UT and I lean towards zero tolerances on hazing as does my chapter at UT because it does nothing but tenet all Greeks but you saying our privacy/tradition/secrets should be visible to all is absurd, we have them to keep unity within ourselves and it gives us the connection with brothers not only in our chapter but with all member nation wide. If all was exposed it would defeat some purposes of Greek life. I also disagree with the statement you said and i quote “You pay money to these organizations, you dedicate your time, commit yourself, only to have to be submitted to these abusive tactics utilized by officers in order to select their members”, you are grouping every organization together and we are all but similar. It’s thinking/talking like that, that starts stigmas. Yes you pay but what you pay you get back not in money but events and other things, so instead of before every event collecting money, which can be a pain in the a**, we get everything up front so we do not have to deal with those issues, and that money that you pay goes to things like socials, trips to Disney, rush shirts, rush events, retreats, and so much more. So please do not comment on something that you have know true idea of what you’re talking about. Now I am not defending the officers from SDT and feel that the actions taken against them were surly just but penalizing all for a few people’s bad judgment is all but ok.

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  7. I think incidents like these are completely reprehensible. Although all greek societies may not participate in hazing, many do and no one would know if they did because these events are kept secret within fraternities and sororities. If those 3 pledges would not have come forward with their complaints no one would know that Delta Sigma Theta participates in hazing. Greek organizations are criticized for this reason, for their secrecy. Either they should be regulated or overseen more closely by UT or they should not be allowed to have their chapter. I personally have heard many students complain about hazing and harrassment from their greek superiors. I am glad this was published when it was because it serves as a warning to incoming freshman who might consider pledging. You pay money to these organizations, you dedicate your time, commit yourself, only to have to be submitted to these abusive tactics utilized by officers in order to select their members. It is simply inexcusable.

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  8. utgreekalumni // August 27, 2010 at 11:58 am //

    Throwing out the race card….

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  9. Firstly, the event involving Sigma Phi Epsilon was not considered a “hazing incident”. It was considered an isolated incident that involved two Brothers, two alumni, and a non-fraternity member. It wasn’t even an event or a sanctioned Fraternity program. So whoever these mysterious women are they should probably keep to their own story and not point fingers at others without having any of the facts.

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  10. In regards to the Sigma Phi Epsilon mention. I don’t think any organization should have been called out that didn’t have anything to do with the article at hand. And as a Greek that graduated from UT I know a lot about the rules and realize that if a certain number of any organization’s members get in trouble it is unfortunately grouped as a chapter’s problem as well. So yes we continuously strive to be our brother’s/sister’s keeper but things happen.

    Also, Greek Life at UT should not be scarred by this situation neither should any specific organization. I personally think this article is quite behind the 8-ball seeing as this incident took place within the last month of the Spring 2010 semester and bringing this up again is definitely raining on the parade of the bright and promising semester that is ahead for the Greeks at UT.

    This article makes me annoyed as the former President of my chapter, council’s President, and held various positions within the University of Tampa student community because I have personally experienced how hard it is to get coverage on the MANY POSITIVE activities that take place within the Greek community and this article demonstrates how easy it is to share the rare negative moments. With the front page post and well detailed accompanying image this definitely proves my point. I am waiting for the day the front of the Minaret where there would be highlights of Greek Life rather than the downfalls and not just when we perform at Greek Sing/Greek Variety Show or NPHC/MGC is stepping or strolling. THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO US.

    Now maybe it is just me that may be jumping to assumptions but how convenient is it that an article on hazing be published and posted as new students come and parents come to the campus. Yes this is something parents should be aware of but the way this article was written was in poor taste. I personally felt the article should have highlighted the case but gain feedback about how the school dealt with it, maybe get feedback on how various Greek members felt about the incident rather than detail something that is very sensitive to the ladies that were apart of the case discussed and still attend UT. Realize there are still members of Delta Sigma Theta present on campus and this is something we wish will all be in the past for all parties involved. So to me this is making it hard for the sisters of DST as they try to overcome this obstacle, this is hard for the Greek community to explain it to new students and hard for the OSLE office as this article ignored their support step by step. This made it seem as if for the most of the time these students, the victims within this case were out on their own and were unsafe within the UT community.

    I have not and will not discuss my feelings about the incident and the impact it has on individuals. However, I would say that the word hazing has been plaguing the Greek community for decades and it seems like forever not just at UT but Nationwide. However, do not ignore the CARE training, Greek Life Strategic Planning, GAMMA programs that take place to ensure that the majority of us are focusing on our core values, mission and vision as we continue to have a strong and positive influence within the Tampa Bay community and at UT. Let it not be overlooked the many programs, events and community service projects the Greek community carries out. I’m not saying everything about Greek Life is PERFECT it’s just about time the IMPERFECTIONS are not mentioned instead.

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  11. Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity at UT pledge ourselves on zero hazing but on the development of a system of brotherly trust. And I am extremely PO’d that we were singled out for an incident that the fraternity had no participation in. Yet a few members during a night of drinking decided to teaser themselves, regardless that happened years ago and had know reason for be brought up in this article. Sanctions were made against the fraternity as a whole because of a few members drunken stuper and we have not had any incidents since. Ask any of our brothers

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