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ZBT members act like pigs at their pig roast


Cornell’s Zeta Beta Tau fraternity has been placed on probationary recognition after the University found that it was conducting a “pig roast” in which “new members could accumulate ‘points’ by engaging in sexual intercourse with women.”

The new members were instructed not to inform the women of the contest and, in case of a tie, the member who had sex with a woman who weighed the most won, according to an investigation conducted by the University’s Fraternity and Sorority Review Board that concluded last month.

The University said the contest occurred in 2017, but did not specify who was involved or for how long the contest ran.

ZBT will be on probationary recognition for two years and must fulfill other requirements, including a full chapter brotherhood and external review by its national organization and participation in programs like Sexual Assault Awareness Week and Cornell’s bystander intervention program.

ZBT’s actions, according to Paul Russell ’19, interfraternity council president, are “not normal” and IFC has been “working to make sure these sorts of incidents don’t become normalized.

“The IFC was appalled and disgusted by the activity described in the reports,” Russell said. “The decision about the specific sanctions placed on ZBT was made jointly by administrators and IFC leadership in a review board hearing earlier this year after a hearing and a review of the allegations.”

The review board found the chapter guilty of violating the University’s Fraternity and Sorority Recognition Policy by implementing hazing and section 11 of Cornell’s Fraternity and Sorority Expectations of Membership, which prohibits “sexually abusive behavior on the part of its members.”

“We think the IFC and the Office of Sorority and Fraternity life are uniquely poised to respond to this type of activity because we can and have mandated that the chapter now participate in programming to educate their members about sexual misconduct and help them to foster a healthy culture,” Russell said.

The chapter is also required to work closely with the OSFL this semester to hire an adviser, do a facility walkthrough, create a transition program and have monthly meetings about progress updates.

Cornell University did not immediately respond for comment.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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