Cornell Withdraws Recognition of a Fraternity After a Report of Hazing

Ann McClure's picture

Two years after one of its students died after a fraternity drinking ritual, Cornell University has withdrawn its recognition of another fraternity after a pledging episode in which prospective members were said to have been served alcohol and stripped naked.

The pledging, in October, involved students hoping to join the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity, said Claudia Wheatley, director of the university’s press relations office. “Their initiation consisted of being told to take off their clothes, down to their underwear, then the existing members apparently stripped the underwear off of them,” she said. “In addition, they were served alcohol.”

Two of the students were taken by ambulance to a hospital and treated for excessive intoxication, she said. She did not know how much alcohol they had consumed, but she added, “as far as the university was concerned, the humiliation of being told to strip and then having someone pull your underwear off was plenty to qualify as hazing, which is not tolerated at Cornell.”

Charles G. Wolf, an officer of the Tau Epsilon Phi national organization, said that the episode “is against our values,” citing an official statement that said in part: “I will respect the dignity of all persons; therefore I will not physically, mentally, psychologically, or sexually abuse or haze any human being.”

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