Cornell’s fraternity pigs get roasted

Gabrielle Reyes, Asst. Feat. Editor

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     When we think of Cornell University, we tend to think of how prestige they are and the great accomplishments they have going for them. It is an Ivy League University, known for their research and low acceptance rates because of the higher education they provide. Therefore, when something controversial happens in the school, it gets around and starts to change our perspective of the university.

     This past January, Cornell University closed out a case towards a fraternity called Zeta Beta Tau, for degrading and dehumanizing woman. Ironically, Zeta Beta Tau is the first fraternity and largest in the nation, founded in 1898. The news of this horrific event was shocking to many but found predictable to others. The story starts with the newly rushing pledges of the fraternity participating in a contest made up by the brothers. Rushing pledges had to tally up how many women they had sex with in a certain matter of time. The catch was to also tally up the weight of the woman and whoever had sex with the heaviest person, won. The pledges were forbidden to tell the woman about the contest. This terrible game was even given the name, “the pig roast”.

     What makes this story even more interesting is when the topic was brought up to the brothers, they all claimed to have no idea the contest was going on. However, last year there were multiple reports towards the same fraternity with the same complaints of “the pig roast”. Not to mention multiple reports of misconduct towards them as well. The brothers of the Kappa Chapter of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity responded to the reports ‘horrified and disgusted’. The issue with this incident is making sure this type of hazing and contests doesn’t become normalized and a formality.

      Once the story was told and the fraternity spoke their side, the question remains as to what actions the University took? After the investigation was completed, the fraternity was founded in violation of Cornell’s policies regarding hazing activities and engaging in sexually abusive behavior. The punishment for this resulted in probation for up to two years for Zeta Beta Tau. The probation also required an in-house guardian/advisor to watch over the fraternity for the time being of the probation period. The brothers also have to part take in community service hours during the week of Sexual Assault Awareness in April. However, only 75 members are required to go and must attend only two events during Sexual Assault Awareness week. If Zeta Beta Tau is the largest fraternity in the nation, why are only 75 required to attend?

     Unfortunately, these types of incidents are something we hear about often. Fraternities will do what they like, create these sick games, and get away with a slap on the wrist. The activities that were participated in were revolting. But then again, we also don’t know what happens behind closed doors and silent souls. We wish there is more that can be done but frankly, Greek life brings in a lot of money and alumni to the universities. Therefore, something like this will be swept under the rug and the lives of the women that were used will never be the same. The most important part about all of this is to remember not to feel sorry for the fraternity because they were punished and put on probation for two years, but to never forget about the women who were tricked and suffered through this all.

Gabrielle is a sophmore English major. She is an assistant Features editor for The Voice.