The Kappa Delta Rho fraternity chapter at Penn State University is being rocked by scandals as a former member is suing the college and frat for abuse, and 38 members are being expelled.
According to 21-year-old James Vivenzio, who filed the lawsuit, people from the frat burned him with cigarettes, beat him and forced him to drink vomit and urine mixed with liquor. Among other allegations, he also said that the fraternity used Facebook as a place to put nude pictures of unconscious women, some of whom were being sexually assaulted.
Police eventually got involved in looking into the Facebook issue, because according to Vivenzio when he first reported the abuse, the school "did absolutely nothing" after saying they’d investigate. Meanwhile, Penn State has a different story, saying that “Mr. Vivenzio ... did not inform Penn State staff members of a private Facebook group. University officials became aware of its existence when informed by State College Police in February 2015."
Vivenzio insists that's not the case. "I still do not know why the administration will not come right out and state that it dragged its feet after I followed the rules -- including first going to the hazing hot line and then meeting with its chief investigator -- Danny Shaha -- before forcing me to go to the police," he said.
Whatever the school did or didn’t do before, they’ve now revoked the recognition of Kappa Delta Rho at Penn State for three years. On top of that, the national Kappa Delta Rho office has additionally revoked the charter and recognition for this particular chapter, also for three years.
Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims backed some of the allegations against the fraternity, including ones having to do with hazing and harassing women. Though not every member of the fraternity may have been doing all of these things, he believes, “the sum of the organizational misbehaviors is far more than the University can tolerate from a student organization.”
"It's unfortunate that it had to come to this," said Joe Rosenberg, who is the fraternity's executive director on the national level. "But we hold our brothers accountable for their actions."
"Penn State’s dismissive and demeaning statement is false and misleading in an attempt to conceal and blur the truth, and compounds the suffering of James Vivenzio," Vivenzio's attorney Aaron Freiwald said in a statement. "In April 2014, at a meeting last several hours in the family’s home, Danny Shaha, the University’s chief investigator, was shown dozens and dozens of pages of of documentation, including photos from the Facebook 2.0 page, supporting the claims in the complaint filed today. The family also pledged full cooperation with any university investigation...We look forward to presenting all of the evidence in this case to a jury."