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Fraternity and Sorority Life After Felony Hazing

This presentation will cover the current hazing culture of fraternity and sorority life; and a means to curb hazing activities.

William Pruitt

on 8 February 2012

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Transcript of Fraternity and Sorority Life After Felony Hazing


William N. Pruitt III
Virginia Tech
May 4, 2011
Various rituals and activities involving harassments, abuse or humiliation used as a way of initiating a person into a group

The Physical conditioning of the mind

Rights of Passage

Hazing is a misdemeanor in 44 states

Hazing is a felony in California, Florida, Indiana, Illinios, Missouri, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin

Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Wyoming have no laws against hazing
Punishable by fines, possible jail time in the county jail system, and expungment

Punishable by fines, mandatory jail time in the state correctional system, and a criminal record
74% of college students on varsity athletic teams
73% of social fraternity and sorority members
64% of sports club members
56% of particpants in performing arts organizations
20% of honor society members

New Hampshire - § 641:7
Class B misdemeanor - punishments include failing to report hazing. Education institutions may also be charged with a misdemeanor for knowingly condoning hazing or negligently failing to take adequate measures to prevent student hazing.

Furek v. University of Delaware - Damages Awarded $30,000 (University 93% liable, Fraternity 7% Liable)

DeVercelly v. Phi Kappa Tau fraternity & Rider University - Damages Sought $75,000,000 (Three university officials were named in the suit)

William Brueckner Jr. v. Norwich University

Michael Davis (1984, Southeast Missouri State, Missouri)
Davis v. Kappa Alpha Psi

Carson Starkey at California Polytechnic State University

Davis v. Kappa Alpha Psi - $2.5 million

Kevin Nash v. Omega Psi Phi - $774,500

Phoummarath v. Lambda Phi Epsilon - $4.2 million Hazing incidents are the primary cause for the increase in the cost of membership

Fraternities are considered the 6th worst insurance risk in the nation

One third of fraternities and sororities annual operating budget is spent on legal liability and insurance cost
Southeast Missouri State University has experienced an estimated 50% decrease in hazing. Southeast Missouri State University ranks in the lower 20% of college campuses in respects to national hazing rates What is Hazing? Misdemeanor Felony State Hazing Laws Institutional Liability Institutional Liability Hazing Statistics Litigation That Led to Felonies Recent Trials Under the New Hazing Felony Law The Implications for
Fraternities and Sororities Affordability Results
Southeast Missouri State (since felony law) http://www.findamedicalmalpracticeattorney.com/Profiles/Law-Offices-of-David-Randolph-Smith-Edmund-J-Sch/Articles/Fraternity-Hazing-Legal-Liability.aspx

An organization requires new members to wear suits and carry paddles every day of week

An organization requires younger members to carry equipment. Members werew not allowed have hair past their earlobes Ohio - §§ 2903.31 and 2903.44
4th Degree Misdemeanor - prohibits mental and physical harm in initiation. Victims of hazing may commence a civil action for hazing. Civil liability for hazing extends to local and national directors, trustees and officers who authorized or tolerated hazing. Educational institutions may use an anti-hazing policy as an affirmative defense. Certain governmental immunity is waived for educational institutions in hazing cases. University officials as well as national fraternity officials may, under certain circumstances, be liable. What is Hazing?
Institutional & Personal Liability
Case Law
Implications for Fraternity & Sorority Life
Conclusion Overview Suggestions Stay Apprised of State Hazing Laws (Administrators)
Be Proactive
Define Serious Bodily Injury (State Legislators) QUESTIONS?

Matt's Law (2005, Chico State University, California)
Carrington v. Chi Tau (Made it possible to prosecute non fraternity members) The Chad Meredith Act (2001, University of Miami, Florida)
Meredith v. Kappa Sigma ($12.6 million, Largest settlement in America's history for a hazing related death) Litigation That Led to Felonies Litigation That Led to Felonies Michael Morton v. The State of Florida (Michael Morton and Jason Harris were sentenced to 3 years in jail) Recent Trials Under the New Hazing Felony Law Isaac William Rand University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1912.

The four students associated with the hazing incident were expelled from the university. One was acquitted and the other three were found guilty of manslaughter. Benjamin Klein. Benjamin Klein was a member of the Zeta Beta Tau at Alfred University in 2002.

One month after Klein’s death, Alfred University’s board of trustees voted to eliminate all fraternities and sororities from the campus. Elimination Walter Dean Jennings III. At the State University of New York in March of 2003, Walter Dean Jennings III was pledging Psi Epsilon Chi.

21 students were punished by the university over Jennings’ death and 13 were charged with, and plead guilty to, crimes that included criminally negligent homicide Manslaughter Negligent Homicide WHY NOT MURDER? Questions? An orgranization requires new members to wear suits and carry paddles everyday during their final week of initiation

An organization requires new members to live together for an entire year. Additionally members can not wear hair past their earlobes.
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