Sorority Suspended Over Allegations of Starving, Abusing Pledges

Emerald Catron, lemondrop.com, August 31, 2009

We feel sick after learning that a sorority at Colorado State University has been suspended over allegations of extreme hazing, and not just because its methods included starving pledges and forcing them to eat cat food.

CSU’s Omicron Omicron chapter of Zeta Phi Beta will no longer be recognized officially by the institution, after an investigation uncovered its unorthodox initiation rituals. (Hazing is officially banned by members of the Greek collegiate system but is quite common–a recent documentary, “Haze,” profiles a related death.)

According to a 56-page police report obtained by the Rocky Mountain Collegian, pledges were forced to physically exert themselves to such an extreme that one of them needed medical attention. They were also deprived of sleep and food . . . unless they wanted to eat cat food, that is.

Starvation and Sit-Ups

Allegedly leading the torture was the chapter president and member of student government, Adesuwa Elaiho. According to one pledge, Elaiho “had us at her apartment for three days straight. No sleep, no food. I threw up because I was so hungry.” In addition to making one of the pledges write her academic papers, the president also made the pledges eat so many onions that two of them threw up.

According to CSU detective Adam Smith, hazing at the hands of Elaiho took place on multiple occasions. He added, “The physical activity included running, push-ups, wall-sits and other strenuous calisthenics, and were clearly designed as initiation into the Zeta sorority. . . . These events clearly caused risk of bodily injuries to the parties involved,” especially one girl with kidney problems who repeatedly lost consciousness.

Power Gone Sour

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The absurd part is that a lot of women do this so they can add leadership skills and volunteerism on their résumés. But with the wooden-paddle-spanking the Greek system is getting in the press, who’s going to notice how much they may have raised as social chair?

According to the Zeta Phi Beta Web site: “Membership in Zeta Phi Beta Sorority is a living and learning experience for women with shared values and objectives. You will have the opportunity to be involved in a wide range of activities where you can use your unique talents and knowledge to contribute to the chapter and your community.” Really? {snip}

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[Editor’s Note: Learn more about Zeta Phi Beta’s history and membership here.]

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