Monthly Archives: March 2015

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The Daily Collegian – Students to rally supporting women photographed on Kappa Delta Rho Facebook pages on Friday

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By, Meghan Garrity

March 19, 2015

In light of events unfolding around Penn State’s chapter of Kappa Delta Rho, students are organizing a rally — which will take place at noon on Friday on the steps of Old Main — in support of those depicted on the fraternity’s alleged private Facebook pages.

So far, more than 100 people have RSVP’d to the rally’s Facebook page, entitled “WE ARE….TAKING A STAND.”

“I applaud our students for this initiative and for their willingness to step forward and share their emotions and thoughts on the KDR issue,” Penn State Spokesperson Lisa Powers said via email. “Our community has the right to be outraged by the alleged actions that demean and objectify other human beings.”

Rally Co-organizer Lauren Lewis said Triota and the Penn State Department of Women’s Studies graduate program verbally committed to the rally.

“We stand united with student organizations, local advocacy centers, students, faculty and alumni tomorrow to demand action from the university,” Lewis (senior-journalism) said via email.

Lewis is also a member of The Daily Collegian’s Board of Directors.

“We want the community to know that we will NOT tolerate violence of any kind against students on this campus,” she said.

Kappa Delta Rho was placed on one-year suspension by both the Penn State Interfraternity Council and their national headquarters after two Facebook pages — which contained evidence of hazing, drug deals and photos of nude, unconscious women — were discovered by police.

The police investigation into Kappa Delta Rho is ongoing.

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ABC News – Penn State Fraternity Under Criminal Probe Over Facebook Page

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By, LINZIE JANIS and ENJOLI FRANCIS via NIGHTLINE

March 18, 2015

Members of Penn State’s Kappa Delta Rho fraternity chapter are now under criminal investigation, according to authorities, for allegedly maintaining a private Facebook page that featured pictures of nude, often unconscious women.

The members are still living in their fraternity house — the university has suspended activities — but their chapter has been suspended for the rest of the semester by its national chapter. According to a search warrant, a fraternity member who had graduated arrived at the police station in January with concerns that the page called “2.0” was illegal.

He also told police that the page had been created after a similar page called “Covert Business Transactions” had been taken down when an alleged victim who was the subject of a nude photo complained, according to the warrant. There were 144 active users on the page at the time the police learned of the page’s existence, the warrant stated.

In the search warrant the police found multiple pictures of nude women, who appeared to be passed out or in sexual or embarrassing positions. Other photographs reportedly showed drug deals and hazing rituals. Authorities said they were considering criminal charges that could include invasion of privacy as well as harassment.

“If these allegations are true then there were many females who were victims of illegal offenses,” said Chief Tom King of the State College Police Department. King said he had not viewed the images but had been told they were “graphic” and “appalling.”

Penn State President Eric Barron vowed today to punish anyone who was a perpetrator.

“There are criminal implications here,” he said during a news conference. “The university will go through its process of examining the evidence and what’s most important in my view is that we do it right, that we understand exactly who’s responsible and then we pass judgment on those individuals or the organization for that behavior because it’s simply unacceptable.”

The chapter was suspended by the Penn State Interfraternity Council and will undergo a review before it is sanctioned, said the council’s president, Rick Groves.

“Unfortunately, incidents such as these have become increasingly prevalent in recent years and have undoubtedly tarnished the reputation of the fraternity and sorority community,” Groves said in a statement. “Kappa Delta Rho will be held accountable. Their justice will be swift, but it will not be frantically determined.”

On Tuesday, the University of Houston suspended Sigma Chi fraternity’s Epsilon Xi chapter indefinitely as well as five of its members for hazing allegations it called “disturbing.”

In a statement, university President Renu Khator said she was “shocked, dismayed and deeply disappointed” and that the “health and safety of our students have come into question.”

“Pending further investigation and due process, if the allegations prove to be true, those responsible will be subject to immediate disciplinary action,” Khator said. “Let me be clear, hazing is a criminal act.”

Khator did not reveal details of the alleged hazing incident or name the five students who were suspended. She said that campus police had given its findings to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

The national headquarters of the fraternity said in a statement that it had suspended the chapter in January after learning of the allegations. It then began its own investigation and informed the University of Houston.

“Hazing, in all of its ugly forms, will be eliminated from Sigma Chi,” said Michael Greenberg, the fraternity’s international president, in a statement. “Hazing is so far removed from the principles we believe in that we cannot, and will not, allow it to continue. Those who engage in this vile tactic will be held accountable.”

The University of Houston’s announcement came as the national office of Sigma Alpha Epsilonfraternity rolled out a new, four-part initiative on diversity today after a video was released last week of its University of Oklahoma chapter members singing a racist chant.

The Oklahoma chapter was closed and two students were expelled from the school. SAE’s national headquarters said its initiative included the creation of a confidential hotline as well as the hiring of a director of diversity and inclusion. The national headquarters said it also continued to investigate whether similar practices were occurring in SAE chapters on other campuses.

“We are focused on trying to determine the root of this song or this chant, where it came from,” said Blaine Ayers, SAE’s executive director. “That’s our primary focus.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Huffington Post – Police Say Penn State Fraternity Circulated Nude Photos Of ‘Unsuspecting Victims’

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By, Tyler Kingkade

March 17, 2015

A fraternity at Penn State University allegedly set up a private Facebook page where members discussed drug sales and circulated nude photos of unconscious women, according to evidence collected in a police affidavit obtained by The Huffington Post.

Penn State has placed the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity on an interim suspension while the Interfraternity Council works with local police to investigate the Facebook postings.

Kappa Delta Rho members allegedly operated a private Facebook page titled “2.0” for nearly a year, police said. Prior to April 2014, KDR allegedly operated another version of the page called “Covert Business Operations.” At some point, a student discovered a topless photo of herself on the page and “threatened” the fraternity until they shut it down, according to the police affidavit.

The investigation became public Monday when WJAC-TV reported on the police inquiry.

Penn State is located in State College, Pennsylvania. State College Police Lt. Keith Robb said the police investigation is being conducted jointly with the Penn State student affairs office.

“We’re looking to identify victims whose photos rise to the invasion of privacy section, which is a misdemeanor,” Robb told HuffPost. “We’re hoping through [Penn State’s] assistance and influence, they’ll get members of the fraternity to tell who was responsible for actually posting the photos.”

Police were first alerted on Jan. 18 by a former fraternity member that KDR was allegedly operating a private, invite-only Facebook page where 144 members, including current undergraduates and alumni, were posting photos of “unsuspecting victims, drug sales and hazing.”

The nude women photographed “appeared to be passed out and nude or in other sexual or embarrassing positions,” police said, and the individuals in the photos evidently still do not know the photos were even taken.

Members of the Facebook page bragged about who they “banged,” posted photos of strippers hired for frat parties and discussed sexual conquests, according to screen shots included in police evidence. One of the Facebook posts showed a text message from a woman to one of the members saying that she “blacked out” and assumed she’d had sex with him, but was concerned about whether they’d used protection.

The university placed KDR on interim suspension on March 3.

“Upon learning from officials at Penn State that the KDR chapter at the university had been placed on full chapter suspension, our national leadership immediately examined the facts available to us at this time,” Joseph S. Rosenberg, national executive director for KDR, said Tuesday in a statement to HuffPost. “In accordance with that review, we have placed the chapter on suspension for the remainder of this semester and we are conducting a full membership review and reorganization.”

After the police investigation, Rosenberg added, the national KDR headquarters will “make a decision regarding the Penn State chapter that is appropriate for all parties.”

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Huffington Post – Police Say Penn State Fraternity Circulated Nude Photos Of ‘Unsuspecting Victims’

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By, Tyler Kingkade

March 17, 2015

A fraternity at Penn State University allegedly set up a private Facebook page where members discussed drug sales and circulated nude photos of unconscious women, according to evidence collected in a police affidavit obtained by The Huffington Post.

Penn State has placed the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity on an interim suspension while the Interfraternity Council works with local police to investigate the Facebook postings.

Kappa Delta Rho members allegedly operated a private Facebook page titled “2.0” for nearly a year, police said. Prior to April 2014, KDR allegedly operated another version of the page called “Covert Business Operations.” At some point, a student discovered a topless photo of herself on the page and “threatened” the fraternity until they shut it down, according to the police affidavit.

The investigation became public Monday when WJAC-TV reported on the police inquiry.

Penn State is located in State College, Pennsylvania. State College Police Lt. Keith Robb said the police investigation is being conducted jointly with the Penn State student affairs office.

“We’re looking to identify victims whose photos rise to the invasion of privacy section, which is a misdemeanor,” Robb told HuffPost. “We’re hoping through [Penn State’s] assistance and influence, they’ll get members of the fraternity to tell who was responsible for actually posting the photos.”

Police were first alerted on Jan. 18 by a former fraternity member that KDR was allegedly operating a private, invite-only Facebook page where 144 members, including current undergraduates and alumni, were posting photos of “unsuspecting victims, drug sales and hazing.”

The nude women photographed “appeared to be passed out and nude or in other sexual or embarrassing positions,” police said, and the individuals in the photos evidently still do not know the photos were even taken.

Members of the Facebook page bragged about who they “banged,” posted photos of strippers hired for frat parties and discussed sexual conquests, according to screen shots included in police evidence. One of the Facebook posts showed a text message from a woman to one of the members saying that she “blacked out” and assumed she’d had sex with him, but was concerned about whether they’d used protection.

The university placed KDR on interim suspension on March 3.

“Upon learning from officials at Penn State that the KDR chapter at the university had been placed on full chapter suspension, our national leadership immediately examined the facts available to us at this time,” Joseph S. Rosenberg, national executive director for KDR, said Tuesday in a statement to HuffPost. “In accordance with that review, we have placed the chapter on suspension for the remainder of this semester and we are conducting a full membership review and reorganization.”

After the police investigation, Rosenberg added, the national KDR headquarters will “make a decision regarding the Penn State chapter that is appropriate for all parties.”

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Onward State – Kappa Delta Rho Suspended After Police Discover Nude Photos In Facebook Group

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By, Megan Fleming

March 16, 2015

Read our comprehensive summary of what we know now. 

UPDATE (12:45 p.m.):

Another comment exchange on a picture posted to the private page ended with, “lol delete these or we will be on cnn in a week.” The comment and the previous replies were in response to a highly inappropriate picture where the victim appears to be passed out. One of the commenters said “I banged her lol.”

UPDATE (10:50 a.m.):

A former member of KDR went to police about the private Facebook pages, and worked as their informant to help them obtain evidence, according to the probable cause affidavit. The document is attached below.

When asked about one of the pictures, the informant said, “this is the type of stuff that happens at KDR.”

One of the pieces of evidence is a screenshot of comments on one of the pictures. A member of the Facebook page commented, “373,217 views. All from us.” Another responded, “make that 373,218.” There were 144 members of the private Facebook page.

Police are currently working with the Office of Student Conduct and IFC in their investigation, Lieutenant Keith Robb said. Right now, authorities are working on getting the fraternity to cooperate and help identify any brothers that posted photos as well as identify any possible victims.

***

UPDATE (10:51 p.m.):

In addition to the cease and desist from the IFC, both the university and national fraternity are currently reviewing the matter, Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said.

“This action is being taken in response to … highly inappropriate photographs were posted of activities and events that are in direct violation of the standards and values of a recognized student organization and/or a fraternity at Penn State University,” Powers said.

The KDR executive director and alumni corporation president visited last week to look at the evidence, Powers said.

“We do not yet know the outcome of their visits or investigation,” Powers said.

This evening, the national fraternity conducted a “show cause” hearing with the chapter leadership by telephone.
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Kappa Delta Rho was placed on full-chapter suspension after police discovered a private Facebook page containing nude images of women. According to a search warrant obtained by WJACwhich broke the story, several members of the fraternity are accused of taking pictures of women, mostly nude, while sleeping or passed out, and sharing those photos online.

“In response to the discovery of the two Facebook pages allegedly posted by Kappa Delta Rho, the chapter was immediately placed on full chapter suspension by Penn State’s Interfraternity Council,” Penn State IFC President Rick Groves said in a statement to Onward State. “This suspension shall remain in place until all investigations regarding the incident have been completed.”

State College Police began looking into the matter after they received a tip about the two private Facebook pages. The Facebook pages were used for sharing photos of drug sales, hazing, and photos of mostly women, according to police.

The search warrant says that the fraternity shut down an original Facebook page after a victim allegedly discovered it, but someone made another page in its place. Police told WPXI that page page had nearly 150 members, including current students and alumni.

“It appears [the photographed]were passed out or sleeping,” State College Police Lieutenant Keith Robb said to WJAC.

While under suspension, the fraternity may not participate in any IFC functions, host any social events, recruit new members, or  conduct any business, including chapter meetings, without the written consent of the IFC.

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