Monthly Archives: June 2015

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USA Today – ‘Honor above all’: Hazing victim at Penn State frat opens up in lawsuit

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By Ethan Stoetzer

The Latin phrase “Honore super omnes,” which translates to “Honor above all,” hangs atop the weathered doorway of the Zeta chapter of the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity at Pennsylvania State University.

The house, beneath a sun-lit blue sky, looks like a mansion — a stone castle. It has the look of prestige, an air of achievement — a timeless monument to integrity.

KDR’s stature attracted freshmen students looking for a sense of brotherhood, friendship and involvementJames Vivenzio was one of the many freshmen charmed by what the fraternity had to offer. As a sports oriented fraternity, KDR was perfect, given his background in high school sports.  Read more at USA Today


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ABC Nightline – Ex-VA Swim Team Member Alleges Violent Hazing

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Former student filed a lawsuit against his teammates, but it’s just the latest college campus hazing claim.   Read more at ABC Nightline 

Read also, previously issued rebuttal statement of attorney, Aaron J. Freiwald, regarding allegations that Vivenzio did not follow administrative protocols:

STATEMENT OF ATTORNEY AARON FREIWALD

June 8, 2015 / 3:15 p.m.

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.  In April 2014, at a meeting lasting 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.  The subject of filing an internal complaint about the hazing abuses with the University never came up. In addition, James and his family have always been cooperative with State College Police, who he went to after eight months and after losing confidence in the University to pursue his claims. We look forward to presenting all of the evidence in this case to a jury.


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Yahoo! Health – Fraternity Hazing and PTSD: Insiders Share Gory Details of Pledging Penn State’s Kappa Delta Rho

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By, Laura Roberson

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From the outside, the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity house at Penn State University looks idyllic — a stone, Tudor-style mansion with a sprawling lot on a quiet off-campus street. But what goes on inside the house has been the subject of intense scrutiny since January, when a member, James Vivenzio, 21, informed police of an invitation-only Facebook page where KDR brothers regularly posted nude photos of intoxicated women, sometimes being sexually assaulted.  Read more at Yahoo! Health


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Forbes – Campus Sexual Assault Can Cost Universities Millions

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By, Jill Castellano

June 18, 2015

Penn State students participated in the fifth annual 'Walk a Mile in Her Shoes' event hosted by Penn State Men Against Violence in partnership with the Center for Women Students on April 9. 'Walk a Mile in Her Shoes' is an internationally recognized march to stop sexual assualt and gender violence and includes preventive educational for men while asking they walk one mile in high-heeled shoes.

Penn State students participated in the fifth annual ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ event hosted by Penn State Men Against Violence in partnership with the Center for Women Students on April 9. ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’ is an internationally recognized march to stop sexual assualt and gender violence and includes preventive educational for men while asking they walk one mile in high-heeled shoes.

On June 8, former Penn State student James Vivenzio filed a complaint in Pennsylvania court alleging his fraternity was responsible for hazing and sexually abusive activities. Among other things, he alleges the fraternity chapter of Kappa Delta Rho maintained a Facebook page with photos of drunk and unconscious nude women, some of whom looked like they were being sexually assaulted. Fraternity pledges were given alcohol and sometimes drugs to facilitate sexual assault and abuse, the complaint alleges.  Read more at Forbes…

Forbes chart


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PennLive.com – Hazing across campus: How universities handle the dark side of student life

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By Morganne Mallon

June 18, 2015Pennlive.com

Drinking bucketfuls of alcohol mixed with hot sauce, cat food and urine. Consuming liquor while performing wall sits and push-ups until passing out. Being punched, battered and burned with cigarettes. Completing push-ups on a floor covered in broken glass, cigarettes and bleach.

When James Vivenzio announced his negligence lawsuit last week — alleging Penn State University, among others, did not take steps to prevent the university’s chapter of Kappa Delta Rho from hazing — he had a disturbing list of actions he said he and other pledges were forced to endure to gain entry into the fraternity.  Read more at Pennlive.com 


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The Legal Intelligencer – Hazing, Harassment Suits Part of Litigation ‘Explosion’

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By, Max Mitchell

June 16, 2015

In the past three months, three high-profile civil suits over hazing and harassment have been filed against two universities in Pennsylvania, and that cluster of lawsuits is no coincidence, according to personal injury attorneys and defense counsel.

Lawyers on both sides agree that a perfect storm has been brewing for the past few years, and has now led to what some attorneys referred to as an “explosion” of litigation in this area.  Read more at The Legal Intelligencer


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CNN – Former Penn State fraternity member alleges harsh hazing in lawsuit

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James Vivenzio, a former Pennsylvania State University fraternity member, claims his Kappa Delta Rho brothers subjected him to that and more as a freshman pledge in 2012.

Vivenzio, now 21, filed the lawsuit on Monday against Penn State, the national and local chapters of Kappa Delta Rho and other university organizations.

He claims that despite meeting with a Penn State official who “vowed to promptly and thoroughly investigate” these activities, no disciplinary action was taken by the university until Vivenzio brought evidence of hazing to police in State College, Pennsylvania.  Read more at CNN.com


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Business Insider Australia – Ex-frat member’s horrifying lawsuit alleges a Penn State frat operated just like a ‘gang’

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By, ABBY JACKSON

 June 8, 2015

Ex-frat member and whistle-blower James Vivenzio filed a lawsuit Monday against Penn State, the national fraternity of Kappa Delta Rho (KDR), Penn State’s chapter of the fraternity, the Interfraternity Council, and Panhellenic Association.

James Vivenzio

The suit — posted online by Buzzfeed — alleges the university did nothing to intervene when Vivenzio alerted it to “reckless, barbaric, and life-threatening” hazing and alleged sexual assault of women by the Kappa Delta Rho (KDR) fraternity on campus.  Read more at Business Insider Australia

 

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We Are CentralPA.com – Former KDR Member Hopes Lawsuit Brings Change

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STATE COLLEGE – A former fraternity brother at Penn State’s chapter of Kappa Delta Rho brought forward allegations regarding hazing, drug use and a secret Facebook page to the State College Police Department in January 2015.The police are investigating the allegations.  James Vivenzio, 21, is that former brother. He says before going to police with this information, he approached Penn State University officials in April 2014 and he says they did not do anything.  Read more at We Are CentralPA.com

 

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The Legal Intelligencer – Former Student Sues PSU, Frat Over Hazing

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By, Max Mitchell

June 9, 2015

Penn State is once again being accused of failing to act in the face of allegations of sexual misconduct, this time in a case of student hazing.

A former student and fraternity member is alleging he informed the university of extreme hazing practices at Kappa Delta Rho, including “force-feeding [fraternity pledges] bucketfuls of liquor mixed with urine,” and the creation of a Facebook page showing sexual assaults and misconduct perpetrated at the fraternity, but the university failed to act on the information.

The plaintiff, James Vivenzio, filed suit in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas against the university and the fraternity, alleging negligence, battery, unlawful furnishing of alcohol to a minor, furnishing alcohol to one obviously intoxicated, false imprisonment, fraud and conversion.  Read more at The Legal Intelligencer

 

 

 

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