Monthly Archives: July 2015

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College bans social house for hazing

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July 27, 2015

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College has terminated the Kappa Delta Rho (KDR) coeducational social house following an investigation that uncovered multiple violations of the college’s hazing and general conduct policies.

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of the College Katy Smith Abbott informed the leadership and members of the house of the decision in a letter on June 25.

Middlebury had suspended the house on March 24 following an initial investigation and determination that KDR members had violated the college’s hazing policy in November 2014. The violations reported then included verbal abuse and blindfolding of new members, and encouraging the use of alcohol. As part of the suspension, residential members were required to vacate the house and were reassigned to other on-campus housing.  Read more at Addison County Independent


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Owners of Kappa Delta Rho fraternity house get new shot at appeal

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 — A former Penn State fraternity house has another chance at life following an appeal decision Wednesday by the borough Rental Housing Revocation Appeal Board.

Owners of the property at 420 E. Prospect Ave. — the former home of the  suspended Kappa Delta Rho fraternity — found themselves in a difficult position when the rental rights of the property were suspended by the borough, preventing potential future tenants from renting the building.

Read more at Centre Daily


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Former Kappa Delta Rho member seeks documents in suit against fraternity, Penn State

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By, Clayton Over

July 9, 2015

A former Kappa Delta Rho brother who  filed a lawsuit against the fraternity and Penn State last month is asking for documents from the university, the fraternity’s national chapter, and to return to the Prospect Avenue fraternity house as part of trial preparation.

Attorneys for James Vivenzio wrote in Tuesday court filings that he and his client are seeking access to records, to include emails and other communications, regarding any investigations of hazing at the fraternity conducted by the university, Penn State’s Interfraternity Council and Kappa Delta Rho’s national organization, to include the ones that led to sanctions earlier this year.  Read more at Centre Times Daily


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Forensic Inspection of Kappa Delta Rho Fraternity House Among Several Initial Pre-Trial Filings by Lawyers for Penn State Hazing Victim and Whistleblower

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Download July 8, 2015 Press Release

PHILADELPHIA, PA (July 8, 2015) – Lawyers for Penn State hazing victim and whistleblower James Vivenzio plan to conduct a basement-to-attic inspection of the Kappa Delta Rho Zeta Chapter fraternity house, which has been identified in Mr. Vivenzio’s lawsuit as the site of rampant, illegal, violent hazing activities. According to pre-trial discovery documents served on the defendants by Freiwald Law, P.C., the inspection of the KDR frat house at 420 E. Prospect Ave., State College, will begin at 10 a.m., Thursday, September 10th. The house is near the University Park main campus.

Aaron J. Freiwald, Esq., Mr. Vivenzio’s lead attorney, said the site inspection is an important part of the pre-trial fact-finding process. “We will appropriately and methodically inspect the premises, with Mr. Vivenzio and a forensic team in attendance, to document the various areas in the house where he and other pledges were subjected to cruel and violent hazing.”

In addition to the KDR house inspection, Mr. Freiwald’s firm’s discovery-related filings (which can be obtained at www.endhazingnow.com) arising out of the Complaint [April Term, 2015 No. 001671 – Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas] included:

  • Scheduling at 10a.m., August 20th the videotaped deposition of Penn State Office of Student Affairs official Daniel Shaha, the University’s Senior Investigator with regards to the KDR-Vivenzio hazing investigation, sexual assaults at KDR, and events leading up to Penn State’s sanctions against the fraternity and the KDR National’s expulsion on June 8 (the same day Mr. Vivenzio’s complaint was filed) of 38 KDR Zeta Chapter members for hazing violations.
  • Requesting from the University numerous hazing investigation-related information and documents, including all records pertaining to the allegedly confidential ‘hazing hotline’ staffing and administration. It is alleged that Mr. Vivenzio’s initial complaint to the hotline – which he believed was confidential – was leaked to the fraternity, jeopardizing his safety.
  • Scheduling at 10 a.m., August 19th, the deposition of an official of Kappa Delta Rho’s national organization, which oversees the operations of all its chapters.
  • Notifying Defendants of the intent to serve subpoenas to the State College Police Department and the Centre County District Attorney’s Office for relevant investigative documents. Mr. Vivenzio went to the local police after it became clear the University was not going to take any action against KDR and he feared for the safety of others, including pledges and women visitors to the house.

Under the Pennsylvania’s rules of practice, Defendants have 30 days to provide documents and materials in response to the various discovery requests.

# # #

Contacts:

Aaron J. Freiwald

ajf@freiwaldlaw.com

(w) 215.875.8000

(c)  267.432.1016

Steph Rosenfeld

215.514.4101

steph@idadvisors.com


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Lawyers request ‘basement-to-attic’ inspection of Penn State fraternity house in hazing lawsuit

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By Megan Trimble 

July 8, 2015

Lawyers for a former Penn State fraternity brother have requested a basement-to-attic forensic inspection of the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity house as the group faces a deluge of hazing allegations.

The request to view the house and record it through videotape or by photographs was made Wednesday as part of pre-trial filings made by Philadelphia-based attorney Aaron J. Freiwald on behalf of 21-year-old James Vivenzio. Vivenzio, of Great Falls, Virginia, has been regarded as a whistleblower claiming “physical intimidation, psychological intimidation and social intimidation” during the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity’s months-long pledging process.   Read more at Pennlive.com


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Forensic Inspection Planned At Penn State Frat House Accused Of ‘Cruel And Violent’ Hazing

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Lawyers for whistleblower James Vivenzio plan to conduct a basement-to-attic inspection of the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity house.

A Penn State frat house that was shut down in May will be subject to a forensic inspection as part of ongoing litigation between the university and a whistleblowing student, lawyers announced Wednesday.

Virginia resident James Vivenzio has sued the university because he endured what he felt was life-threatening hazing as a member of the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity.  Read more at Patch.com


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Kappa Delta Rho fraternity house to be inspected

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July 8, 2015

The Kappa Delta Rho house will become subject to a basement-to-attic inspection at 10 a.m. on Sept. 10 as a part of the hazing lawsuit filed by James Vivenzio last month, according to a press release issued by Freiwald Law.

Aaron Freiwald, Vivenzio’s lead attorney, said the inspection is an important part of the pre-trial process, according to the release.  Read more at The Daily Collegian

 


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Grand Jury Investigating PSU Altoona Student’s Death

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By, John Clay
July 1, 2015
The PA Attorney general’s office is investigating the case of a Penn State Altoona student who jumped to his death after he says he suffered hazing by his fraternity brothers.
Marquise Braham was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa at Penn State Altoona. His family wants the fraternity or its members charged with criminal homicide for the actions that they believe lead to Marquise Braham’s suicide in March of 2014.   Read more at WeAreCentralPA.com

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