The contestants – all pledges of Cornell’s Zeta Beta Tau fraternity – called their secret, fat-shaming sex game the “Pig Roast,” according to The Daily Sun, Cornell’s student newspaper.
The rules were simple: Would-be brothers allegedly earned points for having sex with overweight women. If there was a tie at the end of the game, the victory went to whoever had slept with the heaviest woman. New members were told not to inform the women about the contest, according to a university report.
Details of the game leaked out last year, sparking an investigation by the university’s Fraternity and Sorority Board that recently concluded.
The fraternity chapter has been put on a two-year probation, and the Ivy League university and the frat’s national office denounced the game, which was the latest example of a Greek organisation behaving badly.
The board said the chapter violated university rules about Greek organisations that prohibits “sexually abusive behaviour on the part of its members.” A university spokesperson didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.
It was unclear how long the contest had been going on or how many people at the frat participated.
Ryan Lombardi, Cornell’s vice president for student and campus life, called the game “abhorrent,” The Daily Sun reported.
“Behaviour that degrades and dehumanises women contributes to a climate and culture of tolerance for sexual violence,” he said.
In a lengthy statement on Facebook announcing the probation, the Cornell chapter of the fraternity said interactions connected to the game “were neither chapter sanctioned activities nor ones that brothers were aware of.”
“We, too, are in disbelief and even more so that these alleged actions may have been taken by those whom we called brothers,” the statement said.
The statement outlined a number of corrective measures: The chapter will conduct a “full membership review,” expelling members as necessary. Frat brothers will also have to attend “multiple educational programmes on the topics of healthy relationships.” Those programmes will also be offered to the campus community at large. The fraternity is also getting a live-in adviser.
Zeta Beta Tau joins a growing list of fraternities that have been embarrassed and disciplined after horrific – and at times illegal – behaviour.
In October, authorities arrested eight Louisiana State University students and two others on hazing charges related to the death of Maxwell Gruver, a freshman who died after a gathering at a school fraternity, The Washington Post’s Eli Rosenberg reported.
Gruver and other pledges were quizzed on fraternity history and told to drink if they answered incorrectly.
In December, the New Brunswick chapter of the Sigma Chi fraternity at Rutgers University was shut down after frat members allegedly drugged members of a sorority mixer with Xanax-spiked punch, according to NJ.com and The Daily Targum, Rutgers’ student newspaper.
And last month, a judge held Baruch College’s Pi Delta Psi fraternity directly responsible for the 2013 death of freshman Chun “Michael” Deng, a killing that drew national attention because of its brutality.
A grand jury concluded that fraternity members at Baruch, a campus of the City University of New York, tackled and abused a blindfolded Deng, according to The Washington Post’s Susan Svrluga. Frat members knocked him unconscious during a fraternity ritual in a rented house in the Pocono Mountains, then tried to cover it up as he lay dying.
The Washington Post