This article contains sexually explicit material.
A fraternity at the Indiana University has taken hazing to the next level, as evidenced by a video allegedly taken of a pledge performing oral sex on a supposed stripper.
The university’s chapter of Alpha Tau Omega is in hot water after a graphic video called "Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at Indiana University forces its pledges to perform oral sex on strippers in hazing ritual" was shared on Reddit on Wednesday night. In the video, we can see what appears to be a young man performing cunnilingus on a naked woman while a crowd of naked or barely clothed men watch and cheer. (Warning: The video is graphic.)
A tweet from the university’s official account announced the immediate suspension of the fraternity in the wake of the video being shared.https://twitter.com/IUBloomington/status/651960009958498304 An official statement provided to the Daily Dot on Thursday by a university spokesman confirmed and elaborated on what was said in the tweet.
On Oct. 7, allegations of hazing were brought against members of the Alpha Tau Omega chapter on the Indiana University Bloomington campus. The allegations, of which there appears to be credible video evidence, include a purported new chapter member being encouraged to perform a sex act on a female in the presence of several other chapter members. Indiana University takes its responsibility to foster a culture of care and respect among the students on its campuses extremely seriously. If true, the alleged actions on the part of some members of the Alpha Tau Omega chapter run completely contrary to that commitment. They also would represent violations of the university's student code of conduct and will not be tolerated. As a result of these allegations, the decision was made to order the chapter to cease and desist all activities immediately pending a full investigation. Notification of the suspension was made to chapter leadership and to the ATO national leadership on the evening of Oct. 7. The investigation is ongoing, and in order to preserve the integrity of the adjudicative process, the university will have no further comment at this time.
The university also provided the full text of the letter sent by the IU Office of Student Life and Learning to ATO informing the fraternity chapter’s president and the national organization of the suspension:
Alpha Tau Omega President, Indiana University is committed to creating a student organization community that fosters a culture of care. Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) is alleged to have violated the student code of conduct -- specifically for hazing activities which perpetuate sexual misconduct. ATO is ordered to suspend all activities immediately. Suspension of activities has been imposed pending the outcome of this investigation because it has been alleged that your organization presents a substantial risk to members of the university community. Activity suspension prohibits hosting, attending, pairing, participating and sponsoring any new member, chapter or social activities or events until the final disposition of this case. It is expected that ATO will fully cooperate with this investigation. Any acts impeding the disciplinary process are prohibited. The university prohibits retaliation against those who file complaints or otherwise participate in the disciplinary process. Violations include but are not limited to any type of phone call, voice mail message, personal contact, social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), text messaging, letter, email, message delivered by a third party, being in their presence or contact with others' personal property. Failure to comply with this order will result in penalties, including, but not limited to, filing of additional charges under the Student Code of Conduct and loss of recognition. This Immediate Suspension of Activities and Cease Contact Order is being copied to your organization's advisors for assistance in determining the organization's responsibility in the incidents.
Further, ATO is mandated to provide a complete roster of new and active members. This roster must include a full list of Fall 2015 new members and sent to Student Life and Learning by noon tomorrow. Please cooperate fully with IUPD, Student Life and Learning and the Office of Student Ethics.
The national organization of ATO's official website is now plastered with a banner that reads "READ OUR OFFICIAL STATEMENT CONCERNING INDIANA UNIVERSITY."
The statement, from CEO Wynn Smiley, reads:
"Alpha Tau Omega National Fraternity has suspended all operations of the Delta Alpha chapter at Indiana University as we begin our investigation. We are working with the University. The video is highly offensive and is antithetical to the values of Alpha Tau Omega. If confirmed, swift disci- plinary action will be taken. The men who were a part of such a vulgar incident do not represent the fraternity and damage the fraternity’s name for thousands of ATO undergraduates and alumni across the country."
It's been a trying stretch for fraternities of American universities. In August, a campus organization at the Ohio University passed out flyers to freshmen students warning them about a fraternity on campus that was notorious for "drugging and raping" female party guests. Back in March, the SAE fraternity came under fire after a video of members of its University of Oklahoma chapter could be heard singing a racist chant. And the list goes on.
There's no word yet whether the incident at Indiana was isolated or not, but one thing is clear: no one in the crowd looks particularly surprised by what was going down.
Update 11:56am CT, Oct. 8: Local TV station WTHR confirmed via Twitter that the ATO chapter's charter has been revoked.https://twitter.com/WTHRcom/status/652162881811668992 Photo via StevenW./Flickr