Bowie State Student sues Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. for $3 million due to hazing.

Before I have my say on Mr. Kevin Hayes, here’s the story:

BOWIE, Md. (WJZ) — A renowned fraternity is in hot water, facing a $3 million lawsuit after a Bowie State student says he was hazed while he was pledging—and he has pictures of the abuse to prove it.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on the lawsuit against Alpha Phi Alpha.

A 17-page lawsuit details how the student—a junior at Bowie State—says he was punched and paddled by other fraternity members.

Photos show the injuries 20-year-old Kevin Hayes says he sustained while pledging Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at Bowie State University.

“It broke me down. It’s something I never felt before,” he said.

He says his punishers were other fraternity members.

“Something must happen so no one else has to deal with these issues,” Hayes said.

In the lawsuit, Hayes says nights of pledging could last five to eight hours, where he was “punched, hit and slapped.”

“They have a duty under Maryland law to make him safe,” said Jimmy Bell, his attorney.

In a statement, fraternity officials said, “Any member found violating the fraternity anti-hazing policy will be immediately suspended with recommendation for expulsion.”

Bowie State University—which is not named in the lawsuit—did release a statement on the hazing allegation. In that statement, officials say, “Bowie State University has a stringent anti-hazing policy that is coupled with a strong anti-hazing education program. The university considers hazing to be indefensible and contrary to the interest of the university community.”

The alleged hazing incident took place between September 2013 until November. One night, Hayes says an older fraternity member went through Hayes’ phone and found a photo someone took of Hayes’ injuries.

“They began to say `You’re a snitch; you’re always talking. We are going to blackball you.’ They began to ostracize me,” Hayes said.

The lawsuit says Hayes and other pledges were often given jewel shockers, back racks, and fat joes, as well as taking wood during the pledging process.

“This type of stuff, it kills people and it needs to stop,” Bell said.

The alleged incidents of hazing happened off-campus.


I read this.

Twice. Some parts more.

And my final reaction:

I’m sorry (not sorry), but GROW UP. You cannot sue a fraternity because your desire to belong outweighed your conviction against being physically hazed.

Now. Don’t get me wrong. Yes, I am a member of a Black Greek Letter Organization. And I am aware hazing is illegal. But this right here is a bunch of bull. Let’s say you go one night. This night you find out the members are going to put their hands on you. You decide you are not about that life. You express that and move on to file your complaint. Period. I would understand that. But this guy WENT BACK!? You CONTINUED to go back to 5 to 8 hour nights of physical hazing?

That was a decision you made, and you made alone.

And now, since they found out you were taking photos of your injuries and blackballed you….NOW you want to file a lawsuit? Oh PLEASE. Like I said, GROW UP. Take accountability for your own actions and decisions. Your feelings got hurt. Now you want to sue?

The bottom line, people? “Pledging” is a choice. Going through hours and hours of physical hazing is a choice.  YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THAT. As I said before, one time and you decide, “NAH”…I get it. But deciding to sue after going through it for months so you can get attention? Because they blackballed you?

Have a seat, sir.

Alpha Phi Alpha is responding appropriately. Here’s a video of the story with their response:

And my message to all of my fellow BGLO undergraduate members?

It’s not the same.

It’s a new day.

Govern yourselves accordingly.

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