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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.

{source}

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.

ATL Greek Picnic: BLGOs Get COMPLETELY Out of Line in Hotel

In case you’re wondering what Atlanta Greek Picnic is:

The Atlanta Greek Picnic weekend is the #1 yearly event amongst 9 other similar events across the country designed to provide members of the prestigious Divine Nine Greek letter organization a unique experience that caters to them. This group of influential leaders and tastemakers have consistently drawn a wide variety of Divine 9 members of the Black Fraternities and Sororities all across states across the country that have proclaimed Atlanta Greek Picnic as the “Biggest and Best Greek Picnic weekend in the country”. This event has grown from its subtle beginnings to becoming the most popular destination and focal point for all Greek Chapters, Line Brothers, Line Sisters and Sands to reunite and socialize for one exciting weekend of unity, Service and bonding.

The Atlanta Greek picnic weekend is a great opportunity for us to empower, enlighten and reach out to our Divine 9 organizations with this incredible platform.

Despite the competitiveness of Greeks to be recognized as the number one organization, the unity, respect and competitive spirit is definitely present amongst each other as they bond together for a fun filled weekend of establishing new relationships, Networking and awareness.

As we celebrate 10 successful years of Atlanta Greek Picnic, We are excited as we have another amazing year of events  that will continue to create memories that last a lifetime, establish new and strengthen existing relationships that continue to promote and strengthen Greeks unity amongst all organizations.

This was a video that was posted from the Atlanta Greek Picnic this past weekend. I suspect that this will be deleted soon.

It is absolutely horrible and unacceptable.  There are other guests in that hotel.  ATL Greek Picnic responded on Twitter.

I share this sentiment.  This is absolute ridiculousness and foolishness.  Almost every single stereotype that people have of young blacks was fulfilled not only during this incident, but from what I’m reading other incidents as well.

What is wrong with you people? These new Greeks are going to be the end of our organizations.  Not just from this, but from the display of stupidity that we’re reading about every other month of how you decide to “pledge” new members.  Some of y’all have really lost your minds.

Get it together.

Hazing Files: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated

*sigh*

I don’t get it. I just don’t understand it.  Y’all haven’t learned these kids (and their parents) aren’t having it?

A University of Tennessee fraternity has been suspended after students admitted to hazing.

Student life officials launched an investigation into the UT chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha after receiving a complaint from a concerned parent.

UT documents show the hazing involved paddling and pouring hot sauce on the pledge’s genitals.

DOCUMENTS: Official UT notice of charges

UT officials say the fraternity wasn’t supposed to be admitting any more members, but a dozen students were trying to gain entry. Ten students denied the hazing, but two admitted it after initially denying it.

UT officials revoked the fraternity’s registration until August 2016, which means it’s no longer considered a campus organization.

The fraternity didn’t have a house on campus. Current membership included fewer than 10 people.

{via WBIR}

Now.  I’m concerned.

Because, while I know there are some necessities of hazing (DISCLAIMER: ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY, INCORPORATED IS A NON HAZING ORGANIZATION), there are just some things I don’t see the point of.

Where is the brotherhood in men pouring hot sauce on other men’s genitals?  Why are y’all even that close?  That familiar?  Why are you looking at another man’s genitals close enough to aim and get hot sauce on them? Why?  Am I missing something?  Is this normal practice and maybe we’re just now finding out about it?

I’m wondering why all the reports tho? Because trust me, I know some of these things aren’t anything new. Is it that the parents aren’t Greek and aren’t used to what goes on?  Or maybe they are but didn’t have a process (SEE DISCLAIMER)? Did the students not know what to expect when they signed up?  DO THEY NOT KNOW THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO SIT THERE AND LET A MAN POUR HOT SAUCE ON YOUR GENITALS?

Your chapter has less than 10 people and you’re  doing the most.

See y’all in 2016 mayne.