The University of Alberta is investigating the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity for hazing. A video was taken of portions of the event which reveal that hazing of pledges took place over a 4 day period. Typically, the hazing over this period of time is part of “Hell Week” where pledges complete their initiation rituals to become members of the fraternity. In this instance, the video shows that sleep deprived pledges were forced eat their own vomit, raw onions, and were yelled at and berated and were threatened with violence.

The school newspaper is reporting that alumni members of the fraternity claim that in years past, pledges were forced to endure extreme dehydration, and that then pledges were forced to consume Kool-Aid with salt, and encouraged to drink excessive amounts of alcohol and that the pledges would also be put through strenuous physical tests like wind sprints and push-ups.

This case presents a very typical type of hazing case except for the release of the video taping of the events which are usually considered to be “sacred” by the fraternity and kept under strict secrecy. Usually, the fraternity pledges are forced to undergo certain rituals, exercises or to participate in activities that lead to others being injured or killed. Often, alcohol is involved and the fraternity members engage in these activities every year under the banner of “tradition” to make the pledges feel as as a test of loyalty and unity. These hazing activities often are considered a rite of passage that the victim must endure before the victim is permitted to become an official member of the group. These rites of passage tend to focus on efforts to humiliate, embarrass and often times even involve physical or sexual assault that may cause permanent physical and mental injuries, and in some cases even result in death. Then, after the fact, the group involved often tends to “circle the wagon” to protect the organization and the individuals involved as part of the Code of Silence. Education and enforcement of anti-hazing policies and laws appear to be the best ways to combat this counter-culture and to expose these groups and behaviors. Holding those involved accountable is an important step towards stopping the cycle of abuse so that others will know that these illegal behaviors will not be tolerated.

If you or a loved one is seriously injured or killed as a result of a hazing incident, it is important that you take action quickly to protect your rights. Communicating in writing with the appropriate organizational, educational and police authorities to properly and timely document your complaints is extremely important. Some schools and universities have extremely short deadlines (sometimes as short as 48 hours from the time of the incident) in their Codes of Conduct to report such conduct if you desire for the institution to take any action. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to know your rights and take action quickly to protect those rights.

Montes Law Group, P.C.

Attorney: Rachel Montes

1121 Kinwest Parkway, Suite 100

Irving, Texas 75063

Telephone (214) 522-9401

Facebook @ Montes Law Group, P.C.


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