News came out yesterday that a member (former member?) of the Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter at Southern Methodist University would be suing the sorority for negligence and invasion of privacy. On January 13th of this year, Kappa held their annual bid day event welcoming all their new members. As “tradition” would have it (although I can’t confirm that this is a tradition, considering my ex who was a kappa just responded “asshole” when I asked), a few of the seniors got drunk, stripped down to their underwear — some allegedly went topless — and sang “Cowboy Casanova” to their new members. My kind of party.
The members of Kappa were proactive about keeping everything under wraps by taking all cell phones from every member and new member to ensure that there would not be a video of the event that could get them in trouble. Alas, a video recording still managed to make its way to Kappa nationals. This led to nationals forcing members to identify those dancing and semi-nude in the video. They threatened to turn the video into SMU administrators if they didn’t cooperate. 18 seniors were kicked out, and 10 more were put on probation.
One of the seniors who was let go is taking action by suing the sorority. In the suit, she goes by the name “Jane Doe” to protect her identity. The lawsuit’s main point is that a “Kappa national agent” secretly filmed the members with a security camera without the girl’s consent. Doe’s lawyer, Reggie Dunn, wants nationals to erase any and all recordings from the event while also seeking $1M in damages.
From Dallas Morning News:
While it’s unclear whether the traditional sorority ritual is a violation of national rules, any use of alcohol (even by sorority members of legal drinking age) would be cause for discipline by the organization.
The lawsuit seeks the prevention of any further sharing of the video and destruction of all copies of the recording.
Dunn said his client is devastated about the incident. He said her name is not on the lawsuit because she’s worried about potential embarrassment for her and her sorority sisters if the video is made public.
“She’s been such a successful student and is less than two months away from graduation. This is supposed to be the happiest time in a Kappa senior’s life,” he said.
The lawsuit asks that Kappa national be prevented from sharing or copying the video.
“As one of the fathers said to me, ‘I don’t want my daughter running for city council 10 years from now and this video pops up,’ ” Dunn said. “We need to know who’s seen it, who’s had it so we can be sure that these ladies’ privacy can be protected.”
No one actually leaked the video on social media. The video doesn’t exist in the internet world at all, yet Kappa decided to suspend 18 girls for just having some fun. Seems kind of harsh. However, if the video was filmed by a security camera, can the girls actually claim they didn’t know it was there and they were being filmed without their consent? It’s an honest question. I don’t know law, but it seems like having a security camera in your house is knowledge to everyone. Kappa threatening to release the video to administrators, though, definitely sounds like some sort of illegal action.
We’ll keep you updated with what happens, if anything, but I expect this to be settled quickly and out of court..
[via Dallas Morning News]
Image via Instagram/@kappakappainstagamma