Those anti-hazing lectures nationals imposes on every chapter under its name are nothing but fluff until shit hits the fan. The vast majority of us will have graduated without a single major incident occurring in our chapter. Those of us who aren’t so lucky, however, receiving the business end of a torture device known as the United States court system.
Linfield College’s Pi Kappa Alpha received their worst nightmare yesterday in the form of an $8.47 million lawsuit stemming from a hazing incident last April that went painfully wrong.
The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, identifies the defendants as the national Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, its local chapter Delta Rho, the local chapter’s building association, Linfield College and a man named William Samp.
According to the lawsuit, “as part of a required ‘pledge’ party to ‘initiate’ students into ‘full’ fraternity membership,” the defendants “coerced” 20-year-old Kellen Johansen to drink alcohol, forced him to run naked through the college’s campus and to retrieve illegal fireworks.
Samp is identified in the lawsuit as the president of the fraternity.
According to the lawsuit, the fireworks were stored in a shed on the fraternity house’s property, which is owned by the building association.
Samp “then negligently discharged the illegal fireworks, resulting in a catastrophic injury that required the surgical removal” of Johansen’s right eye, the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit claims the illegal fireworks Samp lit failed to launch, and instead exploded on the ground, striking Johansen instead, leading to the loss of his eye. A textbook example of a hazing worst case scenario. Outside of a death, the loss of a body part is a foolproof method to expulsion and possible time in lockup.
Don’t play with fireworks, men. The return on investment is usually piss poor, and that’s if it all goes as planned.
None of the parties involved have commented on the matter, but I’m sure they have more pressing concerns on the mind than dealing with a nosy reporter..
I received the following statement this morning from Pi Kappa Alpha.
Image via PKA – Delta Rho Facebook