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I’ve read, and heard, some pretty fucked up stories about hazing. Of course, there are the stupid ones, like the goobers who complained about being forced to be designated drivers at Louisville. And then there are really bad ones, like the poor bastard at Syracuse who lost four of his fingers to frostbite after being forced to work out outside in sub-zero temperatures. , Well, the details included in a lawsuit filed in Providence (RI) County Superior Court last week regarding hazing at TKE at Johnson & Wales fall into the latter category.
A former Johnson & Wales student, Terrance Bennett, is suing TKE for the hazing he allegedly endured during Fall 2014. According to Courthouse News Service, the complaint states that, “in the name of brotherhood, members of TKE had him branded, beat him with wooden paddles, burned him with cigarettes, urinated on him, forced him to eat raw onions and butter until he threw up, and then made him shower in his own vomit.” My gut reaction as a girl is “What the fuck?!” but from what I’m told by my guy friends, none of this is really out of the ordinary (except the urination and vomit shower), unless you consider whatever went on was so severe that Bennett wound up spending a month in intensive care as the result of his injuries.
According to court documents, Bennett was one of three pledges left standing when he approached his big brother, TKE’s chapter president Michael McAteer (who is now a defendant in the case) for advice because he was in so much pain that he could not sit or walk. McAteer allegedly told him not to go to the hospital “because people would ask questions,” and the fraternity would be in a lot of trouble.
Bennett complied until one night he went to sleep and woke up in intensive care at the hospital. He remained there for a month, recovering from jaundice, getting the necrotized flesh removed, and having skin grafts — among other surgeries. The doctors thought the injuries were bad enough that they called the police.
According to The Daily Beast:
Doctors treating him at the hospital immediately notified local police of Bennett’s injuries, according to the Providence Police Department, but when officers arrived to investigate what appeared to be an aggravated assault, Bennett wouldn’t cooperate. “He was reluctant to talk about how and why the incident occurred,” Providence Police spokeswoman Lindsay Lague said. “So that was it. No charges were ever filed.”
No charges were filed, but the chapter was closed in February by the national organization after they investigated the hazing allegations. Alex Baker, Chief Information Officer for Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity, wrote in a statement, “After receiving allegations of hazing, we conducted an investigation into the Tau-Mu chapter of TKE. At the conclusion of the investigation, Tau Kappa Epsilon made the decision to close the chapter on February 2, 2015. The group is no longer recognized as an active chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon and is not allowed to represent themselves as a student organization on campus.”
Image via Johnson And Wales University