Cornell’s Zeta Beta Tau fraternity has been put on a two-year probation for a contest where pledges earned points for having sex with overweight women. The contest was called a “pig roast”, and if there was a tie, the winner was whoever had slept with the heaviest woman. The women were not informed about the game.
According to the university report, the challenge took place in 2017, but it is unclear how long the contest had been happening. An investigation started after multiple reports about the alleged game, according to Cornell’s Fraternity and Sorority Board. It has been denounced by the university and the fraternity’s national office. The Board concluded that the chapter violated university rules about Greek organizations which prohibit “sexually abusive behavior on the part of its members“.
In addition to the two-year probation, the chapter will conduct a “full membership review” which could lead to the expulsion of various members. Brothers of the fraternity will be required to attend educational programs about healthy relationships and be involved in Cornell’s campus sexual assault awareness week. A live-in advisor will also be instated.
The vice president for student and campus life, Ryan Lombardi, expressed the following about the incident:
“Behavior that degrades and dehumanizes women contributes to a climate and culture of tolerance for sexual violence.”
“Hogging”, where men target women who are considered undesirable for sexual encounters in order to humiliate and demean them, is rumored to occur frequently in university settings. A study done by Texas Christian sociology professor Jeannine A. Gailey found that almost all the college men interviewed knew about the subject of hogging. According to Gailey, “the most disturbing finding was that they all thought it was funny”. Hogging was perceived as a part of the prevalent issue of cultural misogyny.
Cornell has dealt with several instances of abuse and misconduct at its’ fraternities, including the alleged assault of a black student in September at the Psi Upsilon Fraternity. The university report stated that a “verbal exchange between Cornell students including the use of racial slurs led to a physical assault”.
Image Credit: Cornell University