This post has been updated with a statement from the Cornell Delta Phi Association.
Following hazing events that occurred in February 2018, the University revoked the recognition of the Cornell chapter of Delta Phi — also known as Llenroc — for a period of “no less than four years” according to the University’s hazing violations website.
Several reports of hazing were sent to the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life during new-member period. Per protocol, OFSOL’s Review Board launched and completed an investigation into the chapter and found it “responsible for violations of the Fraternity and Sorority Recognition Policy (including hazing) and Event Management Guidelines, and five violations of the Expectations for Membership.”
The investigation found that new members were forced to participate in activities that included “forced consumption of alcohol,” as well as “mentally and sexually intimidating activities” and “physically abusive behavior.”
According to the hazing violations page, new members had to participate in a drinking challenge called a “boat race,” where they were always on the losing team and then had to participate in another race. They were also put in “line ups” where they were asked questions, and when they answered incorrectly, they had to drink a “jammer,” a drink that included items like hot sauce or other “unsavory liquids.”
“We’re hoping that the new policies passed by the IFC, as well as president Pollack’s mandates will help prevent future incidents like these,” said Interfraternity Council President Paul Russell ’19 in an interview with The Sun.“No one should have to undergo this kind of treatment just to join an organization. It’s a major mental health risk, a major physical health risk, and a major legal risk.”
The brothers also had new members participate in a scavenger hunt where they were left without transportation back to campus. On a separate occasion they asked them to wear a bathing suit and wait near a campus bridge at night. The new members were also blindfolded and left in a boiler room.
The report also stated new members were asked to watch pornography and were given the impression they would be performing a “elephant walk” — a hazing practice in which men stand in a line and walk while holding the genitals of the person in front of them. They were also told they would be consuming a “semen beverage,” but it was later reported to be cornstarch.
“The Cornell Delta Phi Association’s alumni Board of Trustees has taken steps to ensure that hazing will have no place in the chapter’s future new member programs,” Alex Franco ’92, Secretary for the Cornell Delta Phi Association said in an email to the Sun. “We will continue to support our undergraduate members who have been shown to be thoughtful, charitable, and encouraging of diversity and change.”
“Going into this next new member period, we’ll have new ways for students to get involved in making a change in their chapters, more involvement on the hazing prevention front from alumni, and a group of new chapter presidents,” Russell said. “We’re still looking at additional creative ways to address these issues, since they’re often imbedded in the traditions of some chapters, so hopefully we’ll be able to capitalize on this momentum toward cultural change and see more chapters implement safer policies.”
According to the hazing violations site, Delta Phi appealed the charges, but the findings were upheld. Following the four-year period, if the chapter chooses to petition to return, it will be placed on probationary recognition status for “a period of no less than two years.”
The Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life has not responded to The Sun’s requests for comment.