Cornell University frat ran a 'pig roast' contest with points earned for sexual conquests

Elise Solé
Yahoo Lifestyle
Cornell University investigated a fraternity after members threw a “pig roast” contest based on sexual challenges. (Photo: Getty Images)
Cornell University investigated a fraternity after members threw a “pig roast” contest based on sexual challenges. (Photo: Getty Images)

Cornell University is “appalled and disgusted” by an investigation that found one of its fraternities conducted a “pig roast” that allowed members to rack up points by having sex with women.

According to the Cornell Daily Sun, an independent student newspaper in Ithaca, N.Y., the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity ran the contest sometime in 2017 unbeknownst to the female targets, with a tie-breaking vote determined by which woman weighed the most.

After the university’s Fraternity and Sorority Review Board investigated, it put the frat on a two-year probation, imposed an external review by the national organization, mandated participation in Cornell’s upcoming Sexual Assault Awareness Week, and hired a live-in adviser for the probation period, among other punishments.

Paul Russell, the Interfraternity Council president, told the Daily Sun that the fraternity’s actions were “not normal.” He added, “The IFC was appalled and disgusted by the activity described in the reports.”

Cornell, which did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment, also found that the fraternity violated the Fraternity and Sorority Expectations of Membership, which prohibit “sexually abusive behavior on the part of its members.”

In 2014, Jezebel reported that Georgia Tech shut down the Phi Kappa Tau chapter after a member sent an email with the subject line “Luring your rapebait,” containing a set of instructions for how to — putting it mildly — seduce a woman. The school then conducted an investigation, which found a “pattern of sexual violence that … suggests a deep-rooted culture within the fraternity that is obscene, indecent and endangers women.”

And in 2012, Wesleyan University‘s Beta Theta Pi house was hit with a sexual assault lawsuit from a woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted at a 2010 Halloween party. She also referred to the frat as a “Rape Factory.” The case was settled in 2013, and one year later, the frat was suspended by the national office.

The influence of Greek life on campuses, particularly fraternity culture, is a much-debated topic — a 2007 study found that frat members were three times more likely to commit rape, with the findings echoing two previous studies. “What was particularly remarkable about our study is that we found that it was the fraternity experience that led men to be more likely to rape,” study co-author John Foubert wrote on the CNN website.

He added: “What we found was highly instructive. Before they got to college, fraternity men were no different from other male students. They committed the same number of incidents of sexual assaults before college. But here’s the difference. Guys who joined a fraternity then committed three times as many sexual assaults as those who didn’t join. It is reasonable to conclude that fraternities turn men into guys more likely to rape. Our study confirmed that fraternities provide the culture of male peer support for violence against women that permits bad attitudes to become treacherous behavior. And that should concern everyone.”

On Tuesday, a Tennesse lawmaker proposed a bill to ban fraternities and sororities in an effort to curb assault and hazing. “I’ve thought about it for quite some time. You realize that some legislation is volatile. You realize that it’s not going to be popular, and you may hold off,” Rep. John DeBerry Jr., a told Time. “But the continuation of assaults and hazing incidents and just bad behavior — not just in Tennessee, but all over the country — at some point in time, you have to force the argument and force the discussion.”

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