Photo: Getty Images
  /  10.14.2022

When it comes to college, hazing horror stories aren’t uncommon. However, one former fraternity hopeful is saying the Kappa Iota chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity in Tennessee took things too far.

In a lawsuit filed on Oct. 12 in Nashville, an unnamed former student at Middle Tennessee State University alleged he and another Black student endured extreme racial abuse while attempting to pledge. The plaintiff said beginning on Oct. 14, 2021, 10 white males from the Kappa Iota fraternity targeted the only two Black pledges. Local news station WKRN said the incidents reportedly took place during a period called “rush.”

The plaintiff stated white members of the fraternity called him and the other Black student the N-word. He said the two frequently received threats of hangings, kidnappings and being bound. The frats were also said to have played “slave music,” such as chants and songs sung in the field. Discussions surrounding the KKK were also reported. In addition to the racist accusations, the former student said there were other inappropriate factors like alcohol abuse.

Seven months before the lawsuit was filed, the fraternity was permanently expelled from the Tennessee school’s campus. University officials released a statement that said the members of the Kappa Iota chapter violated “the Kappa Sigma Fraternity Code of Conduct including hazing, underage drinking and conduct unbecoming.”

WKRN reached out to the ​​Kappa Sigma Fraternity for a statement regarding the former student’s current lawsuit. The organization responded, “The Kappa Sigma Fraternity as a matter of policy does not comment on current or active litigation.” The plaintiff says the chapter’s actions caused him to suffer from “emotional distress, mental anguish, anxiety, fear, degradation, humiliation and depression.” As a result, he canceled his enrollment at the school and moved out of the state. He is seeking $15,000,000 in damages.


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