Penn State Closes “Facebook Frat”

Kappa Delta Rho "promoted a culture of harassing behavior."


Penn State students in March protest against Kappa Delta Rho.

Penn State on Tuesday ordered the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity on campus be closed for three years, a decision reached after spring revelations that members of the fraternity had posted pictures of nude, unconscious women to a private Facebook page.

“The investigative report makes clear that some members of the KDR chapter promoted a culture of harassing behavior and degradation of women. These are not acceptable actions within a student organization that is recognized and supported by Penn State,” said Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs, in a letter to university’s Interfraternity Council. “We must respond accordingly, and we hope by doing so it is clearly understood that our University will not tolerate such actions.”

The university disclosed some of what it found during its investigation:

The University’s investigation concluded that some KDR fraternity members had over the course of time engaged in sexual harassment and misconduct; hazing activities, such as forcing pledges to run errands, clean the fraternity house, and participate in boxing matches; and had forced pledges to “plank with bottle caps on their elbows.” This means they were forced to hold up their body weight on their arms with bottle caps placed underneath.

Pledges also were made to create stories containing pornographic images and a “sex position of the day;” members regularly posted embarrassing photos of women; used demeaning language to describe females; and cultivated a persistent climate of humiliation for several females.

The fraternity can ask PSU to restart the chapter after three years. PSU could review the application and put conditions on any re-opening.