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Kappa Delta Rho Whistleblower Names Penn State in Lawsuit

The Kappa Delta Rho fraternity house
Emily Reddy
/
WPSU

Thirty-eight members of Penn State’s Kappa Delta Rho have been expelled from the fraternity. The national executive director of Kappa Delta Rho, Joseph Rosenberg, announced the expulsions Monday in a press release. The remaining members of the Penn State chapter were moved to alumni status.

 

A review by the national organization said the conduct of some members of the Penn State chapter did not meet the values of the overall organization, which include “respect for all persons at all times.”

 

In May, Penn State leadership suspended the local chapter of Kappa Delta Rho for a period of three years, following investigations into a private Facebook page with photos of nude women who appeared to be unconscious.

 

Penn State’s investigation also revealed incidents of hazing and drug dealing.

 

The actions taken by the frat’s national leadership are separate from any additional disciplinary action that might be taken by Penn State.

 

James Vivenzio, the whistleblower and former Kappa Delta Rho member who alerted State College Police about the fraternity’s Facebook page, has filed a lawsuit against the university and the suspended chapter.

 

According to the complaint, Vivenzio says Penn State ignored his reports of hazing, drug use and sexual assault at the fraternity for more than eight months before he contacted the State College Police.

 

Penn State “strongly disputes” the allegations in the lawsuit, according to a statement from Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers.

 

Penn State says officials and staff offered to help Vivenzio, but that he was unwilling to “file a complaint, provide documentation, speak with State College Police or participate in pursuing the formal disciplinary process.”

 

Penn State also says Vivenzio did not tell them about the existence of the Facebook group.

 

In the lawsuit, Vivenzio says he failed out of Penn State as a result of extreme hazing while he was a part of the fraternity. He’s seeking compensation for emotional, physical and financial damages, including post-traumatic stress disorder and physical abuse.

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