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Archive for Tuesday, December 18, 2012

KU fraternity suspended by national organization in wake of animal cruelty allegations

December 18, 2012

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The Beta Theta Pi national organization has suspended the Kansas University chapter "indefinitely" following allegations of animal cruelty at a party at the fraternity Friday night.

"We were a little shocked by the accounts that are being shared," said Martin Cobb, spokesman for the Beta Theta Pi national organization.

Lawrence police Friday night were called to Beta Theta Pi, 1425 Tennessee St., to investigate an animal cruelty complaint involving a turkey, said Lawrence Police Sgt. Trent McKinley.

Police determined that a live turkey, which had been in a cage, got loose and was "chased and abused by several individuals present at the party, seriously injuring the animal."

Someone killed the turkey, "stating he did so to end its suffering," McKinley said.

No one was arrested, but police will forward the case to the Douglas County District Attorney's Office for possible charging. That process could take several weeks.

Representatives from the KU chapter did not return calls or emails.

Cobb said officials with the national organization are still trying to gather details about the case.

"We want to get to the bottom of things ASAP," he said.

At KU, the national organization, as well as the KU Interfraternity Council, are responsible for investigating such cases and taking action, said Jill Jess, KU spokeswoman.

"Behavior such as that reported is reprehensible and is not what KU would expect from its students," said Jess in a written statement.

Jack Esberg, a KU student and spokesman for the Interfraternity Council, declined comment until the conclusion of the investigation.

Comments

KiferGhost 1 year, 3 months ago

Thanks Isthisajoke for your link. I guess I misunderstood, you really are quite a dude.

1

KiferGhost 1 year, 3 months ago

Remember when they played at the frat house. Man, that was awesome.

1

tange 1 year, 3 months ago

I think we can chalk the whole thing up to a bad trip...

Frat Boys on Acid

_

1

KiferGhost 1 year, 3 months ago

"Isthisajoke 17 hours, 52 minutes ago You really need to be hazed"

Says the little pussycat that has to come on here anonymously to defend abusing a turkey, about the only animal they can manhandle. Suppose most of you are up on the couch shriking like girls if a mouse is in the house.

1

KiferGhost 1 year, 3 months ago

The frat boys have simply picked on something they can handle, a turkey. That's why they have to travel together in rafter like turkeys because they are little you know whats.

1

tange 1 year, 3 months ago

Just for the record, I'd like to note that I have no problem with fraternities, per se. Indeed, I have very little experience with them, apart from several shared pitchers and pool games (billiards) when a bevy of them descended on a little, now nonexistent bar near my college apartment. They seemed like decent guys, called themselves "teeks."

The brotherhood thang is implied, but one would think leadership equally valued. Tradition or not, wouldn't folks attending the nefarious event size up the presence of the turkey for the ill-conceived decision it clearly was and remove the bird and/or themselves from the situation? Wouldn't someone break ranks to observe, "Hey, guys, this really is beneath us."?

I've never been a "joiner," but it seems to me there's nothing in joining or fraternity which implies conformity to or compliance with stupidity or ugliness.

2

IWasAtParty 1 year, 3 months ago

So I have been following these comments/discussions for a little while now. I feel that someone's voice who was there should be heard. I will not go into exact specifics until after we have all spoken with police, university and national fraternity officials. However, there are a lot of misconceptions about what happened at the fraternity friday night. I was playing in the band that night. We have done this gig for several years now and this is the first time we have ever seen anything like this. Usually this party is an entertaining event, people dancing, getting drunk and having fun. Simple as that. Also, this was not a mindless mob of insane guys intent on killing animals, but the very disturbing actions of 5-10 guys and total inaction to stop it by everyone else who saw what was happening. But, EVERTHING stated in the original KC Star article is true. The turkey's cage was kicked in, the animal thrown and chased through the party. The animal was severely injured by those throwing it around, not accidentally. Most importantly, it was not "put out of its misery." The bird was strangled violently on the porch while several boys laughed and/or cheered on the guy who decided to kill it. I walked out there and saw this happen. By the time I could get the guy to stop the bird was dead.. A very detailed list of events will be published on this forum if the DA decides not to press charges against those who committed these crimes, as well as shared with any media outlet that will listen. But I will wait until the investigation has been completed out of respect for those who are conducting it. Just as a side note though, it's been almost a week now and I've called the Lawrence PD twice as well as the chief of police once and no one has called me back or taken my official statement... I have told members of the press I would not do interviews etc until my statement has been taken. I will release all details tomorrow afternoon if they still haven't called me.

4

jonas_opines 1 year, 3 months ago

"Everyone wants to defend the abuse of this turkey because it was just a dumb animal."

Nah. They want to defend the abuse of the animal because it's the way things have been, and no one Ever wants to be told that what they've been doing is wrong, and no one Ever wants to have to change at the impetus of others, no matter how stupid, short-sighted, or senseless whatever they are doing is.

3

Jayhawks1985 1 year, 3 months ago

Yes these are the above average students KU wants to recruit when they raise the GPA standards.

1

Armored_One 1 year, 3 months ago

GDI.

GDI.

Not to break my geekiness out too much, but the first thing that came to mind was the "good guys" in the original Command & Conquer games.

Everyone wants to defend the abuse of this turkey because it was just a dumb animal.

How many of you would be demanding the frat house be boarded up completely, complete with the occupants, and set on fire if it had been a puppy or a kitten? The species doesn't matter. Could the injuries have been accidental, such as someone trying to grab the turkey, only to snag just the wing and the bird's body weight snapped it? Yeah, I could see that.

The jackwads that were kicking on the cage in the first place? If I was, and I openly admit I am not, someone with the authority to boot them from the frat completely, their tails wouldn't touch anything but the toe of my boot until they had already cleared Tennessee Street. This was a complete and total FUBAR on so many levels it's almost unimaginable. I am sure that there was some sort of supervision, if only from the upper classmen. If nothing else, they should have stepped in and stopped this in the beginning.

I've known some very upstanding members of the frats and sororities on campus. I've known a several that weren't as sharp as their shoe laces. A wide variety of punishments need to be leveled against the vast majority of people that attended. Some of those punishments should be severe, while others not so much. There is plenty of blame to pass around that holiday party.

2

hujiko 1 year, 3 months ago

I'm growing fond of fraternity members defending the extended death of an innocent creature, it really exemplifies the positive values they claim to imbue. It's especially amusing when they assert that anyone being critical is somehow jealous that they do not belong to such prestigious organizations. How is 'GDI' even considered an insult? Are certain students less significant when they must work to put themselves through college because their parents cannot afford it? It must terrify greeks when people outside their little club are able to define for themselves an independent identity without purchasing friends or a career. Their inability to realize an identity outside of external institutions is pathetic, and has forced them to defend reprehensible actions that no rational person would attempt to justify.

Carry on.

5

tange 1 year, 3 months ago

Having thoroughly asserted their machismo,
I have just one (more) thing to say to the "men" of Beta Theta Pi:

So, you beat up a turkey....

_

2

Kontum1972 1 year, 3 months ago

wow what a string......guys next time use a frozen turkey...

0

RubyVrooom 1 year, 3 months ago

I just read through all these comments and I can't believe no one has asked what the hell a "turkey pull" is. Is what was described in the KC Star what happens every year at this event? So, I'm inferring that a turkey pull is a party where everyone literally pulls on a live turkey until they break it? What? This is maybe the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. Not only the cruelty aspect, (which is terrible enough) but I'm so perplexed as to why anyone would think that's fun. Hire a freaking mime or something.

3

Linda Endicott 1 year, 3 months ago

This is what part of the problem is...there are far too many people out there who have no regard for anyone or anything except themselves...they have no sympathy, nor empathy, for anyone else...

Anyone who could torture and kill an animal and laugh about it, saying later that "it was no big deal" is capable of doing the same thing to a human being...in my opinion they're mentally ill...who in their right mind could do something like this and then try to fluff it off afterward? Nobody that I'd ever want to know...

Sounds rather akin to something a young man did in Conn. and thought nothing of it...

7

Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 3 months ago

It seems most of the negative posters are fraternity haters and the turkey is just a reason to spew their hatred. I have never understood why non-fraternity individuals care at all about an organization they are unaffiliated with and have no real understanding.
Just to enlighten you, the movie Animal House is a satire based on a fraternity, not a documentary. The Greek system fund raises millions of dollars annually for several charities. The Greeks also donate their time performiing civic duties such as "adopt-a-highway" programs, helping food banks, donating time to those who need it, etc. Please feel free to Google any of these things and you will find much more. In regard to hazing. The hazing is virtually non-existent today. In the past, hazing was similar to the military where a group is sleep deprieved and asked to perform physical tasks. What the old experience was designed to do was build a strong bond between the individuals based on our military boot camp (anyone calling for that hazing to stop?). The bond cultivates a lifetime friendship and these friends are able to support one in another through out life. Since the attack on Greek hazing, these pratices no longer exist and the bonds no longer. The Greek system as a whole no longer serves a purpose other then a place to live. The Turkey Pull tradtion is about some guys chasing a turkey around just as Rocky chased a chicken or the "catch the greased pig" at a fair. I do not like the idea of an animal being injured for a stupid tradition either but blasting the millions of individual Greeks for the actions of a few individuals is ridiculous. Maybe the Greek haters need to ask themselves why they hate Greeks.

1

imagainstit 1 year, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

fourkitties 1 year, 4 months ago

Anyone who didn't try to stop this is an accomplice to the crime and should be prosecuted accordingly. PETA, isn't exactly the organization I'd go with due to their lies, a good ol' animal cruelty investigator would get the job done. Shame on you fellow KU students. You are a disgrace to the University.

3

oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 4 months ago

Old Fraser hall had movies. Greeks. And GDIs. Sat at different levels,,

0

bevy 1 year, 4 months ago

I don't know about the rest of you, but I had to look up "GDI" to fully get the gist of some above posters' statements. I found the definition here. I think #3 is the most accurate. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=gdi

I attended a smaller university with a Greek system, but did not experience any of the "us vs. them" mentality that seems to pervade the Hill. I was in many classes and organizations with Greeks but found them to be largely friendly and fun people. Most were also serious about their education. But again, I attended a smaller university that didn't let in students whose only merit was that their parents had enough money to send them there.

3

bevy 1 year, 4 months ago

Regardless of where this event took place, those involved should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Censure by their national organization is warranted, but irrelevant as it relates to the laws that were broken here. The "slap on the wrist" from either their national chapter or KU's Greek council are not equivalent to nor a replacement for appropriate charges and punishments if guilt is proven. This was a crime, and should be prosecuted as such.

I hope the student who had the compassion to end this poor animal's suffering does not get caught up in the ensuing mess.

5

tange 1 year, 4 months ago

How unimaginative and base a "person" must one be to immerse oneself on a scenario involving the torture of a lesser creature.

7

buckjennings 1 year, 4 months ago

More evidence that frat boys are nothing more than spoiled sociopaths. Also, it's simply shocking that so many people have the "it's an animal, who cares" attitude. Respect for life in all its forms should be the highest principle of our society. It's the lack thereof that leads to things like the massacre at Sandy Hook. In the case of these snot-nosed frat boys, they'll grow up to be bankers and businessmen who will have zero empathy for the working class, the poor, the sick, etc. KU should simply end the Greek system as it's a waste of time and a breeding ground for future sociopaths.

7

FlintHawk 1 year, 4 months ago

The old days — a different sort of coverage. 1903 was prolly the heyday for our friend, happyrock, the consummate parody poster.

Google "beta theta pi turkey pull" to see society page stories from 1903, 1914 and 1964 of the KU Betas' event. (I need to learn how to post links!)

0

yourworstnightmare 1 year, 4 months ago

The reason animal cruelty is against the law is because of the recognition that cruelty to animals often presages cruelty to humans.

The comparison of this to slaughtering and eating animals is facile at best and is a false equivalency.

It would be like comparing killing soldiers during the course of a war to murder.

5

Kylee Manahan 1 year, 4 months ago

I belong to the ASPCA, I think you know my feelings regarding this matter.

0

Deb Engstrom 1 year, 4 months ago

In light of everything else that is going on in our country/world, this is hardly cause such a major reaction. Bring an end to this tradition and move forward.

1

oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 4 months ago

Proper punishment! Cook up the turkey and serve it to them, with a photo of the turkey at each person's spot, like on a placemat!

1

Mary Darst 1 year, 4 months ago

such a sad story....about the attitude of some of our young people...!!

6

mrsdubbya 1 year, 4 months ago

I will certainly be contacting the District Attorney's office and urge them to file charges...these frat boys need to be held accountable for this type of unacceptable and illegal behavior.

3

happyrock 1 year, 4 months ago

No excuses and the guilty individuals will be punished. However, to throw the entire group of men under the bus is wrong. Look in the mirror people. You are all so perfect? You know all? You are the arbiters of right and wrong? There are important things going on in this world. The fiscal cliff and too many guns to name just two. Use your time to build a better world, not tear the one we have down. If you want to change the world, elect some people who will make a difference because the people serving you in Congress and in Topeka aren't your friends.

1

motomom 1 year, 4 months ago

I think the difference here, is that they basically tortured this animal. That's what makes this whole ordeal sickening. What they did was wrong and ugly. Kudos to the band members who had the courage to say something. Plain and simple...no excuses for these guys...at all.

11

happyrock 1 year, 4 months ago

In the good old days we gave the turkey to the house man who killed and ate it for Christmas dinner. I hope the statute of limitations have expired or we all may be in big trouble.

1

andrewgustafson1 1 year, 4 months ago

The torture of this animal for trivial amusement, or enjoyment is awful. BUT, how is this any different than other ways in which animals are used? What is our justification for killing billions and billions of animals for food every year? The answer is enjoyment, i.e they taste food. There is NO necessity involved, it's not necessary to eat animals or animal products; not from an ecological, world hunger, or health standpoint. So the best justification we have for killing billions of animals every year, and subjecting them to awful torture and suffering, is that "they taste good." How are we any different from these frat boys? Our use of animals and their use of this animal are both unnecessary, frivolous and trivial. There is no difference.

1

kujayhawk 1 year, 4 months ago

Remind me not to hire anybody from that fraternity.

5

Steve Swaggerty 1 year, 4 months ago

SERIOUSLY? But if they took it out back and chopped it's head off, to eat for Christmas then it's OK, RIGHT? Let's try to take a step back towards reality!!

1

motomom 1 year, 4 months ago

What does it mean to be suspended?

1

happyrock 1 year, 4 months ago

So if I hunt and eat what I kill I have no regard for human life? What if I wing a bird when hunting? Do I wring its neck? The last time I looked it wasn't some unhappy frat boy pulling off whatever serial killings/mass murder that we read about everyday. Rather it is some disturbed young middle class white boy that thinks he has somehow gotten a raw deal. I hope that everyone on this site who thinks they haven't gotten what they deserve in life isn't our next headline.

0

raw_sunflower 1 year, 4 months ago

Their disregard for animal life will be reflected in their disregard for human life.

10

KansasPerson 1 year, 4 months ago

If you still feel "relaxed" after reading the following, I wouldn't want to be at a party with you or even know you.

"When the men broke the cage, the turkey fled and raced through the dance crowd of about 150 people. It was allegedly chased, thrown like a football and choked by the neck. When the turkey’s wing snapped, and then its leg, the animal began screaming, witnesses said. A drummer playing in the band jumped off the stage and begged the college students to let her have the bird.

"'They told me it was none of my business,' said Lisa McKenzie, whose blues band, Grand Marquis, was hired to play at the fraternity’s formal dinner party. The group had played at the traditional party, which some called “the turkey pull,” for several years.

"McKenzie said the brutality nauseated her and the other band members. They ended their gig before the last set and called police."

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/12/17/3970469/ku-fraternity-investigated-for.html#storylink=cpy

4

Bud Stagg 1 year, 4 months ago

Again, great organization, great track record. They made a mistake and behaved poorly. Every young person does at some point. Look at the comments made on this forumn, some of you behave very poorly at times. Teach them this is bad and let them continue to turn out outstanding young men. And for the Greek haters, they are not your typical Fraternity, but they are college aged young men. I'm sure dorm and apartment dwellers have never done something stupid at a party.

1

happyrock 1 year, 4 months ago

Don't pay any attention to Fiddleback.
Another disgruntled GDI.

0

Eddie_Haskell 1 year, 4 months ago

"Relax people...geez."

Are you kidding? In this uptight politically correct environment that's been forced on us? Next year someone will go to jail for killing a geranium.

1

bookemdano 1 year, 4 months ago

"not necessarily"? What kind of mush-mouth nonsense is that? I would like to know, "necessarily", under what circumstances you would approve of the torture of an animal by drunk college students, or anyone for that matter.

I have no problem whatsoever with killing and eating animals for food. But torture or other cruelty to them is a whole different ball game. I hope there's a special place in hell for folks who do that kind of thing. Losing their fraternity charter should be the least of their worries.

11

Bailey Perkins 1 year, 4 months ago

Traditions aren't always socially acceptable or appreciated by every party. Do I approve of what was done? Not necessarily, but it seems pointless for people to get upset about this when it has been done (the festivities, not necessarily the abusing of a turkey) for generations.

0

Bailey Perkins 1 year, 4 months ago

This is an annual event for Beta (as in 100+ years) and never caused a problem in the past. Relax people...geez.

http://www.behance.net/jackesberg/frame/3042379

1

JackMcKee 1 year, 4 months ago

What's wrong? Didn't get invited to rush?

2

catfishturkeyhunter 1 year, 4 months ago

Later scholarships... On the bright side, at least they still have Sallie Mae or Mom and Dad to pay their way... Serves em right.

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