Archive for Tuesday, December 18, 2012

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

December 18, 2012


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.


Jeremiah Jefferson 5 years, 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.

JackMcKee 5 years, 4 months ago

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

Bailey Perkins 5 years, 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.

Josh Brumm 5 years, 4 months ago

That implies that every year they abuse a live turkey as party entertainment. And that makes it better how?

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

So you think that torturing a turkey for human entertainment is on the same level as slaughtering a turkey for human sustenance?

Josh Brumm 5 years, 4 months ago

You know, I chase my dogs & cats all the time, but never so much that I had to kill them to "end their suffering." And yes, I have seen how food animals are treated. They also aren't tortured to death, and when animal cruelty is found on the farm the farmers get arrested too.

livinginlawrence 5 years, 4 months ago

"people are hurt and killed everyday. nothing from you. a turkey is killed? String them up! i feel ill."

Right, because no one ever cares or even reacts when people are murdered. Tortured? Heck, I've been know to fall asleep when I hear about people getting tortured...because I'm so bored!

asixbury 5 years, 4 months ago

It is never ok to torture or abuse an animal. It is a whole different story if an animal is properly slaughtered for food (there are regulations in place determining the acceptable ways). You are part of the problem if you cannot see the difference. Shame on you. Remember, karma's a b**ch.

Bailey Perkins 5 years, 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.

MarcoPogo 5 years, 4 months ago

I think you just gave the big OK to cross burnings.

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

Bailey, I don't know whether you attended Turkey Pull as a member's date or why else you would volunteer to be an apologist, but incidents like this can hardly be excused as differences in tastes. To be clear, this house is suspended for this particular year's incident, not for the more general Turkey Pull party traditions.

Moreover, "traditions" that Beta have had for generations (again, forced silent servitude of pledges, forcing them to strip and be berated) are hardly excusable just because they've somehow survived the spread of modern standards for human dignity, accountability, and common sense.

Isthisajoke 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't know why you are bringing hazing into this discussion but compared to other houses on campus (who have admittedly gotten in varying degrees of trouble this year) Beta's "hazing" is nothing. I know the freshman like to exaggerate so there has been a lot of talk about how hard Beta is on their pledges. Take a quick look behind the doors of Phi Psi, Sigma Chi, or Sig Ep and you would probably praise the Beta upperclassmen for not actually hazing their pledges. Believe me, it's a lot worse everywhere else, and I've been through it myself. I'm not opposed to hazing, so I won't go into whether it is right or wrong, but if you have the opinion that it's wrong, you need to be criticizing the houses who actually still haze.

Tim Quest 5 years, 4 months ago

Well, it's wrong, so you don't have to get into it. Moreover, it's illegal and against KU, IFC, and individual fraternity regulations. Hope you stick with your studies; I might suggest taking PHIL 148 - Reason and Argument before trying the comments again.

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

Gee, FarneyMac, you just slapped IsThisaJoke so silly that from henceforth he will be known by the name IamtheJoke.

Nice work.

Isthisajoke 5 years, 4 months ago

That's a matter of opinion, buddy. Regardless of your idiotic rant, hazing is not the issue here so I was pointing out that it is not relevant to this article or the situation. Even if it were the topic of the article, Beta would be the last place I would start with to crack down on hazing. Also thanks for the offer, but I've got all my HR credits fulfilled. I suggest you consider taking English 101. A semicolon can only be used to join two independent clauses. Nice try though! Maybe next time you won't make yourself look like a complete idiot.

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

Read it again; he did join two independent clauses.

Isthisajoke 5 years, 4 months ago

He left the subject off of the first clause. You can leave the subject off of an imperative clause as you did because "you" is an understood pronoun. This means that while "Read it again" is an independent clause, "Hope you stick with your studies" is not an independent clause. You are making a complete fool out of yourself.

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

Pfft. Yes, "I" is not technically an understood pronoun, but it's dropped all the time in informal writing, particularly with the verb "hope." Seriously, are you really going to argue this stuff? I could have corrected run-ons and missing punctuation all over your posts below. Do you think I would call you a "complete idiot" or fool over that? No one here has even called you a name, even when you make statements about not opposing hazing. If you don't want to be addressed as "young man," try not sounding so much like one...

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

"I don't know why you are bringing hazing into this discussion"

Young man, I bring it up because group mistreatment of animals does not usually arise out of nowhere, even with alcohol involved. In general, group abuses tend to stem from other group abuses. A warped and calloused collective psychology is not only a plausible but probable context for how such an incident occurred.

Moreover, I know for a fact that the Beta pledge program historically includes numerous hazing practices, including the exhaustive preparations for this party, and what happens to pledges is therefore as much of a criminal issue, or more likely a far larger one, than what happened to the bird.

"Believe me, it's a lot worse everywhere else, and I've been through it myself." You mean you’ve pledged at multiple fraternities? Sorry, but “the other guys are so much worse” is about the oldest line in the book. I don’t dispute that the other houses also haze, but I have detailed knowledge of Beta’s program from my friend. Unlike you, I'm only addressing the house with which I am thoroughly familiar.

By “you need to be criticizing the houses who actually still haze,” you mean to say that Beta no longer does anything listed in the right-hand column here?

Historically, Beta has done a number of things that are on parts A and B; I can list them if you wish. Do you deem such practices to not be true hazing simply because they fall short of paddling or other violent forms listed in part C? Coming from a young man who is clearly not being forthright and openly supports some amount or forms of hazing, your credibility to actually answer this ultimate question appears quite minimal.

Isthisajoke 5 years, 4 months ago

No, you're not unlike me. I am very familiar with this house and I know almost the entire junior and senior pledge classes. These kids did not mess with this turkey because they got yelled at for a couple months, while I know you probably get really excited about these psychological theories, you are incorrect. That is just like blaming the Connecticut shooting on video games.

Calling me "young man" how old are you anyway? You are some angry old alum coming back to try to spoil old traditions? And no, smartass, I have not pledged multiple fraternities, only one. Like I said I have many friends in Beta, but also all of those other houses I mentioned earlier. I know when someone is exaggerating, and I have a very good idea of what each pledgeship is like. I had a fairly rough pledgeship, including both physical and verbal abuse, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. It brought my pledge class together with the strongest bond possible.

None of these kids have ever experienced anything physical such as wall sits/bows and toes/paddling/other physical "activities" because even 3 years after my pledgeship the IFC has cracked down very hard. There are some houses that still do several things on that list. Beta does not. Beta is probably the best about hazing, limiting it to verbal abuse. Hazing brings people together, it gets rid of their cocky high school mentalities. It weeds out the emotionally weak who don't belong in a fraternity in the first place. Imagine the military without hazing. It would be terribly unstructured and it wouldn't produce strong, serious soldiers. Obviously there need to be limits on fraternity hazing to prevent physical harm from occurring, but other than that it should remain. The world is changing though, so regardless of either of our opinions, fraternities will be cracked down on to become "politically correct"

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

I appreciate you clarifying how you try to compare houses based on informal surveying of other pledges' experiences. Believe it or not, pledging multiple houses wasn't meant as a "smartass" question; I met a guy who had done that. I called you "young man" because you're clearly still in school, and yes, I am an older KU alum, though not as old as you're probably thinking. And you can balk at the hazing connection all you like, but unfortunately, you can't exclude the pledge program and house dynamics from what happened; they are inextricable in such an intensely collective environment. Mass shootings are about an individual's psychology; this is about the group animal -- the internal coercions and stresses, and volatile releases of all that pressure during parties.

When you say you wouldn't trade your pledgeship, including both physical and verbal abuse, for anything, and that it forged the maximum bond with your pledge brothers, that's both a very common and extremely myopic type of rationalization. It ignores that such overzealous programs usually bring the pledge class together at the expense of relations between classes, often creating deep class divisions in the house. And you say it purges the "cocky high school mentalities," as if the sophomores aren't revisiting that same post-high school pool of toxic arrogance as they haze the freshman pledges.

And you say hazing weeds out the emotionally weak as if there's no intellectual argument for leaving such environments. But there's a whopping intellectual argument: FRATERNITIES ARE NOT THE MILITARY! The only reason young men in fraternities fool themselves into emulating military initiations is that most are away from their parents and experiencing freedom for the first time in their lives, so they convince themselves that proving their masculinity involves enduring such phony crucibles and empty sacrifices, all to prove loyalty to something bigger than their own post-adolescent egos. But they're just trading in individual arrogance for collective arrogance and a martyr complex that they use to fuel their hazing of the next pledge class. My friend and I have discussed how he even ran into older house members and former pledge brothers years later, and how stupid several of these men would say it all seemed in hindsight. Because, again, IT'S NOT THE FRIGGIN' MILITARY!!

Isthisajoke 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm not saying fraternities are trying to emulate hazing in the military. I have friends who have been through both the military and pledgeship, and they have all told me that the military is infinitely harder and the type of hazing is much worse. Fraternities and the military both haze for the same reason, but one is not trying to emulate the other. Coming in from high school to a fraternity, hazing is basically a slap in the face that however popular or athletic you were in high school, none of that makes any difference anymore. No one cares how cool you were in high school. If I hadn't experienced that, I guarantee you I would still be stuck in the group of kids from my high school that pledged the same house as I did. It wasn't to "prove loyalty", instead it successfully brought every person in my class onto the same level and made everyone realize that if we didn't work together, we wouldn't make it through pledgeship and even if we did, we would do a terrible job running the house in the future.

I understand what you're saying, and I'm sure it's like that in some fraternities, but that wasn't my experience at all. I know for a fact I'm never going to look back on it and think that it was stupid. It seems to me like you took a psychology class once and you think you have all the answers. While you have a cool theory, it's just not as simple as that. Maybe you should start by explaining why hazing works in the military, in the job place, in sports, but not in fraternities. Quite obviously, it has its benefits, but I know someone like you, even if you realized it, you would never admit it.

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

First, I've never taken a psych class in my life; this is all entirely based on discussions with my friend and his reflections. So these aren't abstract and borrowed theories, and I'm not trying to be so simplistic and dismissive so as to discount the value some men find in these organizations.

And I'm hardly saying that fraternity hazing matches the hardships of military initiation. I'm saying that certain elements are obviously borrowed, like barking insults at men standing shoulder-to-shoulder in their underwear, or making wayward pledges do tedious or disgusting cleaning jobs, or producing exhaustion via herculean assignments that, combined with schoolwork, amount to deliberate sleep deprivation. And yet you say the military and frats haze for the same reasons, but the latter is not emulating the former. Can you explain?

Yes, I'm very familiar with the argument that many cocky incoming freshmen supposedly need such a "slap in the face." But many are more actually humble and don't need that. And how presumptuous and paternalistic is it for a bunch of young men only a year or so older than you to decide that a one-size-fits-all slap is what you need? Afterall, they barely even know who you are or what you were like in high school!

You want me to explain why hazing is actually justified in the military? Well, obviously unit cohesion and a certain amount of groupthink are necessary to ensure that men truly guard each other's lives and act in unison on the battlefield, almost as if each soldier were an appendage of a larger body. But should college students who merely want strong social bonds and friendships really be grasping for such extreme inter-dependence? I certainly don't think so, nor do I think they have the judgment or perspective to independently attempt to produce such bonds in ways that are safe and ultimately worthwhile.

Meanwhile, hazing, at least as it's defined in that link I shared, has no place in the civilian workforce. Yes, interns and newbies are often assigned tedious, mundane, or otherwise unattractive tasks. But that isn't hazing so much as what's called "entry-level work", and it should never be assigned with less respect than is afforded to more senior employees. "Entry-level" chores for pledges would be completely acceptable, and that's indeed what many pledges think they are signing on for before they realize that they're actually trapped in a world of military fetishism. And that's why my friend left.

KansasPerson 5 years, 4 months ago

Don't be disingenuous, Bailey. People aren't upset about the "tradition" of the party; they're upset about the animal abuse.

nhud 5 years, 4 months ago

What a cop out....look out society, here comes the expansive Bailey Perkins!

John Kyle 5 years, 4 months ago

@Larry: what are you trying to say about his nuts?

Topple 5 years, 4 months ago

Thank you for volunteering as an example of our failed education system, Bailey.

"It seems pointless for people to get upset about this when it has been done for generations."

Do you have the same attitude about women's suffrage? Gay rights? Torture? Slavery?

BlueWaffle 5 years, 4 months ago Hey it's been going on for over 5000 years. So Bailey did 9/11, the murders in Conneticut and other events like that upset you because according to your post "it seems pointless for people to get upset about this when it has been done..." "for generations"

Dan Edwards 5 years, 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.

Eddie_Haskell 5 years, 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.

Biff1425 5 years, 4 months ago

Animals suffer pain. Why would humans intentionally inflicting pain one of one of God's creatures not upset you more? I hope no one ever thinks that you are just a moronic creature unworthy of empathy and rights . Did I just say that?

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

Biff1425, if you're going to troll, you could at least not give yourself away by using Beta's house's street address in your username.

happyrock 5 years, 4 months ago

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

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

Pay no attention to that man behind the --er-- the guy who claims to know what's festering under that rock at 1425...

Instead, listen to me, a non-ironic version of Jack Donaghy! I'm a wealthy Beta alum who in the other thread just proudly claimed that I and my ilk "run this country" (and of course KU) with our piles and piles of donated money...and we've already made sure this issue goes away, at least locally. Nope, nothing to see here...

Pete Kennamore 5 years, 4 months ago

I suspect the only thing you run is your mouth

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

Indeed, "good one" as the kids say. A toast to you!

happyrock 5 years, 4 months ago

I think that was meant for you "Fiddlefaddle". Anyway, I am home smoking Cuban cigars that I am lighting with $100 bills. Meanwhile you are home crocheting a scarf for your cat!

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

Yes, I get that, hence the outmoded (sarcastic) compliment...

Crochete? Quite the vivid imagination! It must be swell to picture opponents as pure caricatures. In return you've generously spared me the trouble of even having to woolgather-- that cigar routine is perfect self-parody. Cheers and have fun burning the "Benjamins," as they say, old sport!

nhud 5 years, 4 months ago

At least it appears that it is connected to her brain unlike your moronic one liner.

Bud Stagg 5 years, 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.

KansasPerson 5 years, 4 months ago

Not a greek hater, but tired of hearing such things referred to as "mistakes." A mistake is when you forget to carry the 2 when figuring your tip. Not comparable to making a choice to inflict harm.

And I can't believe you're trying to play the "Oh, tell me you've never done anything like that" card. No matter where I lived, I would never do this. Never.

Biff1425 5 years, 4 months ago

Agree KansasPerson. My 12 year old burst into tears when she read the coverage in the Star. The bird had it's wing and leg broken. It then ran screaming for it's life, while a bunch of "men" chased it. Animals have no voice to defend themselves against moronic people. A 20 lb creature being kept in a cage surrounded by people at least 5 times their size (we are talking Betas afterall) and then thrown, choked and mutilated . . . all for entertainment. This is no mistake. . . it's an act of hatred and a blatant disregard for the creatures of the earth.. It sickens me. . .

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

Frat boy, didn't you just copy this 12 year old thing from the other thread?

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

BIff1425, a.k.a. frat boy troll, if you're going to be a troll, you could at least not give yourself away by using Beta's house's street address in your username. Also, try to master the difference between it's (it is/was/has) and its (possessive).

George_Braziller 5 years, 4 months ago

Someone has to "teach" them that animal cruelty is bad?

Yes I did some dumb things at the same age like dropping a bowling ball out of a third story dorm window onto an empty sidewalk to see if the ball would bounce or break. However torturing an animal doesn't even come close to that. I hope the charter is pulled permanently.

Catalano 5 years, 4 months ago

Did it bounce or break? Sorry, I flunked Physics.

George_Braziller 5 years, 4 months ago

Bounced the first time about ten feet. Second time only about seven. Third time it finally split in half. We had fun with it and it didn't involve any mobs torturing any animals.

Isthisajoke 5 years, 4 months ago

Keyword: dorm

You are a GDI and always will be a GDI. You will never experience living in a fraternity so you should take your business elsewhere. I agree that the few individuals involved should be punished, maybe put on social probation and given a legal charge or two, but don't put this on the whole organization. You remember when that kid jumped off FIJI's roof and paralyzed himself? Oh wait you're a GDI so you probably don't remember that. Anyway FIJI is still around. There were really no other individuals to blame in that situation, so they blamed the whole house and kicked most of their members out. It ruined their house and their reputation for a while. A kid jumped off the roof and can never walk again, but their house is still around. So you're telling me that a house should be shut down because a turkey got kicked around a couple times? Get a life. You're probably still mad they wouldn't give you a bid.

Biff1425 5 years, 4 months ago

Don't make an arse of yourself Isthisajoke. I'll bet at least half the comments on here are from Greeks. You are making us look like jerks.

Brian Laird 5 years, 4 months ago

"Kicked around a couple of times"? An animal got abused for the sick entertainment of a group of so-called men. No excuse for that under any circumstances. The fact that you are defending this is, in my view,pathetic.

juneb 5 years, 4 months ago

This statement is completely idiotic. So much so that I couldn't help but laugh a little bit. What is so wrong about being a GDI? Just because some of us are not part of the greek system means nothing. I have multiple friends in fraternities so I know what life is like behind closed doors. What you guys do to your so called "friends" and pledges makes me sick. Not letting pledges take a shower the entire initiation week? Forcing them to drink more despite the fact they're on the verge of passing out or throwing up? This may not be what your personal fraternity does, but I'm sure you do something along the same lines and there's no denying it. I've been to one date party at a fraternity and I will never go again. The things you guys do are just down right stupid. And you call yourselves "respectable men". A house SHOULD be punished for a turkey getting "kicked around a couple of times" because it IS ABUSE. Flat out. I don't know how else to explain this to you. But you're a greek member so you're probably getting a different education than me. We're not mad because houses didn't give us a bid. We're mad and disgusted at the abuse towards an animal. So please, before you make another comment, make sure it's an intelligent one that serves a purpose.

Isthisajoke 5 years, 4 months ago

Most houses don't force their pledges to drink or prevent them from showering. Obviously you don't have friends in fraternities and you are just making assumptions based on the rumors you've heard and the movies you've watched. Get a life.

And why does my comment have to be intelligent and serve a purpose? I could care less about how you value my comments on a newspaper website.

George_Braziller 5 years, 4 months ago

"And why does my comment have to be intelligent and serve a purpose?"

I think you've summed up all of your comments in one sentence.

KiferGhost 5 years, 4 months ago

Not need to worry Isthisajoke, as you pointed out the frats get in trouble and it eventually goes back to normal. FIJIs also served alcohol to a highschool kid in the house and the Wheel and the kid ended up killing an innocent woman out on highway 10. Like you said, they are still there. That's the beauty of the greek system, it's an old boy network for jobs, opportunities, and getting cleared after a little token time of penitence. For those of you who come on to taunt the average Joes just shows that all the fancy cars and clothes doesn't hide the fact that you all are just spoiled brats waiting to go screw the world.

KansasPerson 5 years, 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:

Janet FitzGerald 5 years, 4 months ago

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

Jayhawk_4_Life 5 years, 4 months ago

that's a bold statement, tell that to any hunter...and I like how you give your own comment a thumbs up.

nddjayhawk 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm a hunter from a family of hunters...this story disgusts me. I hunt to eat and to feed my's that simple. I know of no hunters that that hunt, just to inflict pain on another creature. That is not what hunting is about. Most of us do it to feed our families.

This senseless brutality and cruelty sickens me...and I'm sure it sickens all true hunters (and all decent people) who hear about it.

Nathan Anderson 5 years, 4 months ago

False equivalence a 5th grader could recognize. Try again.

happyrock 5 years, 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.

Topple 5 years, 4 months ago

Means they're all grounded. No underage drinking or torturing animals for two whole weeks, or until their daddies can grease enough palms to make this go away.

Dan Edwards 5 years, 4 months ago

Let me try to connect the dots for you...

Say someone close to you is captured by a hoard of sadistic freaks who are going to kill him/her. Would you rather:

a. The killers put a gun to the person's head and pull the trigger b. The killers put the person in a cage, then torture him/her, followed by choice a above.

In all honest, if those were your two choices, which would it be?

kujayhawk 5 years, 4 months ago

Remind me not to hire anybody from that fraternity.

Brian Laird 5 years, 4 months ago

What's the going salary for sick, sadistic SOBs?

andrewgustafson1 5 years, 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.

Biff1425 5 years, 4 months ago

I hear you, andrewgustafson1 -- In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity.”

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

Ah, the irony. Promoting your Vegan agenda by equating sadism with those who enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

happyrock 5 years, 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.

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

The "house man"... you kill me, old sport.

happyrock 5 years, 4 months ago

Would you prefer "janitor" or "garbage engineer"?

happyrock 5 years, 4 months ago

In the meantime, go back to reading your latest issue of 'Cat Fancy'.

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

But I bet in really really old good old days, you called the house man "boy."

motomom 5 years, 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 excuses for these all.

Biff1425 5 years, 4 months ago

I always knew musicians were way cooler than fraternity boys.

happyrock 5 years, 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.

Topple 5 years, 4 months ago

150 people at the party and the band you hired were the only people who tried to stop it? Stand-up individuals you all are growing over there.

happyrock 5 years, 4 months ago

Not over there ... just there. If you think all of the morons are in fraternities at KU look around. Kansas is full of them.

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

Everyone at the party is guilty, unless they had some courage--which I doubt--and stood with the musicians who stepped up and tried to put an end to the torture.

mrsdubbya 5 years, 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.

happyrock 5 years, 4 months ago

Can you be on their jury as well? You sound like a peer.

happyrock 5 years, 4 months ago

Perhaps not, but I have decided to be the other side of this insanity. This is all nonsense. The individuals responsible will be punished. End of story.
What I find pathetic in all of this is some nut whose friend dropped out of the house 15 years ago. We all know the story, but I guess Fiddle just can't move on. As for the rest of the nut jobs, where do flu shots come from. Where does our medicine come from (or is tested on) to save lives. What they did was deplorable, but I am trying to point out the ridiculous reaction of the other side. I will gladly stop when the nonsense ends.

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

So Happy, I have a question. Had you been at that event partying with your fraternity brothers, would you have sided with your brothers, or the musicians.

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

And I don't expect that your will answer this question. Cowards usually run when they are exposed.

happyrock 5 years, 4 months ago

I would have killed the turkey. If you want to see a coward look in the mirror.

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

My question pertained to the events before the turkey was gravely injured. Would you have stood with the band, or your frat buddies?

happyrock 5 years, 4 months ago

Neither. Based upon your question I assume you must be a HDFL major.

Bob Forer 5 years, 4 months ago

So much for frat "brotherhood", eh? And too cowardly to stand up and do the right thing. I had you pegged right all along--a yellow bellied coward. .

“To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.”

― Abraham Lincoln

Isthisajoke 5 years, 4 months ago

Have you not considered the degree to which they have exaggerated the story being told? What happened was the turkey was tormented and someone kicked the cage too hard and its wing broke. The bird was obviously in a lot of pain so they put it out of its misery. They didn't kill it for fun. It would be so easy for the band members (who were sober) to pin something like this on drunk kids. It was a couple drunk idiots tormenting a bird. People who believe in the **** PETA believes in would have called the cops if it was a mouse. There are some crazy people out there

asixbury 5 years, 4 months ago

Tormenting and kicking the turkey's cage is still abuse. A broken wing and leg, being tossed like a football is despicable. The fact that you feel the need to justify such horrendous behaviors makes you seem heartless and verging on being a sociopath. There are studies that link animal abuse with future violence on people. Many serial killers started out abusing animals. It is not as far of a stretch as it may seem to an immature mind as you.

Isthisajoke 5 years, 4 months ago

Yea lets get those Frat boys!!! They are all bad! Stupid frat boys and their frat parties!!!

If you seriously take the time out of your day to call the DA's office you need to get a life. Nothing you do is going to change their minds or actions about any of this situation.

mrsdubbya 5 years, 4 months ago

I believe in taking action and not just mouthing off - you should try it!

Mary Darst 5 years, 4 months ago

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

Deb Engstrom 5 years, 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.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 4 months ago

I suspect the turkey would disagree. I do agree we should prioritize so I'll drop my arguments supporting teacher salary increases. This way I may freely focus on animal cruelty matters related to ignorant test boys.

Kylee Manahan 5 years, 4 months ago

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

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 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.

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

That's why more and more people are either becoming vegetarian or trying to avoid factory farming in favor of paying more for the meat of an animal that had a good diet and was given an actual life before the axe dropped. I understand the hypocrisy you're driving at, and for sure more people need to be aware of what processes they're subsidizing when they pick up meat at the grocery store. But generally speaking, mechanized slaughter attempts to be as instant and merciful as possible...

The idea that we all binge on turkeys that didn't have that great of existences is not lost on anyone. But it doesn't change that this was a totally unnecessary and cruel mishandling of an animal. Beta's national organization, weighing all the details and accounts of what happened, has already admitted this much.

FlintHawk 5 years, 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!)

Lisa Medsker 5 years, 4 months ago

Yep. Pretty much. I am guessing that the "It's just a turkey" attitude, implying that the turkey has no consciousness, or ability to feel pain and fear, is based on their own personal, vast experience being turkeys themselves.

JHALK 5 years, 4 months ago

"A turkey's brain is about the size of a walnut and it is said that is has fewer brain cells than a cockroach."

I agree that this should not have happened--any hunter or experienced outdoorsman would show more respect for a bird like this--but would there be this same uproar for a cockroach? They're only capable of the same limited suffering as turkeys. Feel free to fact check.

Lisa Medsker 5 years, 4 months ago

I wouldn't torture a cockroach, either. I'd only kill one if I found them in my home. (Quickly.) In their ecosystem that doesn't involve being inside my dwelling, I'm more than happy to leave them alone.

bevy 5 years, 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.

bevy 5 years, 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.

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.

Old_Oread_Phart 5 years, 4 months ago

Awww, poor Wilbur. Didn't get invited to join. Now we know why he is what he is.

Topple 5 years, 4 months ago

It's amusing when frat boys think the reason people don't like them is that they're so exclusive that common folk cant be members.

fourkitties 5 years, 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.

JHALK 5 years, 4 months ago

Someone did eventually step in unfortunately it was after the turkey was injured. It's extremely easy to claim that you would have intervened in this situation from behind a computer but to say so is denying a basic human fallacy. Have you heard of bystander effect? It's a pretty thoroughly studied area. At any rate, keep your legal opinions to yourself--leave interpretation of the law to the interpreters of law. Any story that receives media attention should not sway a legal decision.

fourkitties 5 years, 4 months ago

Excuse me, but if I would have seen this, I would have first called the police and then done everything I could to take the turkey away from them. I am a very very strong animal advocate. I would jump in front of my dog if a cop was going to shoot it and take the bullet myself. (an epidemic in itself cops shooting dogs) I have heard of bystander effect. Silly you bring that up, my family is law enforcement and lawyers. The US senate just passed a law that if you go to a dog fight or bring a child to a dog fight you can now be legally charged with a felony. That would be why I believe everyone who didn't stop it should be prosecuted, even if its not law. And no, I will not keep my legal opinions to myself. You don't abuse people, and you don't abuse animals. We are all animals in the animal kingdom and we don't rule over any other species. You really think I wouldn't save a turkey's life because I'd be afraid of some frat boys? You are very very wrong. You abuse animals in front of me you will wish you never met me.

imagainstit 5 years, 4 months ago

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

mrsdubbya 5 years, 4 months ago

I could care less if they are frat boys, congressmen, priests, or car salesmen, anyone who behaves like this deserves to be punished. I don't care what civic duties they perform or how much money they raise, they have sunk to an incredibly low level. If they were the upstanding group that you claim they should have had more sense.

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

"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."

You're entirely mistaken.

Most older alums of fraternities tell themselves that surely the forces of modernity and young people's decreasing willingness to keep dark secrets has led to essentially hazing-free houses. You need only look above at the posts of a KU senior, "Isthisajoke," who admitted:

1.Several houses at KU continue to haze (even by his more forgiving definition of hazing)

2.That he himself was physically abused during his pledgeship

3.That Beta doesn't haze by his standards but commits "verbal abuse." Meaning, the practices of berating pledges in their underwear, and most likely the "lesser" examples of requiring exhaustive amounts of cleaning, servitude, and party preparation, are all still in place.

And it may shock you to hear this, but I don't hate the Greek system. I think many houses do great work, and the sororities in particular set a great example. If the ridiculous machismo and damaging excesses of the fraternities could be properly exposed and remedied, then I would have no problem with them as institutions. Finally, I'm not "blasting millions of Greeks," nor even all the individual members of the Beta house, but rather their secret practices that have helped lead to such unhinged and deplorable behavior.

With this suspension, they now have a chance to truly reflect not just on this incident but on their culture and all their previously sacrosanct traditions. They'll surely apply for reinstatement, but will they have made the long overdue cultural changes and hazing eliminations to become the true leaders of the Greek system that they purport to be? If any fraternity at KU is up to that challenge, I would think it would be Beta.

happyrock 5 years, 4 months ago

Glad to see you have become an expert on all things Beta. You must have quite an exciting life ... reading Beta lore, taking care of your cats and God only knows what else.

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

Golly, that cat schtick just never gets old....So who do you think is more bitter -- me about Beta's hazing or you about the fact that I won't shut up about it? Sounds like a toss-up...

happyrock 5 years, 4 months ago

I could care less what you think you know. Your 'roommate' was never initiated. Try as you might you will never measure up to the members in the house. You are the one who has cats so I guess it never does get old. You must have one exciting life.

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

It's funny how you could "care less" yet find time to fantasize about me crocheting scarfs for cats and then even go digging through my old LJW posts looking for ad-hoc ammunition. Yes, a riveting life you lead as well, old sport.

"Try as you might you will never measure up to the members in the house." -- again, memorably hilarious. It sounds like a line to tell the pledges around quarter past ten some autumn evening ...

happyrock 5 years, 4 months ago

I was not the author of your posts. Only you can take credit for that. I will be here all week.

happyrock 5 years, 4 months ago

Signing off for the night. I have to get up tomorrow and overthrow a small country. Good luck with passing gay marriage and pot smoking in Kansas.

KiferGhost 5 years, 4 months ago

I'm always impressed that the boys who always have to travel together rough up disadvantaged people. More stuff where if they aren't caught it does't exist. And what about property damage from the drunken stooges? How about all the houses in various neighborhoods that daddy rents for them so they can party hardy out of their official house so the games can go on. It is really quite disgusting that the pricks will come on here and feed people the line about how upstanding they are.

Isthisajoke 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't know why you think sharing your stubborn and irrelevant opinions on a Lawrence newspaper website is going to affect the community in any way. Maybe you're too afraid to get out of your computer chair and do anything about it. Typically, there are two reasons for this type of behavior.

  1. Either you are a GDI or
  2. You didn't get this type of behavior hazed out of you when you were in a house.

I feel bad for you either way.

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

You're really asking a much more general question: does opining on an internet forum ever really have much tangible impact? Probably not, it's mostly a free platform to raise public awareness, esp. in situations like this when there's no real physical actions to be taken. And this page seems to be getting plenty of traffic.

I'm not sure what labeling me a GDI really accomplishes, but there's still that discussion up above if you have any further rebuttal...

KiferGhost 5 years, 4 months ago

Isajoke proves a point about what greeks are like by the behavior demonstrated on here.

Isthisajoke 5 years, 4 months ago

Yea, a random user on a comment section full of wannabe try-hard GDI's is really proving a point about the Greek community as a whole. Go back to your dorm, buddy.

golfdude 5 years, 4 months ago

that's not the "turkey pull tradition" at all. It has been around for 130 years and "some guys chasing a turkey around" has never been a part of it

happyrock 5 years, 4 months ago

Because they feel excluded. They hate everyone associated with any organization they can't be part of. They preach tolerance but can't tolerate those who are different from them.

asixbury 5 years, 4 months ago

Why do people see the term "GDI" as derogatory? I take it as a compliment that I am independent and did not need a sorority to make me feel included in the social scheme of college. Besides, being in one really doesn't mean anything more than that you are willing to subject yourself to hazing in order to feel "accepted." Quite sad, actually. And no, I don't hate Greeks. I was friends with a lot of them in college. None of that matters, anyway, once you graduate into the real world.

Linda Endicott 5 years, 4 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 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...

verity 5 years, 4 months ago

Nobody says it's the same thing, but cruelty to animals is often the precursor to cruelty to people and that is certainly a reason for concern---and the fact that cruelty to an animal is wrong in itself.

verity 5 years, 4 months ago

Did somebody get disappeareded? The comment I responded to is no longer there. LJW, please indicate when comments or posters have been removed.

RubyVrooom 5 years, 4 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.

happyrock 5 years, 4 months ago

If you don't what it is you don't deserve to be told.

asixbury 5 years, 4 months ago

Wow, great answer happyrock. You sound like an immature kid. Just because some people weren't invited or know anything about it, does not mean they wish they were. In the adult world, in which most of us live in but clearly not you, these types of parties are meaningless and not worth our time.

Kontum1972 5 years, 4 months ago

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

verity 5 years, 4 months ago

Isn't that the definition of machismo?

hujiko 5 years, 4 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.

Armored_One 5 years, 4 months ago



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.

Jayhawks1985 5 years, 4 months ago

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

jonas_opines 5 years, 4 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.

IWasAtParty 5 years, 4 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.

fiddleback 5 years, 4 months ago

I'd highly recommend writing it all out and emailing it to the DA. It's not like the police's Q & A process is necessarily going to yield a better account than what you could just write out yourself -- their "interviewing" is most worthwhile with people who lack the ability to think/write clearly, sequentially, and objectively. And not only do you seem capable of producing an even more thorough narrative on your own, it would probably be best to write it out in any case, even before their call, as writing can help jog the memory and recover contextual details that would otherwise recede and be omitted.

DA email:

Trigirl 5 years, 4 months ago

Thank you for taking action. Please do contact the DA's office, and you can also email the Intrafraternity Council at KU. The website is I am not a student, just a tax paying citizen of Lawrence who is outraged by this story. I have also contacted the DA's office and emailed the Intrafraternity Council as well as the national Beta Theta Pi organization.

phoggyjay 5 years, 4 months ago

I look forward to reading the details of what actually happened at the party. Thanks for letting us all know.

KiferGhost 5 years, 4 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.

KiferGhost 5 years, 4 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.

KiferGhost 5 years, 4 months ago

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

KiferGhost 5 years, 4 months ago

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

Commenting has been disabled for this item.