Durham County

‘Concerned Black Students’ claim hazing at Duke fraternities, sororities

Duke University Chapel
Duke University Chapel

An anonymous group says it will release information about hazing at Duke University if the administration does not further investigate its claims.

A letter signed by Concerned Black Students says Duke Student Affairs has ignored annual hazing practiced within historically black fraternities and sororities.

“We, concerned black students at Duke University, are calling out the university administration, Duke Student Affairs, and all students on this campus for their willful ignorance and complicity in the annual abuse of black students on this campus,” the letter said.

Duke has “consistently brushed” under the rug its knowledge of an extended history of mental, physical and emotional abuses used during pledging procedures undergone by African Americans at Duke, the letter continued.

A Duke spokesman on Tuesday referred a reporter to Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta’s comments in the campus newspaper The Chronicle, saying they represent the university’s response.

Moneta said Duke has always taken hazing allegations seriously and held groups accountable.

“Nothing has changed and nothing will change,” Moneta told The Chronicle, which first reported the allegations. “I regret that whomever you are, you felt the need to use this communications method and have taken the position that Duke would rather hide evidence of hazing than take quick and decisive action.”

There are eight historically African-American fraternities and sororities on the Duke campus, governed by the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

“Not only is this abuse illegal, it infringes on prohibitions on hazing set to protect all students at this university and contradicts everything we hold dear as an institution,” Concerned Black Students wrote.

These hazing abuses have been spoken about “in hushed tones to maintain the high-esteem in which these organizations are held not only at this campus but nationally,” the letter said.

The president of Duke’s Black Student Alliance, senior student Michael Ivory Jr., wrote on his organization’s Facebook page that the Black Student Alliance “adamantly and wholeheartedly” condemns hazing.

“Hazing is a dangerous practice which calls into question the mental, physical, and emotional welfare of Black students,” Ivory wrote. “There have indeed been reports of hazing on this campus that we cannot ignore and I do not turn a deaf ear to cries that we address these concerns.”

Colin Warren-Hicks: 919-419-6636, @CWarrenHicks