An Alpha Tau Omega hazing video appears to show a pledge being forced to perform oral sex on a stripper while dozens of half-naked and cheering frat brothers cheer him on, and the video may now have the fraternity in hot water.
The video was uploaded to the internet on Wednesday, and while the upload itself contains no identifying information, a post on Reddit claimed that it was the University of Indiana's Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. In the roughly 30-second video, a pledge is seen lying on a mattress with a stripper, who appears to be holding his head down.
As the frat brothers cheer him on, the pledge appears to struggle but the woman holds him in place. Some commenters on Reddit pointed out that it appears the woman may be trying to suffocate the pledge, rather than forcing him to perform a sex act.
If the information in the video description is legitimate, it would not be the first time this Alpha Tau Omega chapter was in trouble. In 2010, the branch was suspended by the fraternity's national organization, leaving more than 100 students homeless.
The ATO national CEO, Wynn Smiley, said the suspension came because members considered their house to be "party central," the Indy Channel reported.
The move came after hazing and drinking violations, the Indy Channel reported, and at a time when the university was cracking down on other fraternities. Students said rules violations and drinking was getting out of control at the university's fraternities.
"I know a couple of guys who are pledges, and they missed class because they were so sleep-deprived," said sorority member Emily Rawls at the time. "I think it really starts to affect their academics."
Other Alpha Tau Omega chapters have been in trouble as well. A Bloomberg article from 2013 on hazing identified several incidents at the fraternity's chapters across the country.
"At 18,000-student University of Nevada at Reno, at least 10 pledges were treated for food poisoning in 2007 after being forced to eat raw chicken -- an incident cited in a 2010 report. Initiates also had the Greek letter Omega etched on their buttocks with dry ice. The university identified the fraternity as Alpha Tau Omega."The fraternity ended up being kicked off campus for five years, school officials reported.
Even the Alpha Tau Omega branch at nearby Indiana State University found quite a bit of trouble. The fraternity's Zeta Omicron chapter at ISU was ordered closed last year, with WTHITV noting a number of violations.
"This order comes after repeated violations of a 2013 probation agreement as well as university policy. Violations included hosting unauthorized events, hosting events with alcohol, providing alcohol to minors and tampering with fire suppression and other safety equipment."While the Alpha Tau Omega hazing video has not yet been officially confirmed, a number of students had passed along screenshots on Twitter, noting that it was taking place at the Indiana University chapter.
The university seemed to confirm the report, however, issuing a statement late on Wednesday that the fraternity had been suspended.
Our campus is committed to a culture of care. Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) is suspended immediately, pending investigation into hazing allegations.The national fraternity responded as well, with Tau Omega's national CEO Wynn Smiley releasing a statement decrying the act of hazing but noting that no one was forced to participate.
— Indiana University (@IUBloomington) October 8, 2015
Whatever the case, the images described in the video appear disturbing and could lead to more trouble for those involved. The video shows what may be classified as sexual assault, which could lead not only to discipline from the national fraternity or the university but the possibility of criminal charges as well.
[Image via Vid.me]