Happy Valley is a little less happy today. The north-central Pennsylvania town is making headlines again for bad behavior on campus. Except this time it isn’t a coach molesting little boys like the Jerry Sandusky ordeal from a few years ago. Nor is it identical to the recent Oklahoma story involving racist songs. This scandal involves the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity at Penn State allegedly publishing illicit activities on a secret Facebook page called “Secret Business Transactions” showing multiple nude and sexual images, images and posts about drug dealing/consumption. Some of the nude women were passed out. Harsh hazing activities and allegedly other bad behavior were found on the site as well.
The site was said to have been found by one of its victims, though it is unclear which act the student was a victim of. The page is reported to have multiple fraternity members and alumni listed as members. The page has about 150 members, according to reports.
Even after the unnamed victim discovered the site and it was shut down, a new secret site emerged, a “2.0” version emerged. After an investigation, police served warrants and searched multiple computers to add to the reported 20 images they already had in evidence.
The Campus Fraternity Council immediately voted to suspended the chapter and released this statement: “In response to the discovery of the two Facebook pages allegedly hosted by Kappa Delta Rho, the chapter was immediately placed on full chapter suspension by Penn State’s Interfraternity Council.”
This incident follows the now infamous Oklahoma incident involving racism and only a few years after another Penn State organization, a Sorority, Chi Omega was thrown off campus for posts showing members in Sombreros holding signs saying “will mow lawn for beer – weed.”
Back to the current incident. I decided to do a little research on KDR. Turns out, like most fraternal organizations they have a long and storied history along with several famous alumni. Alums include guys like Jim Harbaugh, the former 49er and current Michigan football coach. Captains of industry like the founder of The Consumers Union and Consumer Reports magazine, Colston E Warne. Or Apple Vice President, Charles W Berger. The CEO of Wyndham Hotels, a chairman of MCA Records and more. Indeed, KDR’s rolls are filled with successful and famous men.
Then I looked to see what kind of mottos or rules they had. I came across their “precept” which is a fancy way of saying the general rules of being a member. What you are supposed to live up to.
Here is the Kappa Delta Rho precept:
- As a Brother of the National Fraternity of Kappa Delta Rho, I have but one aim: to lead an honorable life.
- To this end, I am bound by my words and actions to:
- Embrace the principles and spirit of the KDR Gentleman, treating all those I encounter with dignity and respect;
- Work diligently in the pursuit of my education, understanding that I am a student first and that the quest for knowledge is an endeavor which will last a lifetime;
- Meet all of my obligations to the Fraternity in a timely manner, so as to ensure that I am doing my share and that I am not a burden to my brothers;
- Engage in the service of mankind, not for the praise or recognition that such service may bring, but because it is the right thing to do;
- Serve as my brothers’ keeper, holding them accountable for their actions as they hold me accountable for mine, and
- Support my Alma Mater, that she may view Kappa Delta Rho as a partner in the development of her students.
- I understand that my membership in Kappa Delta Rho is a lifelong privilege that is contingent upon my willingness to incorporate the values of the Fraternity into my daily life and uphold the oath I have sworn. As I speak these words I once again to affirm to my brothers, and all who hear me, that I am a KDR Gentleman and I will place Honor Above All Things.
- Honor Super Omnia!
Sounds nice huh? Did the Penn State chapter live up to this if the alleged allegations turn out to be true? Not even close. And unfortunately, they are not alone. Anyone who has spent two weeks on a college campus knows that fraternities rarely live up to anything resembling the above, though all the fraternities have such noble words as part of their make up.
The reality is that on many campuses, fraternities do one thing primarily: lead the party life for students on campus. Fraternities are where students go to get drunk and stoned. In my opinion, and I speak from a very firsthand perspective regarding fraternities in general – this Penn State chapter wasn’t any exception, it was the norm. The rarity here is that the news got out before the powers that be could bury it out of anyone’s view.
No reports of any arrests in this case so far.