Tau Kappa Epsilon at Florida State University was placed on interim suspension after a recently graduated member reported to FSU officials that the fraternity engaged in deplorable, racist hazing activities while he was a brother in 2013.
Allegedly, they made pledges participate in a drinking game called “Old South,” where pledges were required to don black face and act as slaves, serving the brothers drinks. The tipster also said that the pledges were blindfolded, stripped of their cell phones and wallets, driven to the middle of the woods, and told to find their way home.
An anonymous alumni who recently graduated told TFM that the allegations are blown way out of proportion. He says that there was never an “Old South” drinking game. Instead, there was an annual Civil War Keg Race, where a team of northern brothers would try to outdrink a team comprised of brothers from the south. No pledges were allowed to participate in any of the drinking events.
He adds that the challenge where pledges were driven to the woods was also largely exaggerated. The challenge was not a fraternity tradition, but the tradition of one family tree (a subgroup of big and little brothers). A small group of pledges would be driven to the woods on the edge of Tallahassee and told to find their way home. An older brother in the family, a former Army Ranger, would watch over them from a distance for about thirty minutes before intervening and taking them back to campus.
He says that the fraternity was also one of the most diverse on campus. Brothers of all religions and races. Openly gay members. A look at their current members proves their commitment to diversity.
Does this look like a fraternity that should be punished for being racist? I feel like the black face they allegedly made pledges wear back in 2013 would be wasted on several of the current members.
A current brother named John Patrikis defended his fraternity in a Facebook post, saying the diversity and acceptance of the chapter was one of the main reasons he joined TKE.
TKE nationals and FSU are currently investigating the chapter. From the looks of it, this should be an open and shut case..
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