The ladies of Kappa Kappa Gamma at Southern Methodist University had themselves a night when their new members were given bids on January 13 of this year. As part of a “tradition,” which I can only imagine started five to ten years ago, (some of) the seniors got drunk, and sang their songs — probably the secret dirty songs we all use to lure in freshman — and got into “various stages of undress.” This seems like a pretty standard Bid Day to me, minus the partial nudity (which included some toplessness), but it sounds like a helluvah time.
Because we live in a time where anything and everyone is seemingly out to thwart our good (though, likely immoral) times, the girls had all members (freshmen and seniors alike) turn in their cell phones at the beginning of the night, so that nothing could be recorded. They just wanted to have a good time in the privacy of their own sorority house, without making a bad name for themselves over silliness. Pretty responsible if you ask me.
As I’m sure you expected, because you read the title of this, and because it wouldn’t be news otherwise — video was still recorded, and Kappa nationals got ahold of it. National representatives showed the video to members, and told them to identify the dancing, semi-nude seniors. “They said, we’ve seen the video and if you don’t cooperate, we’re going to turn it over to SMU administration,” reports The Dallas Morning News. Then eighteen seniors were expelled from the sorority, and 10 more seniors were put on probation.
There’s so much to say about this, but a member who is choosing to remain anonymous for her own safety and reputation, as well as her lawyer Rogge Dunn are taking action. One simple question: how did nationals come to obtain this video? According to Dunn, “someone – the lawsuit refers to a ‘Kappa national agent’ – used a security camera to record the partially naked young women without their consent.”
This video wasn’t “leaked” by a drunk girl on social media. The chapter wasn’t making the organization look bad. No one knew what was going on that night aside from the members. But someone willfully took a security recording and used it against the sorority members. So Jane Doe is flipping the script and suing nationals for over $1 million in damages because of an invasion of privacy. While she, herself, wasn’t topless in the video, her reputation could still suffer from the incident.
From The Dallas Morning News:
The lawsuit seeks the prevention of any further sharing of the video and destruction of all copies of the recording.
Dunn said his client is devastated about the whole incident. He said her name is not on the lawsuit because she’s worried about potential embarrassment for her and her sisters if the video is made public.
“She’s been such a successful student and is less than two months away from graduation. This is supposed to be the happiest time in a Kappa senior’s life,” he said.
She and other seniors also worry about the video being made public. The lawsuit asks that Kappa national be prevented from sharing or copying the video.
“As one of the fathers said to me, ‘I don’t want my daughter running for city council 10 years from now and this video pops up,’” Dunn said. “We need to know who’s seen it, who’s had it so we can be sure that these ladies’ privacy can be protected.”
I’ve often said we are crossing the line from “protecting our reputation” to a flat-out witch hunt, and it looks like this is the first (of hopefully many) steps to stopping that..
[via The Dallas Morning News]