You may have heard that the University of Connecticut recently removed its chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma for hazing. After a member, Hilary Holt, woke up in a hospital bed with a BAC of three times the legal limit (.08), she told reporters that she had been hazed. She’d apparently been forced to go to the SAE house where she was made to do things like lie down and “sizzle like bacon,” and drink, which eventually led to her passing out.
As was appropriate, both the school, and the KKG’s nationals agreed that they had a zero tolerance policy for hazing, and the chapter’s charter was revoked, leaving the girls devastated, of course. SAE is waiting to hear what the consequences of their involvement will be. This has sparked a campus-wide investigation for hazing of other organizations, particularly Delta Zeta, Delta Gamma, and Sigma Chi (who’d been placed on suspension in April for hazing allegations).
With nothing left to lose, a member of KKG wrote a letter to the student who “ratted” them out to reporters, and subsequently, the police, their parents, and their school. We’ve obtained a copy of this letter, which appears in full below, and it may just change your opinion of sororities.
It is always surprising to me how certain words we choose to use can carry weight. Words can be a weapon if you’re looking for a fight, we know what words can do. Your words, manipulated the definition of hazing – but with a trigger word like “hazing”, “racist”, “slut”, well, you knew people would be listening – all ears.
You used the media for a self-fulfilling purpose. You took the vulnerability of quite a serious claim and spun it so that it fit you and whatever the story is you so wanted to tell. You tugged and teased the ear of an eager newsperson searching for a heartbeat in midland Connecticut for anything worth reporting. You threatened lawsuits for your actions, you and whoever it was whispering in your ears that it might be a good idea to restitute the bills of the hospital you sent yourself to, or to be the focal point of a quiet cow-town state University while you had the chance. Instead of handling it like a mature adult and bringing your claims up with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life you milked the media, posting your interview in Buy or Sell UConn tickets – your 15 minutes of fame.
I don’t think you understand the gravity of what your exaggerations have done, your choice of words, your own personal actions, that you are dumping upon hundreds of women who have believed, breathed and loved Kappa, head over heels. You must not understand fully, otherwise you would have been the type of person to walk away from something that was not right for you. It’s not for everyone you know, to be a part of a large group of eager, friendly, motivated, driven, successful, passionate and fun women…
Perhaps if you couldn’t handle drinking alcohol as a 21 year old college student – I repeat, 21 years old, legal to fight in the army, purchase and consume alcohol, vote…) you might have reconsidered attending a community college instead. Nobody was forcing anything upon you, these were your own poor choices. When will you be held accountable? PERCEIVED peer pressure, is not an excuse. In life you are always going to try to keep up with someone or something, but you need to learn about your own limits. However, you point the finger at others for your mistakes.
I have walked away from many things in my life when they were not for me. But I have not dragged names through the mud, or defamed people, organizations, for mistakes that I have made. I have not walked away kicking and screaming, demanding a solution to the problems I have caused myself and others – but have gone forward with my head held high and learned from my experiences. It is a shame, you could not do the same. With a threat, you have won. But is that truly winning?
My question is: how do you feel this morning? Are you proud? Do you consider yourself a martyr for a cause that didn’t hold any validity within the environment you chose? Are you happy? With one swift decision, you have taken away the legacies of women before you, and those after you. Women who are not just involved in a social organization, but an intellectual, generous, life-shaping community. Perhaps you missed that part, although stressed every day, in and out… Academics, Volunteering, Poise, Partying, last. That we did not believe in hazing, that we gave back, that we learned and grew and loved one another, through the best and the worst of times. Like this one. You cannot take that part away.
I know the Kappa Kappa Gamma I belonged to at University of Connecticut very well. And I credit this organization for teaching me lessons I couldn’t have learned on my own through my college years. I have fostered a lasting work ethic and the desire to be the best and most successful woman I can be, because of Kappa. Most importantly, I have met women who will be my forever friends – my sisters. Always, no matter what.
Maybe you’re the one we should all be feeling bad for, you have stripped yourself of that opportunity, and you will never know what you missed out on.
I will always be proud to wear my letters. Loyally, A