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Kappa Delta Rho Suspension for Nude Photos on Facebook Prompts National Media Storm

by on March 17, 2015 6:19 PM

Penn State is no stranger to national media attention, but the latest spotlight on the university isn’t a positive one.

The Penn State chapter of Kappa Delta Rho has been suspended for allegedly posting photos of drug deals, hazing rituals and nude women on a private Facebook page – prompting a flurry of media attention, with everyone from The Guardian to Buzzfeed turning their eyes to Happy Valley.

The allegations prompted CBS Evening News to lead with the story in Monday night's broadcast.

According to a search warrant filed by State College police, a former member of the fraternity informed police officers about the private Facebook page in January. The informant told police that the Facebook page was actually the second one created by the fraternity to share illicit photos.

“Some of the postings were of nude females that appeared to be passed out and nude or in other sexual or embarrassing positions,” the search warrant reads. “It appears from the photos provided that the individuals in the photos are not aware that the photos had been taken.”

When addressing the Penn State faculty senate on Tuesday, President Eric Barron called the allegations “intolerable” and “unacceptable.”

University Vice-President of Student Affairs Damon Sims also released a statement on Tuesday, saying Penn State will “hold accountable” every individual found to be responsible. Sims also asks any student who may have been a victim to contact the Penn State Office of Student Conduct and the State College Police Department.

“The evidence offered by the Facebook postings is appalling, offensive and inconsistent with the University community's values and expectations,” Sims’ statement reads.

State College Assistant Police Chief John Gardner also called the images “disturbing” in a news conference on Tuesday, according to reports from Onward State.

Joseph S. Rosenberg, national executive director of Kappa Delta Rho, says in a statement that the Penn State chapter of the fraternity will be suspended for the rest of the semester and will be subjected to “review and reorganization.”

“The national leadership of Kappa Delta Rho is committed to hold our brothers accountable for their actions,” the statement reads. “We embrace the principle of respect for all persons and we will adhere to that principle in this matter.”

 

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Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for StateCollege.com who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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