Black Pledge Died In Different Chapter Of Racist Oklahoma Frat

Photo: Age fotostock/Alamy.
In yet another disturbing revelation, Cornell's chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity closed after a black pledge died during initiation in 2011. The same fraternity's University of Oklahoma house was shut down this week after members were caught on video tape singing a racist chant on a bus.

George Desdunes, a sophomore from Brooklyn, died in a hazing ritual. In it, initiates were "kidnapped," bound at the wrists and ankles, and force-fed vodka shots. According to an account of the incident in The New York Times, Desdunes passed out, and his brothers carried him back to the frat house and left him on a couch. 

He was found dead on the couch, with bindings still around his ankles, by a cleaning man early the next morning. Cornell shuttered the frat house, and Desdunes' family filed a wrongful death suit that's ongoing.

Meanwhile, fallout from the Oklahoma fraternity video has continued to dominate headlines. The frat was shuttered, and two OU students were expelled from the university, while others were suspended.

Both the president of the University of Oklahoma and the national head of the S.A.E. fraternity strongly condemned the video. S.A.E., with nearly 15,000 members, is one of the largest frats in the country.

More from Politics


R29 Original Series