Tufts University suspended social activity of its fraternities after launching “multiple investigations of several Greek organizations,” the Boston Globe reports. Spring recruitment for both sororities and fraternities has been voluntarily suspended, and four frats were sent cease-and-desist orders by the university. These suspensions come following allegations of hazing — which included assault — were published in the student publication Tufts Observer. Junior Ben Kesslen wrote an op-ed for the Observer about his experience pledging “what was supposed to be one of the ‘good’ fraternities, one with nice guys and low-key parties.” On his first night of pledging, Kesslen and the other pledges were forced to watch two women have sex with each other in the basement of an off-campus house.
Kesslen, who identifies as queer, wrote, When I asked to leave, I was told I could step towards the back but couldn’t exit the basement. I was pressured to stay, and too afraid to defend myself. Forcing someone to watch sex acts can be categorized as assault under Tufts policies. They then had to watch two 18-year-old men perform oral sex on the women. The women left, and then the pledges were forced to stay in a room drinking alcohol until they completely memorized each other’s names and allergies. They were given a garbage can to urinate or vomit into and told to name the can. The men named it after porn star Mia Khalifa. Keslen clarified, These boys named a bucket of urine and puke after a woman. Kesslen quit the fraternity the next day but was “warned” to not talk about what he had seen during pledging. He chose to tell his story in an effort to “abolish” frats from Tufts. On top of his experience, Kesslen knows people who have been sexually assaulted and called homophobic slurs at fraternities. After Kesslen’s op-ed was published, the Tufts Panhellenic Council published their own op-ed.