Since the late 19th century, Greek organizations have become a staple on university campuses. While students have been heavily divided on their opinion of these groups, every fraternity and sorority has established philanthropies they regularly spend volunteering their time to.
However, Greek organizations also face backlash when they participate in inappropriate activities that fail to show their respect towards others. This specific instance is no different.
A Jewish fraternity at Cornell University has been punished after they forced their pledges to play a fat-shaming sex contest.
Potential brothers of Zeta Beta Tau participated in a game, called a "pig roast," where they allegedly earned points for sleeping with as many overweight women as possible.
If there had been a tie at the end of the grotesque competition, the pledge who slept with the heaviest woman would win.
According to a university report, the men were instructed to keep the game a secret, in case their sexual partners found out.
As an alumni member of a sorority, it's blatantly clear how appalling this behavior is. Women aren't inferior to men, and there is no argument that can justify us being treated as anything less.
We're more more than just a number of a scale, and to treat us as such is nothing short of an insult.
Luckily, I wasn't the only one who saw it this way.
An official investigation was launched after the university received several allegations of the tasteless competition.
Cornell's fraternity and sorority review board determined the chapter had violated the campus's code of conduct, including policies against hazing and sexually abusive behavior, and would face disciplinary actions.
On February 3, the fraternity released a lengthy statement on Facebook, condemning the alleged behavior, and that it was contrary to its values and mission.
"... The brothers of the Kappa Chapter of Zeta Beta Tau would like to first and foremost express our mutual disgust along with those who feel hurt or victimized. Your feelings are legitimate and appropriate reactions to something of this nature," the post read.
"We are committed to demonstrating through our actions that this inexcusable behavior will not be tolerated, and as such, we will take the necessary steps to ensure we retain the ideals and values of our brotherhood, specifically Social Responsibility and Integrity," it continued.
The post added they will conduct a membership review and expel any members who don't align themselves with Zeta Beta Tau's ideals and values.
CBS News reported the Kappa Chapter will be put on probation and among other consequences. This includes hiring a live-in advisor during the two-year period, face external reviews, and participate in ongoing education about sexual violence.
Vice president for student and campus life Ryan Lombardi condemned the fraternity's sexist contest, The Cornell Daily Sun reported.
"Behavior that degrades and dehumanizes women contributes to a climate and culture of tolerance for sexual violence," Lombardi said.
While this behavior shouldn't ever be tolerated, it's a step in the right direction for Zeta Beta Tau to own up to their actions.