38 members ousted from suspended Penn State fraternity

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Monday, June 8, 2015

STATE COLLEGE, PA -- Nearly 40 members have been expelled from a Penn State fraternity that's been suspended for three years over a Facebook page featuring photos of nude and semi-nude women.

The national office of Kappa Delta Rho says Monday the 38 members violated the fraternity's values. Other members will be moved to alumni status.

Kappa Delta Rho executive director Joseph Rosenberg said in a statement that fraternity members who assumed responsibility for their actions wouldn't be expelled. He says chapter President Tom Friel exhibited outstanding leadership traits.

The actions have no effect on their status at the school.

Penn State says its investigation found some fraternity members engaged in sexual harassment and hazing that included a "persistent climate of humiliation" for women.

The school says it won't recognize the fraternity until 2018.

Meanwhile, Penn State University officials say they "strongly dispute" an ex-student's claims that the school failed to investigate his hazing complaint against a fraternity.

The university says it offered "extraordinary assistance" over many months to now 21-year-old James Vivenzio before he filed suit Monday.

The school says neither Vivenzio nor his family were willing to file a formal complaint, provide documents, talk to campus police or engage in the formal disciplinary process. The school says it even sent an investigator to his Great Falls, Virginia, home last year.

The negligence lawsuit accuses Penn State of failing to address hazing, sexual intimidation, alcohol abuse and other problems at Kappa Delta Rho.

Vivenzio's lawyer says the hazing led his client to flunk his 2012-2013 freshman year.

A former student who blew the whistle on a Penn State fraternity's secret Facebook page featuring photos of naked women says the university ignored his complaints about sexual assault, hazing and drug use.

James Vivenzio, of Great Falls, Virginia, says in a lawsuit filed Monday against the university and the fraternity that he waited eight months for Penn State to take action before going to police in January.

Vivenzio says he was burned with cigarettes, force-fed buckets of liquor mixed with urine, vomit and hot sauce and made to guzzle alcohol as part of fraternity hazing rituals.

Vivenzio's lawyer says he went to police when he feared someone would die from the activities.

Penn State recently suspended the fraternity for three years. The university and fraternity didn't immediately return messages.