Update – On Wednesday, nbcnews.com posted a story on this situation. What is most important is how it shows the commitment of Beta Theta Pi to own up to the behavior, and hold its members accountable for actions that threaten its integrity.
The Kansas City Star has a story on an incident last Friday evening involving the University of Kansas Chapter of Beta Theta Pi, a Jazz Band, and a rental live Turkey. The turkey ended up dead. Apparently, the fraternity was holding its traditional year-end formal dinner party, and the turkey they had rented for the evening (yes, I said they rented a turkey), escaped from its cage and was thrown around the room by those in attendance. It was injured, and eventually killed by someone “to end its suffering.”
While I would never endorse this type of behavior, and I fully support the actions taken by Beta HQ that we will discuss below, some of the lines from the article are pretty funny:
- “The turkey was rented for the evening and was not scheduled to be slaughtered.”
- “The party was a catered affair with turkey on the menu. Just not this one.”
- “When the men broke the cage, the turkey fled and raced through the dance crowd of about 150 people.”
- “A drummer playing in the band jumped off the stage and begged the college students to let her have the bird.”
A spokesperson for “PETA’s cruelty investigation department” was quoted as saying, “this alarming incident is the very definition of bully behavior, … People who abuse animals rarely do it only once and almost never stop there. There should never be a live animal at a fraternity party.”
The chapter has been placed on indefinite, interim suspension by the General Fraternity of Beta Theta Pi (headquarters) pending an investigation.
While some may see this as an overreaction by the fraternity, it is totally consistent with the values of Beta Theta Pi. As “Men of Principle,” Beta Theta Pi is on a short list of national fraternities who truly hold their men, and chapters, to the highest values of membership. I highly commend them for taking such quick and decisive action. It is unlikely that this will result in the closure of this chapter, however the men of KU Beta are certain to learn a lot about their organization’s values over the Spring semester.