MSU fraternity scavenger hunt list prompts investigation

EAST LANSING, MICH. - A Michigan State fraternity is under investigation from the university and by its national organization after a student found an offensive scavenger hunt list that appears to belong to the group.

The student found the list at a college building and shared it with university officials. The student also provided it, via another student, to USA TODAY College. Both students requested anonymity.

The document, which appears to belong to Sigma Nu’s Michigan State chapter — with multiple references to Sigma Nu and the house’s Greek letters — lists a variety of tasks to be completed by fraternity members and assigns points for each completed item. Tasks include engaging in and photographing sexual behavior, stealing and getting the door codes to sorority houses.

A man who answered the door at Sigma Nu’s chapter house denied that the list belonged to the fraternity and said further questions should be directed to chapter officials. He also declined to give his name. All students contacted about the scavenger hunt either declined to comment or deferred to Sigma Nu’s national Director of Risk Reduction, Fred Dobry.

“I can tell you that scavenger hunts are specifically prohibited by Sig Nu policy, thus we are engaging in an immediate investigation to determine if this is a component or piece of their experience at the Sig Nu chapter at Michigan State University,” Dobry told USA TODAY College in a phone interview. Dobry became aware of the alleged scavenger hunt, he said, when he was contacted by USA TODAY College for comment.

An initial investigation by the fraternity headquarters “indicated that the chapter leaders were also unaware of any such list being used in the chapter,” Dobry said.

The list, entitled “Scavenger Hunt Fall 16′ [sic],” also requires participants to take pictures with or prank call members of their own fraternity, with the members’ full names and phone numbers provided. The members named on the list either declined to comment or could not be reached for comment.

Multiple members of Greek organizations outside Sigma Nu are named on the list as well.

Among the specific tasks on the list: obtaining a picture of a woman’s breasts with the fraternity’s Greek letters written on them, for 50 points, and taking a picture with “at least 4 Asians,” for 10 points, with 5 extra points awarded for including an “Asian baby.”

Other tasks asked frat members to “steal something to improve the house” and to take a picture with a homeless person.

Michigan State Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Services Terrence Frazier said his office was aware of the list and was in conversation with the fraternity.

“The actions implied in the list are in no way aligned with MSU’s values,” Frazier said in an e-mailed statement. “Our Office for Student Affairs and Services works closely with our Greek organizations on the myriad ways they enhance the campus community. We also have ongoing discussions with members on how to best represent MSU in a responsible manner that supports our core values.”

Jason Cody, a spokesperson for the university, told USA TODAY College, “We are looking into this and are talking with the fraternity.”

In response to the scavenger hunt list, the governing body for MSU fraternities issued this statement:

“The Interfraternity Council is taking this allegation seriously. We have taken actions internally to investigate the validity and source of the claim. … Hazing — which includes ‘scavenger hunt’ activities requiring new members to perform a series of actions — is strictly prohibited by our local and (inter)national governing policies, is illegal, and, frankly, is a horrid act that degrades human dignity. There is zero tolerance for hazing in Greek Life.

More importantly, however, the Interfraternity Council strongly stands against racism, discrimination, sexual assault, degrading actions and words, and engaging in illegal activity. The racist, offensive, sexually explicit, and illegal directives that are listed in this ‘scavenger hunt’ are sickening. Above all, however, the ideas and broader viewpoints that are reflected by the entirety of this list stand in stark contrast to the values that our founders wished to instill in members of Greek Organizations. These actions, and more fundamentally the notions and beliefs that are exhibited by them, have no place in the Greek Community.”

USA Today


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