Multiple media sources reported this morning on the recent Tsialas case update we wrote about on our blog. As we reported earlier this week, Cornell University has revoked recognition of Phi Kappa Psi, which means the fraternity can no longer operate on campus. The reasons for the revocation all had to do with the “Christmas in October” event held on October 24, 2019, where Antonio was last seen alive.
However, the revocation announcement did not mention Antonio.
The decision comes after months of silence from Cornell about what happened to Antonio the night he died. Antonio’s parents still have not received any information from the investigation. Additionally, Cornell maintains that they are not responsible for the hazing Phi Kappa Psi did to Antonio, and that it is not their responsibility to keep students safe—not even in the fraternity house they own. Cornell tried to dismiss our lawsuit based on those arguments, but the court denied the university’s motion.
Now, the media is reporting on the banning of Phi Kappa Psi in connection with Antonio Tsialas’ death.
News sources reporting on the ban include:
University reports reveal that Phi Kappa Psi was barred from hosting social events before Antonio Tsialas was hazed due to prior violations, but they hosted a secret “dirty rush” event anyway. In flagrant disregard for the rules, the fraternity hosted a party that subjected pledges to binge drinking games that causes physical and emotional harm, including blacking out, vomiting, and severe disorientation. Our lawsuit alleges that Cornell did not do enough to stop the well-known history of hazing on its campus and failed to pay attention to what the fraternities were planning to do.
“Hazing persists because too many fraternity members believe that the rules don’t apply to them,” David Bianchi says in the Ithaca Journal. “There’s a real arrogance by those who haze. They think they are above the rules and can do what they want. It’s that mindset you have to change.”
In the Ithaca Voice, Attorney Bianchi said “The scourge of hazing will never end unless there are swift and meaningful consequences for the fraternities and the chapter leaders who think the rules don’t apply to them. Hopefully, this will send a message to the rest of the Greek community that it is no longer business as usual. Time will tell.”