PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —A college student from Philadelphia says she’s the victim of sorority hazing at the University of Pittsburgh. And she says she was pledging for Alpha Kappa Alpha when she was allegedly physically abused.
The student’s mother, Sue Levy Giles, spoke to Eyewitness News. Her 20-year-old daughter Alexandria was in Pittsburgh and unavailable to be interviewed for this story.
Alexandria alleges she and 11 other AKA pledges were attacked by sorority sisters in a dark basement in mid-February. She told her mother days later.
“She broke down. She just started sobbing,” Levy Giles told Eyewitness News.
Levy Giles says Alexandria has been in intense therapy. She claims the episode began with a forced car ride to an unknown house where she was beaten multiple times with pieces of wood in a dark basement.
“She had been kicked, pushed punched and slapped. She had been forced to ingest rotten food,” Levy Giles said.
Alexandria even broke a tooth. University of Pittsburgh police and Penn Hills police are working together to identify potential suspects. The sorority on campus is under suspension for the alleged hazing incident.
From the moment she was a little girl, Levy Giles says Alexandria wanted to be part of AKA.
“She would wear pink and green. Her room at one point was pink and green. She always looked forward to becoming a member of the sorority,” Levy Giles said.
Levy Giles is also a member of AKA, and is disappointed because she claims AKA officials from headquarters have not reached out.
“As a mom, I’m sorry but I wish I could have protected her but I entrusted her to the university. I entrusted her to my sorority,” Levy Giles said.
Leona Dotson, a spokesperson for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority released this statement regarding the alleged attack:
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority has a zero-tolerance policy for hazing in our sorority and we take any allegations of this nature very seriously. We were appalled to learn of hazing allegations against a suspended member who is no longer a student at the University of Pittsburgh. We believe that all existing and prospective members have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. We ensure members’ rights by disciplining those who violate Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s policies and procedures.
We consistently educate prospective, incoming and current sorority members about behaviors that constitute hazing and the implications of such behaviors, including possible suspension and expulsion from the sorority, and criminal charges (if applicable). We also have well-publicized processes in place for sorority members to report hazing in an anonymous way. Hazing is completely unacceptable and inconsistent with the high standards of ethics and integrity to which we hold our members.
These allegations, though extremely serious, are not representative of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority members as a whole. We remain dedicated to our mission to encourage high scholastic and ethical standards, promote unity, alleviate problems concerning girls and women and create opportunities for them to pursue higher education.