Hofstra Aepi on 'cease and desist' after dog 'keg stand' video goes viral
Screenshot of video courtesy of Kristina Proscia on Twitter.
Hofstra University’s chapter of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity was suspended on Monday, May 13, after a five-second video clip purportedly showing fraternity members forcing a dog to ingest beer circulated across social media.
Held over a keg, the dog was sprayed in the mouth with beer by a fraternity member; “Let’s go, keg stand!” can be heard in the background of the video, followed by prolonged shouts of “Let’s go!” from a third man. The video can be found on Twitter here, posted by Kristina Proscia, a sophomore nursing major at Adelphi University.
The video, originally posted to a Snapchat story by a fraternity member, was reportedly recorded on Saturday, May 11, at an off-campus house in the town of Hempstead. The five-second clip on Twitter, a recording of another phone playing the video, had been viewed more than 100,000 times by Tuesday, May 14.
“It was completely wrong, and I couldn’t imagine anyone thinking it’s funny,” Proscia said when messaged on Twitter .
Proscia brought public attention to the incident when she posted the clip to Twitter the day it was recorded. Her tweet has since garnered over 1,500 retweets and over 250 replies.
“The behavior seen on the video is unacceptable and in violation of the University’s Code of Community Standards,” said Karla Schuster, a Hofstra spokeswoman, in a statement. “In addition, any individual students identified in the video will also be subject to the University’s Code of Community Standards,” as the chapter is facing an “interim suspension pending an investigation.”
Founded in 1913 at New York University, Alpha Epsilon Pi is known widely as “the world’s Jewish fraternity.”
Former International President of Alpha Epsilon Pi and current spokesman for the fraternity Jonathan Pierce confirmed to The Chronicle over Twitter that the Hofstra chapter is temporarily suspended.
In a statement, Pierce said, “We hope that we are able to use this as a teaching moment to help build better young men who are committed to our policies and our mission of developing the future leaders of the world’s Jewish communities.”
On Sunday, May 12, the fraternity’s verified Twitter page echoed this sentiment in a statement, saying, “We hope this can be a teaching moment to help build better young men who are committed to our mission and values.” The tweet said that “Alpha Epsilon Pi International has placed [its] Hofstra U chapter on ‘cease and desist’” due to “suspected violations of our health and safety policies.”
Many people on Twitter voiced their disapproval with the fraternity’s statement. “Health and safety? That is flat out animal cruelty,” said user @LandryAgnesGSD. “How can this be a ‘teaching moment’ when all you are teaching them is [that] they can literally get away with despicable animal cruelty?” said user @shinster_r.
According to the Pet Poison Helpline website, alcohol can have a “potentially severe” level of toxicity if ingested by a dog: “Ingestion of alcohol can cause dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure, and body temperature. Severely intoxicated animals can potentially experience seizures and respiratory failure.”
The Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Nassau County SPCA) told a reporter for the Sayville-Bayport Patch that the group has launched an investigation into the video. Whether or not the Nassau County Police Department is involved is currently unknown.
The dog, an 8-month-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Buddy, is currently in the custody of the Nassau County SPCA and is in “good condition,” according to Detective Matt Roper, as reported by News 12 Long Island. Buddy’s owner, Roper said, is a senior at Hofstra and a member of the fraternity in question.
Hofstra’s Student Organization for Animal Rights declined to comment on the incident in question, but emphasized the organization’s belief that “animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment.”
Proscia is a member of the Adelphi chapter of Phi Mu. “Greek life is not like this at all. It’s a supportive environment where everyone is themselves and everyone is there for each other. If I did something wrong, I’d want my sorority sisters to call me out for it, just like I brought to attention this video,” she said to the Chronicle viaTwitter.
“It’s just really disappointing, honestly,” said an anonymous Hofstra student. “I’m all for Greek unity and supporting Greek life, but this is just wrong. It’s stuff like this that perpetuates the ‘frat boy’ stereotype and ruins the reputation of Greek life at Hofstra.” The student requested to remain anonymous.
The Office of Student Leadership and Engagement, when asked for comment, referred The Chronicle back to the University’s initial statement on the matter from Monday, May 13, which said, “The University has been in communication with Alpha Epsilon Pi International headquarters, as well as with chapter members regarding this off-campus incident.”