Friday, March 04, 2011

Zeta Phi Beta Members Charged with Hazing

7 sorority sisters charged with hazing
By Jenna Johnson

Prince George's County police have charged seven University of Maryland, College Park, sorority sisters with assaulting and hazing a pledge during initiation in October.

The student told police that she was assaulted by current or former members of Zeta Phi Beta sorority on at least three occasions, according to charging documents.

Those charged are: Bridget Blount, 24; Monika Young, 23; Zakiya Shivers, 26; Tymesha Pendleton, 26; Kandyce Jackson, 20; Amber Bijou, 22; and Montressa Hammond, 24. Most of the women are scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.

The student told police she was trying to join Zeta Phi Beta, which is a historically black sorority, when the assaults occurred. The women are accused of pushing the pledge into a wall, hitting her arms and repeatedly striking her with an oak paddle, according to charging documents. Police say the assaults occurred off campus in mid-October and resulted in "severe bruising" on the student's arms and chest.

The U-Md. Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life learned on Nov. 12 that Zeta Phi Beta had "failed to follow University guidelines for activities involved in taking on new members" and suspended campus recognition of the sorority that day, according to a university statement. At the same time, Prince George's County police launched an investigation.

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