Reported by Ashley Naples
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is best known for its community service and leadership in business and other sectors. Some of its prominent members include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Dr. Cornel West, and many other revolutionary African-American men in Black America. The fraternity was recently praised for its involvement in the community following the racially-charged death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed Black male who was shot and killed by a white police officer. The fraternity, which was founded in 1906, voiced its interest in paying for Brown’s funeral as protests throughout the world organized to call for an indictment of the officer who killed the teen.
The beloved fraternity is back in the spotlight but not for reasons they’d desire. Kevin Hayes, a student at Bowie State University, has filed a $3 million lawsuit against the fraternity for allegedly being beaten and hazed while pledging. The lawsuit was filed on Monday in Prince George’s County Circuit Court for battery/hazing, false imprisonment and gross negligence.
The lawsuit names specific members of the fraternity who were allegedly behind the hazing. Hayes claims APhiA members Mike Ross, Keenan Goins and others punched, hit, slapped, body slammed, and paddled him during the fall of 2013. According to the lawsuit, Goins was a graduate student and Ross was not a student at the time.
A photo was shared with a local news station which revealed bruising on Hayes’ buttocks as a result of the pledging practices. Hayes also claims he was required to attend five to eight hour “sets” during which he would learn chapter and fraternity information. According to the lawsuit, he was physically punished if the information was not done correctly.
Upon completion of the hazing process, the lawsuit claims that fraternity members threatened Hayes and his mother, saying they would come by her house and see her.
Hayes’ reputation on-campus appears to be ideal for those who aspire to be members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. A junior, Hayes is the executive member at large for Student Government Association for the 2014-2015 school year, the University of Maryland System School Student Council for the 2014-2015 school year, and a member of the Maryland Army National Guard since 2013.
Maryland’s anti-hazing law prohibits putting a student at risk of serious bodily injury for the purpose of initiation.