Seven members of the University of Maryland chapter of Zeta Phi Beta have been criminally charged after a former pledge went to the police, alleging abuse on-line.
Amber Bijou, 22, Montressa Hammond 24, Monika Young, 23, Tymesha Pendleton, 26, Kandyce Jackson, 20, Tymesha Pendleton, 26, and Bridget Blount, 24, have all been charged with second-degree assault and on-campus hazing.
An un-named student filed charges with the Prince George’s County Police on Oct. 10, 2010 and the university found out soon after. On Nov. 12, 2010 the university’s Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life (Greek Life) suspended the chapter from campus – partly because the chapter didn’t live up to expectations.
“Every organization must have the means to act quickly in addressing the behavior of a member who violates established codes or standards, either through its own internal procedures or those of the inter/national organization,” Greek Life’s chapter expectations says. “This must include the means to promptly and permanently expel a member from the chapter, making certain to guarantee all rights of due process and adherence to international procedures.”
Despite that, a member of the University of Maryland chapter, who spoke with the AFRO on the condition of anonymity, said the entire situation is nothing more than a disgruntled pledge that was ready for the process to be over and tired of waiting.
“Not to sound rude, but it’s obvious,” the source said. “Girl wants to join. Girl pledges. Girl drops line. Girl calls the cops.”
The source said the pledge asked how much longer she had until the probate, but that she wasn’t told since that’s typically not what Zeta Phi Beta does. That probate, according to the source, was only a week away from it when she asked.
The source said the frustrated former pledge decided to take the matter to the police instead of to the chapter’s graduate advisor, where the proper disciplinary or reconciliatory actions would’ve been put in place to please all parties.
The source said allegations of choking and use of a paddle were made in the complaint. The source doesn’t believe choking occurred, but confirmed that a paddle was used, saying the accuser knew that was going to be a part of the pledging process.
“That’s how we pledged,” the source said. “I’m not saying it was right, but she knew the deal before she went into it.”
The source also said this was the smoking gun to remove the sorority from campus and that Greek Life was “hungry” to get rid of them.
Zeta Phi Beta’s national office has also suspended the chapter pending the result of the investigation.
Six of the women have been given court dates in April. Bijou will not find out her court date until March 17.