A California college student who was repeatedly beaten, punched, kicked, and paddled during a weeks-long sorority initiation that included frequent warnings that “snitches get stitches” yesterday filed a negligence lawsuit against a variety of defendants, including four sorority members who were convicted earlier this year of hazing.
In a Superior Court complaint, Courtney Howard details how she and fellow San Jose State University students were roughed up while pledging the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority in late-2008. After Howard, 20, reported the hazing to police and university officials, she charges that sorority members began to harass and threaten her. Howard, pictured at right, subsequently left the school, and is now enrolled at the University of Southern California.
In her lawsuit, excerpted here, Howard noted that she had originally planned to pledge Alpha Kappa Alpha, the oldest African-American women’s sorority. But since the sorority’s San Jose chapter has been suspended due to hazing activities, Howard opted to join Sigma Gamma Rho, believing that “they represented the ‘sisterhood’ she sought in a sorority.”