Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Lawsuit Probes Hazing Culture

Two Delta Sigma Theta Sorority pledges at East Carolina University lost their lives in a November 2010 automobile accident. The mother of one of the deceased young women believes sleep deprivation caused by hazing led driver Kamil Arrington to fall asleep behind the wheel and crash into a tree.

Arrington survived the crash, but Victoria Carter and Briana Gather succumbed to their injuries.

The pledges were in the final stages of their ritual when tragedy struck. This last stage of pledging is known as “Hell Week.”

The women, who were pledging the East Carolina University chapter of the sorority, were subjected to many hazing rituals in their quest for membership.

Pledges were forced to perform a variety of hazing exercises that included “Delta TV,” “Delta Chair,” “Delta Lipstick” and “Delta Apple.”

The lawsuit describes these rituals in full.

During the “Delta TV” exercise, pledges are forced to hold a push-up position. There were also subjected to perform “wall sits,” where pledges are to bend their knees and position their backs against the wall and remain in the stance for long periods of time.

In the “Delta Chair” exercise, pledges must stand on one leg and hold a heavy brick over their heads while being humiliated by members of the sorority.

Pledges were told to smear hot sauce on their lips, which is called “Delta Lipstick.” They ate a large raw onion called a “Delta Apple” and consumed cottage cheese and buttermilk.

The pledges were subjected to much fatigue during “Hell Week” due to perfecting the “probate death march” in preparation for the potential new members’ induction ceremony.

This fatigue led to tragedy on Nov. 20, 2010.

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