Rutgers student injured while pledging a fraternity files hazing lawsuit
A Rutgers University student who was severely injured during an alleged hazing incident is now suing the university and the fraternity he was pledging.
The lawsuit states that freshman Armand Runte, 19, was pledging the Beta Delta chapter of the Theta Chi fraternity. He was allegedly forced to consume life-threatening amounts of alcohol. The suit states Runte became intoxicated, fell down a flight of stairs and was badly injured.
The lawsuit was filed against Rutgers, plus the local chapter of Theta Chi, along with the organization’s grand chapter.
The Greek letters that usually adorn the façade of the Theta Chi fraternity house at Rutgers have been taken down. But it was not clear if this was related to the lawsuit.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed the Timothy J. Piazza Law last year, which prohibits hazing throughout the state and makes it criminal. The law was named for a Penn State student from New Jersey who died in 2017 after he was forced to drink a lot of alcohol while pledging a fraternity and also fell down a flight of stairs.
Theta Chi denounces hazing on their organization’s website and so does Rutgers. But some students tell News 12 that hazing is still a problem.
“Rutgers does a lot to try to stop these things. They have a lot of rules and regulations that try to stop it, but ultimately things that happen behind closed doors on their own property is going to happen regardless” says Rutgers senior Ettien Bido.
A spokesperson for Rutgers says that the school does not comment on pending litigation.