Miss America Kira Kazantsev has denied that she was kicked out from her sorority for abusive hazing, insisting that her expulsion was not because of any hazing.
Kazantsev was reacting to a report that surfaced on Monday, which claimed that she was expelled from the Alpha Phi sorority in 2013 along with a friend after a month-long investigation indicted them of degrading recruits by some extreme form of hazing. In a long blog post, the newly crowned queen said the media simply exaggerated what actually happened.
According to her, she only joked about hazing in an email and after the sorority organization got wind of it, they began an investigation and summoned her for a judicial hearing. When she failed to appear at the hearing, she then got expelled.
Some parts of her blog post (you can read in full here) can be read below.
When I entered the sorority recruitment process at Hofstra University in Spring 2010, I decided to join a sorority for the social life but I also thought that I was joining a legacy of success and philanthropy. My friends were joining, and for fear of being left out, I joined too. To be completely honest, I didn’t know what I was signing up for.
The worst of the so-called hazing was standing in a line reciting information, a few sleepless nights, and crafting. I was yelled at a few times. That year, the sorority got in trouble for those actions and was disciplined by both Hofstra and the national organization. However, after being brought up through that process, my class thought the only way to gain respect in the sorority was to go through it or be seen as weak.
Later on, I had the opportunity to be the New Member Educator for a semester. It was a very rewarding experience as you get to connect with the recruits on a very deep level. However, I did oversee some pledging events as part of my job description, similar to those described above. Furthermore, my termination from Alpha Phi surrounded entirely different circumstances and I would like to use this opportunity to further explain.
When I was a senior, as one of the older sisters in the sorority, I was asked by a new member educator at the time to send an email to alumni asking them to attend an event. In the email, I joked that we could make the evening scary for the pledges. That statement was a joke – we never intended to actually engage in the wrongful behavior that I have been accused of – and the alumni event I spoke of never came to fruition anyway. But this is when I learned a very important communications lesson that will stick with me for life.
The email was forwarded by someone to the national organization. Based on that information, the national office summoned me for a judiciary hearing. At the time, it was the end of the school year. Finals, graduation, and moving to New York City were at the forefront of my concerns. Based on the fact that I did not attend this hearing that was the official reason given for my termination.
I was never involved with any name-calling or use of profanity toward a girl during my time with the sorority. I was never involved in any physical hazing or any degradation of physical appearance of any kind. This has all been immensely taken out of context and manipulated purposefully because I am now in a public position.
The nameless source that is saying these things is doing exactly what it is that I was wrongfully accused of.
Now that I’m 2 years removed from that experience at the sorority, I’ve learned what healthy relationships are, and can better speak to what young girls entering college should avoid and it has further developed my platform, “Love Shouldn’t Hurt: Protecting Women Against Domestic Violence.”
I’m also proud to say that Alpha Phi Theta Mu of Hofstra University is an upstanding organization that has completely abandoned these practices and I’m incredibly proud of the work they do as an organization.
I understand that it can sometimes be hard for women to help other women. It’s so sad but I see it happening over and over. The Miss America sisterhood has taught me what true sisterhood is. It is a group of women that has elevated itself from that pettiness and is able to be happy for one another instead of trying to tear each other down.