Pro-frat political group defends itself against ‘slanted’ news article

Aug 2, 2013 by

FratPAC, a political group dedicated to promoting interests of fraternities and sororities on Capitol Hill, has been receiving criticism for not publicly supporting federal anti-hazing legislation.

Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee, otherwise known as the FratPAC, continues to be silent about anti-hazing legislation despite criticisms.

Harrison Kowiak was a 19-year-old scholarship student at Lenior-Rhyne University when he was pummeled to death during a fraternity hazing ritual in 2008, and has subsequently become the poster child for anti-hazing legislation. Since Kowiak’s death nearly 60 Greek co-eds have died as a result of hazing.

In response to Kowiak’s death, his mother Lianne Kowiak, encouraged lawmakers to create a bill preventing more hazing deaths.

Florida Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson proposed an anti-hazing bill in 2005. The proposed federal legislation, known as the National Hazing Prevention Act, is a bill that would “define hazing as an illegal act of violence that may be perpetrated by and among children, adolescents or adults and results in serious psychological and physical harm.”

The bill would establish a National Center on Hazing to provide financial assistance for programs that effectively prevent hazing on college campuses, as well as revoke financial aid from students found to be carrying out hazing activities.

But, according to a recent article in Bloomberg, FratPAC has attempted to prevent anti-hazing legislation in a behind-the-scenes effort to perpetuate fraternity hazing culture. FratPAC responded saying that the article was inaccurate, and said that they do not actively support hazing.

FratPAC is depicted as opposing legislation that would revoke financial aid from student who was found guilty of hazing, saying “the government should stay out of it.”

There are 37 senators and 104 congressmen in the 113th Congress who belong to Greek organizations, many of whom have benefited from the FRATPac’s $818,000 worth of contributions.

FRATPac Graph

“We think the Bloomberg News articles this week were slanted and unfair, especially the article regarding FGRC’s role in potential for federal hazing legislation,” FratPAC said in a statement this week.

“While we’ve not taken a position on whether or not hazing should result in you losing your federal financial aid, we have taken the position that if you are going to have that sort of sanction, it should go through a criminal process rather than through the quasi-judicial process that most campuses engage in,” FratPAC lead lobbyist Kevin O’Neill said in a statement.

According to O’Neill, the North American Inter-fraternity Conference and the National Pan-Hellenic Conference dedicate more time and resources to fighting hazing than any other organization.

Yet despite their efforts to prevent hazing, FratPAC would rather see this carried out at the state level.

“I think anytime you’re going to make a decision that impacts a student’s ability to continue in school, which obviously taking away their federal financial aid does just that, that you need to make sure you’ve accorded them as much due process as is,” O’Neil said. “There are very few things that you lose your federal financial aid for under current law.”

via Pro-frat political group defends itself against ‘slanted’ news article | The Daily Caller.

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