There she is, Miss Hazing America?
Kira Kazantsev was crowned Miss America just over a week ago. And as expected, her resume is as squeaky clean as you’d expect. She’s a trilingual honors student who’s publicly passionate about women’s health, the daughter of Russian immigrants, a triple-major at her university, and was already accepted to law school at Notre Dame.
But there’s one VERY unflattering detail.
But according to a report from Jezebel, in late April 2013, Kazantsev (who’s platform is all about Domestic Abuse) and a friend were both kicked out of the Alpha Phi sorority at Hofstra University on Long Island after hazing pledges. At the time, Kazantsev was serving as the sorority’s head of recruitment.
And you would THINK that after one of it’s members won Miss America, a sorority like Alpha Phi would at least acknowledge Kira’s win. But no…not a peep. And it appears there’s good reason.
A tipster revealed to Jezebel that after returning from her fall 2012 study abroad semester in Spain, Kazantsev began her term as Alpha Phi’s Recruitment Committee President for the incoming pledges. Kazantsev and her best friend (another Alpha Phi sister who was also her roommate), the source claims, were exceptionally harsh toward the pledges. (In the tipster’s words, they made the recruits’ lives “a living hell.”) Under Kira’s supervision, pledges in the incoming class were allegedly called names, berated for their perceived physical flaws and imperfections, and made to perform physical tasks to the point of bruising and exhaustion—standard sorority pledge stuff paid forward by a person who the source says was herself brutally hazed upon entry into Alpha Phi.
There are rules that prohibit university officials from discussing details of disciplinary cases publicly or divulging details of what specific behavior got Kazantsev booted, but when a writer from Jezebel called Hofstra University to look into allegations that they described as relating to “a high-profile individual who was expelled from her sorority in late April 2013,” the representative responded, “Was this person, by chance, in Atlantic City last Sunday night?” She said she’d tell what she could, which amounted to very little, aside from that damningly leading hypothetical. Additional Hofstra students who were on campus at the same time as Kazantsev corroborated the story that Miss America had been kicked out of her sorority for behavior her University characterizes as “abusive.”
The Miss America organization was more forthcoming, and sent this statement:
Kira has been fully transparent with the Miss America Organization about her termination from the Alpha Phi sorority. It’s unfortunate that this incident has been exploited to create a storyline that distracts from what we should be focusing on: Kira’s impressive academic achievements at Hofstra University, including earning a triple major from the Honors College and her commitment to serving her community. Kira is an exceptional ambassador for the Miss America Organization, and we are excited to be a part of her journey as a force for good across our nation, promoting education and service and working to empower young women.
Read more about the allegations and CRAZY details of what allegedly went on in the sorority community at Hofsta in the original Jezebel report here: http://jezebel.com/miss-america-was-kicked-out-of-her-sorority-for-abusive-1636095561
And now Kira herself is addressing the allegations head-on by posting a blog called “The Reality of Miss America” where she said:
“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.
…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.”
You can read her FULL blog response here: http://kirakazantsev.com/2014/09/the-reality-of-miss-America/
So what do you think? Do you believe the allegations? Should she be forced to step down? So much drama…now THIS is what I call “Princess Probz”