The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Investigation confirms liquid from boiled peanuts poured on allergic KA pledge

Matt Mynes // Photo Editor

Wannamaker Hall was the location where five Kappa Alpha brothers poured liquid from boiled peanuts on a peanut-allergic pledge.

In the fall of 2021, rumors swirled across Clemson’s campus that fraternity brothers poured the liquid from boiled peanuts on a peanut-allergic pledge. An investigation by the fraternity’s national office and the Clemson University Police Department has confirmed the rumors. 

Following the initial rumors, the Kappa Alpha fraternity’s national office conducted its own investigation with the Clemson chapter’s president and vice president, which revealed a more detailed timeline of events from the night of the incident.

The incident occurred on the evening of Monday, Sept. 13, 2021. The five brothers called the pledge and asked him to purchase a list of items from the convenience store across the street. One of the items was a container of boiled peanuts.

When the pledge arrived at Wannamaker Hall with the items, they began quizzing him, poured the liquid from the boiled peanuts onto him and wrapped him in plastic wrap. The pledge then asked what liquid was poured onto him, and when he found out that it was the boiled peanuts, he told the brothers that he was allergic.

The brothers immediately got the pledge into the shower and gave him Benadryl, while another brother found an EpiPen in case the pledge had a reaction, according to a statement from the chapter president and vice president to the fraternity’s national office.

It is unclear how the pledge did not realize that the liquid being poured on him was from the boiled peanuts he had purchased earlier.

Despite the University police’s confirmation of the rumors, there was no probable cause to press charges on the five Kappa Alpha brothers, according to University police. South Carolina’s hazing law requires that the action be intentional and reckless, and the brothers said in police interviews they had no prior knowledge of the allergy.

University police concluded its investigation in November, and The Tiger submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the case report soon after. The report describes the interviews University police held with the brothers and the pledge.

The brothers did not provide substantial information to the police but did deny any wrongdoing, according to the report. When asked by University police whether what happened was hazing, a brother denied it.

“An accident happened like an honest mistake,” said one of the brothers.

In contrast, the pledge appeared very hesitant to answer questions from the police, according to the report. He said that he had no idea why the police had invited him and his father to meet and said he was no longer pledging but glad to get out of it.

The University also completed an internal investigation through the Office of Community and Ethical Standards last November but declined to say whether any sanctions were imposed against the brothers for violating the Student Code of Conduct.

Under the University’s hazing policy, “morally degrading behavior” constitutes hazing and is a sanctionable offense.

“No sanctions were imposed against Kappa Alpha Order because it was determined there was not sufficient evidence to connect the organization to the events that were reported,” said Philip Sikes, a University spokesperson.

The University said that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prohibits the release of the results of the investigation. The Tiger has appealed, arguing that redaction would solve the issue.

The Tiger will publish the report online once it is made available.
The full case report from University police and the University, which is the primary source of this article, is available in full here. Redactions were made by the University prior to receipt by The Tiger. The full case report was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request on Dec. 30, 2022.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *