Fraternity Hazing Led to University of Nebraska-Lincoln Freshman’s Suicide, Lawsuit Alleges
Weeks of fraternity hazing caused a student from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to commit suicide in 2019, a recent lawsuit has alleged. Hazing abuse: In the lawsuit filed by Kam Rokon in Lancaster County District Court, he claimed that before his 18-year-old brother Rahat Jalil took his own life in January 2019, he was forced to stand outside naked all night and told to urinate on other pledges, the Lincoln Journal-Star reports.
Lambda Phi Epsilon, an Asian-centered fraternity founded in 2016, is not subject to university-approved housing rules as it does not have a house on campus.
The suit, filed against Lambda Phi Epsilon International and its Nebraska chapter, is seeking an unspecified amount in damages for not having policies in place that would ensure Jalil’s safety.
While the school was not named in the case, the lawsuit claimed that Jalil suffered from violated state law and school policies.
Katie Cheatle, the lawyer for the local chapter of Lambda Phi Epsilon has denied that Jalil’s death was not caused by anything the fraternity did.
Jalil’s death: On Jan. 16, 2019, the UNL freshman reportedly jumped from the 11th floor of a campus dormitory to his death, two days after being inducted as a member of the fraternity.
Rokon filed the lawsuit after learning from former members that his brother endured eight weeks of hazing from the fraternity.
During this period, Jalil allegedly suffered verbal and physical abuse at the hands of frat members.
Rokon said he was able to eventually confirm from fraternity members during a meeting with them in August 2020 nearly all of what the former members shared with them.
"About 95 percent of them confirmed and they elaborated on it, at first they weren’t willing to share anything and I got frustrated because they were still standing by the secrecy and brotherhood," Rokon was quoted as saying. "I said that brotherhood goes away when someone dies."
Rokon then asked the members if they would let their future sons into their fraternity, and allegedly six replied no.
UNL has stated that the case is still being investigated by the Student Affairs office.
Featured Image via Lambda Phi Epsilon
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