George Leslie, a postdoctoral fellow at UPenn’s School of Medicine, recently brought attention to what appears to be horrible exploitation and mistreatment of a camel at Zeta Psi’s Spring Fling party last week.
In a letter to the editor appearing in The Daily Pennsylvanian, he writes:
Apparently the Zeta Psi fraternity members decided to spend some of Daddy’s money and rent a bunch of animals for a zoo-like Spring Fling party. What fun! Except for the handling of the camel they rented. It was, at the very least, exploitative and thoughtless treatment, if not animal cruelty.
I can’t help but wonder, did the Zeta Psi brothers really think that a camel would like being stepped on by drunk sorority sisters or enjoy having beer spilled on its head? Or maybe they just don’t care about anyone but themselves? Regardless, it is embarrassing for this University to sanction such self-absorbed and pathetic behavior. I pray that in future Flings we don’t continue to throw Penn’s reputation — and the rights of animals to be treated with respect — out a window.
Well said, sir! I mean seriously, nonhuman animals don’t belong at frat parties*.
Apparently, the fraternity has been hiring the Peaceable Kingdom petting zoo for use at its parties for the past five years, though this will be the last—Charis Matey, co-owner of the Bucks County zoo, doesn’t want to get a bad name from continuing to do business with the university.
Although the fraternity won’t be doing business with this particular zoo anymore, who’s to say they won’t just find another place to provide animals who will entertain the drunken, rowdy students? One article mentioned that Scott Reikofski, director of fraternity and sorority affairs at the university, hoped to have a resolution soon, but then another said the controversy was resolved and Zeta Psi was “cleared of any wrongdoing.”
I’m not necessarily saying the fraternity should be punished for mistreatment of animals (though they should), but I hope some sort of resolution gets passed to ban this sort of thing from ever happening again. I have emailed Scott Reikofski (firstname.lastname@example.org) stating my opinion, and am currently awaiting his response.
*unless they’re party animals.