ITHACA, N.Y. — Cornell University’s oldest a capella group, Cayuga’s Waiters, has been permanently dismissed from campus after “extremely serious” hazing incidents.
New members and non-senior members of Cayuga’s Waiters, an all-male a capella group formed in 1949, were reportedly subjected to “dangerous and humiliating” hazing rituals. During the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 semesters, members were required sit naked in an ice bath, apply Icy Hot to their genitals and race up and down the street and consume foods, according to the university’s hazing website.
Through an investigation, the organization disclosed that hazing behaviors, including some more severe than the ones listed, had occurred for at least 10 years. Alumni were also reported to have returned to participate in hazing new members.
Cayuga’s Waiters were placed on temporary suspension in Fall 2016, and the matter was investigated by the University Hearing Board.
After finding the organization responsible for code violations, the organization was ultimately permanently dismissed from campus.
Interim president Hunter R. Rawlings agreed with the findings.
“I agree with the UHB that the hazing violations in this case are ‘extremely serious,’ ‘dangerous and humiliating,’ and evidence of the organization “failing to meet the most minimum standards that we hold as a university community for relationships among students.” This behavior has no place at Cornell, and I agree with the URB that dismissal of the organization is appropriate,” Rawlings said in a statement.
In addition to the organization being banned, seven upper-level students were referred to the Office of the Judicial Administrator for individual violations related to actions completed while a member of the organization, and “those matters have been resolved,” according to the incident summary.
John Carberry, senior director of media relations, said the step was not taken lightly.
“We recognize that this organization has a deep history at Cornell, and I can assure you this step was not taken lightly. Still, we must act powerfully to protect the current and future students of this University when violations of the Campus Code of Conduct are established through application of the Code’s procedures. The president’s decision affirming the earlier determination of our Campus Disciplinary System does that, and I hope we can all move forward together to continue to promote a climate of scholarship and respect at Cornell,” Carberry said in a statement.