Newly-crowned Miss America Kira Kazantsev is under ehavy scrutiny after being awarded the title earlier this month, but not for the reasons you might expect.
The 23-year-old former Miss New York was kicked out of her sorority at Hofstra University on Long Island, reports, say, for abusively hazing new pledges!
Not exactly a role model for female empowerment if so.
According to Jezebel, Kira Kazantsev and a friend were both booted out of their Alpha Phi house in late April 2013 after their conduct was exposed.
At the time, Kazantsev was the sorority’s New Member Educator and Recruitment Committee President, or the one in charge of the pledge process.
Which she reportedly ran roughshod over.
After returning from her fall 2012 study abroad semester in Spain, Kazantsev began her term in office as Alpha Phi Recruitment Committee President.
Kazantsev and her best friend (another Alpha Phi sister who was also her roommate), our source says, were exceptionally harsh toward the pledges.
In the tipster’s words, they made recruits’ lives “a living hell.” Too bad this wasn’t included in our previous five fun facts about the new Miss America.
Pledges were called names, made to partake in demeaning acts and berated for their perceived physical flaws and imperfections, the report says.
They were made to perform physical tasks to the point of bruising and exhaustion, standard sorority pledge stuff certainly not specific to Kira or Alpha Phi.
Heading it up, though, is nonetheless frowned upon by the university, which received a complaint pertaining to Kazantsev and her friend for “dirty pledging.”
Hofstra didn’t turn a blind eye to it. After a months-long investigation into their actions, the pair was officially expelled from Alpha Phi in late 2013.
Miss America said in a statement that this has all been disclosed: “Kira has been very open and candid about her termination from the Alpha Phi sorority.”
“It’s unfortunate that this incident and unsourced allegations have been exploited to create a storyline that distracts from what we should be focusing on.”
That would be “Kira’s academic achievements at Hofstra, including a triple major from the Honors College and her commitment to serving the community.”
Kira and her 3.6 GPA make for “an exceptional ambassador for the Miss America Organization,” the group insists, and no further action will be taken.
“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.”