Miss America normally serves as a fun little way to wallow in self-hatred as you stare at beautiful girls in bikinis, only to feel some small level of redemption when they later have to talk, often failing miserably. But every so often, we get a scandal out of our perfect beauty pageant winners that allows us to believe they’re not just dumb–they’re also kind of bad people.
Kira Kazantsev, recently crowned Miss America 2015, seemed to have the perfect résumé. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and Russian, maintained a 3.6 GPA at Hofstra University–where she triple-majored in political science, geography, and global studies–and advocated for her platform “Love Shouldn’t Hurt,” a program against domestic violence. In an ironic twist of fate, though, it appears Kazantsev’s love does actually hurt a little. As the recruitment chair and new member educator of Alpha Phi at Hofstra during her tenure there, Miss America was, according to Jezebel, a hazing extraordinaire.
When Kazantsev won her title, neither the Hofstra chapter of Alpha Phi or the national organization recognized her accomplishment, which is reportedly because she was kicked out of her sorority in 2013 for hazing. Jezebel’s source says hazing is a big issue at the Long Island school.
A recent graduate who attended Hofstra at the same time as Kazantsev told Jezebel that the final two steps of pledging in one (unnamed) sorority involved making all of the pledges remove their underwear and sit on newspapers while the older members forced them to watch lesbian porn. Anyone whose newspaper stuck to them at the end of the video, the former student said, was branded a dyke, ridiculed, and tossed out. The remaining girls were then forced to perform oral sex on their sorority “big sisters.” Other Greeks required pledges to sit in circles around bowls of cat food and other various inedibles. They’d take turns eating and as soon as someone threw up, they had to eat the puke. Another sorority would wrap completely naked pledges in tinfoil, take them to bars, and instruct them to dance until last call. Patrons would pull pieces of foil off, and pledges were considered sexually up for grabs.
Is this a sorority or a porno? I’m going to be honest, I love my little, but at no point in our relationship have I ever expected or wanted her to go down on me, and at NO point, no matter how incredible I think she is, did I consider going down on my big. And as much as I love a good Anything But Clothes party, aluminum foil has never been a viable clothing alternative. Whether or not Alpha Phi was involved in the type of hazing allegations listed above is unconfirmed, but what a tipster did tell Jezebel was that pledges of Alpha Phi were “called names, berated for their perceived physical flaws and imperfections, and made to perform physical tasks to the point of bruising and exhaustion” at the hand of Kazanstev and her roommate.
Our obvious, burning question, of course, is whether or not the third consecutive Miss New York to win the title will lose her crown and give runner up Miss Virginia, Courtney Paige Garrett, a chance to shine. It’s unlikely. Apparently Kazanstev was upfront with the Miss America Organization, and it will not take action. The organization gave the following official statement:
Kira has been fully transparent with the MissAmerica Organization about her termination from the Alpha Phi sorority. It’s unfortunate that this incident has been exploited to create a storyline that distracts from what we should be focusing on: Kira’s impressive academic achievements at Hofstra University, including earning a triple major from the Honors College and her commitment to serving her community. Kira is an exceptional ambassador for the MissAmerica Organization, and 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.
We’re all so lucky to have lots and lots of scandal if we can’t have world peace.