Kira Kazantsev admits she hazed pledges ‘under the broad definition of hazing’


As we discussed yesterday, our new Miss America Kira Kazantsev was expelled from her sorority, Alpha Phi, at Hofstra University in the midst of hazing allegations. At the time, Kira was in a leadership position in Alpha Phi. Jezebel published an interesting/disturbing story, including quotes from unnamed sources about the kind of hazing rituals that went on during the same time period when Kira was in a leadership position. The rituals involved verbal abuse and performing physical tasks to the point of “exhaustion and bruising,” according to one source who claimed she was in Alpha Phi at the same time.

I updated yesterday’s post with a link to Kira’s blog post, but it’s worth taking a moment to parse her words a bit further. She wrote:

When I entered the sorority recruitment process at Hofstra University in Spring 2010, I decided to join a sorority for the social life but I also thought that I was joining a legacy of success and philanthropy. My friends were joining, and for fear of being left out, I joined too…The worst of the so-called hazing was standing in a line reciting information, a few sleepless nights, and crafting. I was yelled at a few times. That year, the sorority got in trouble for those actions and was disciplined by both Hofstra and the national organization. However, after being brought up through that process, my class thought the only way to gain respect in the sorority was to go through it or be seen as weak.

When I was a senior, as one of the older sisters in the sorority, I was asked by a new member educator at the time to send an email to alumni asking them to attend an event. In the email, I joked that we could make the evening scary for the pledges. That statement was a joke – we never intended to actually engage in the wrongful behavior that I have been accused of – and the alumni event I spoke of never came to fruition anyway…The email was forwarded by someone to the national organization. Based on that information, the national office summoned me for a judiciary hearing. At the time, it was the end of the school year. Finals, graduation, and moving to New York City were at the forefront of my concerns. Based on the fact that I did not attend this hearing that was the official reason given for my termination.

I was never involved with any name-calling or use of profanity toward a girl during my time with the sorority. I was never involved in any physical hazing or any degradation of physical appearance of any kind. This has all been immensely taken out of context and manipulated purposefully because I am now in a public position.

[From Kira’s blog]

Um… I don’t believe her? Besides, her story changed the second she got on camera. Kira did an interview with Lara Spencer at GMA where she admits, “Under the broad definition of hazing, yes, I was involved with some of those activities while I was at Hofstra. At the time, unfortunately, that was just the culture of the university.” So, she did haze pledges but only under the “broad definition” of hazing but that was just the culture of hazing even though the sorority was already punished for hazing pledges when she was a pledge and it’s totally the university’s fault for not punishing offending sororities except she was only kicked out of the sorority because of an email even though yeah, she totally hazed pledges. Gurl, get your story straight! Here’s the video:

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PS… Jezebel says that there’s even more information coming out about this story too. Hopefully, Kira will enough time to get her story straight by the next contradictory GMA interview.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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78 Responses to “Kira Kazantsev admits she hazed pledges ‘under the broad definition of hazing’”

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  1. Ag says:

    she has a bright future in politics – “under the BROAD definition… define ‘sex…’ “

    • Charlie says:

      Hazing aside, she doesn’t seem like the typical Miss America. I read somewhere that she speaks 3 languages, she’s going to law school and she interned at Planned Parenthood. If it wasn’t for the hazing, I would really like her.

      • Ag says:

        that’s pretty cool – i had no idea.

      • aims says:

        I don’t believe her. I think she was a Mean Girl and hazed the hell out of those women. If she only had a few long nights and extreme “crafting. ” there’s no way she would had gotten kicked out. It’s a shame too, because on paper I would had also liked her.

      • Esmom says:

        Yeah, she seems to have good credentials but she doesn’t deserve the crown. I think if you can’t be a decent human being then the rest of your accomplishments are worth squat.

      • We Are All Made of Stars says:

        Lots of sociopathic/narcissistic people would go through hell and back to make sure they look good on paper. Hmm, let’s see: says she supports Love Shouldn’t Hurt because of her personal experience with domestic violence and yet is credibly accused of hazing other women for acceptance in a social group. Sounds like she needs some serious therapy. The look on her face would suggest so too.

      • FLORC says:

        You can be impressive on paper and still be a horrible person.
        And I’m also going to law school. i’ll tell you when I get there ;)
        I’m with Esmon and Stars.

      • Adrien says:

        A lot of Ms. America contestants are smart. They are vying for university scholarship. I think you are confusing it with the Trump owned Miss USA.

      • Jay says:

        Miss America and Miss USA are 2 different things… Miss USA is the Donald Trump show where the women don’t have to be intelligent or talented… typically Miss America winners are there to get a scholarship for school.

    • anon says:

      she’s actually a first year at Fordham Law…although this type of behavior doesn’t shock me. I’m currently at a GW Law, and it’s like high school all over again with the catty name calling, the behind the back bullying, and the cliques. it’s awful and disappointing to see–especially when you expect these people to be mature and act like professionals.

      • Barristerette says:

        I’m a 3L at a law school in the midwest and unfortunately I can so relate. I have never seen so much back stabbing and cattiness in my life. Besides a few like-minded individuals, I completely avoid befriending other law students because of the horrible experiences I and others have had. This girl sounds like she will fit right in with the nasty ones.

    • fairyvexed says:

      She looks like Lee Anne Rimes.

    • hopy says:

      seriously a long knob polishing career in her future. she will fit eight in to sleazy legal community

  2. Abbott says:

    “The worst of the so-called hazing was standing in a line reciting information, a few sleepless nights, and crafting. ”

    Crafting? Did you make silk flowers til your fingers bled? What am I missing?

    • Kiddo says:

      ‘a legacy of success and philanthropy’ is built on hardcore crafting competition, hazing or somethingorother.

      • mimif says:

        I haven’t been following this story, but I thought she meant crafting like boiling bat wings with a pinch of black widow dust and stuff. You know, like The Craft.

    • Esmom says:

      I noticed the “crafting” thing yesterday, too. I find crafting to be rather torturous but I’ve never heard of hazing via crafting. Maybe there’s a “broader definition” of crafting that I’m missing here…

    • Jaderu says:

      Will no one think of Blake Lively?!?!?!
      OMG that poor woman!!!
      I never realized the crafting horror this flaxen haired angel must endure!

    • hopy says:

      that and deprivation of food and water…she is a wolf in sheeps clothing

    • Anya says:

      You spend a lot of time on sorority crafts projects, believe it or not. Sewing letters on a sweatshirt, painting signs, decorations for a pledging ceremony. Big sisters will make gifts for their littles, etc. If you’re into crafting, you can get your fix by going greek.

      Re Janis the Muppet, we all know aggressive, competitive, overly confident mean girls. She was a beeyotch to the pledges because she could get away with it, pure and simple.

  3. Jenns says:

    She really needs to step down. And not just because of the hazing, but because of that stupid cup “talent”.

  4. The Original Mia says:

    Still can’t believe that was her talent.

  5. Marigold says:

    If you all haven’t watched John Oliver’s take on this “scholarship” pageant, get thee to the YouTube. I rather doubt many of the readers here put stock in the Miss America pageant anyway but it was an enlightening segment nonetheless.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      John Oliver’s take on it was extremely enlightening about all those “scholarship awards”. It is long since time to do away with these silly pageants and scholarships that don’t actually exist is no reason to continue them.

    • Erinn says:

      YES. THIS.
      I love John Oliver – and I love that he brought out what a giant scam this ‘scholarship’ program is running. And it frightens me that the ‘largest available amounts of scholarships’ or whatever for women are judged largely on your appearance and the state of your uterus. That’s not progressive at alll. And I’m sure that a lot of these girls are highly intelligent, but GOD. It’s just so backwards.

    • Charlie says:

      Is it true that the most scolarships in the US given to women are for beauty peagents and for men are sports scolarships? I read that somewhere, but I don’t remember where.

    • Adrien says:

      Yes, that was a brilliant. The Society of Women Engineers benefited from that, I heard. On a lighter note, shut up Kathy Griffin, I want to sleep with John Oliver and Guiseppi can watch.

    • sadezilla says:

      Great suggestion, thanks Marigold! More John Oliver for everyone!

    • Lucy2 says:

      That was an excellent segment. For anyone who didn’t see it, The pageant claims to provide up to $45 million a year in scholarships but their method of calculating that is insane. Oliver said when they looked into it they couldn’t even find 4 million.

  6. Crocuta says:

    I haven’t followed the Miss World competition since the early 90s. I have no idea who won in my own country :o And these 3 pictures of her aren’t flattering. I guess America has the same problem as we here have: the most gorgeous ladies don’t enter beauty pageants.

    We also don’t have sororities and fraternities at UNI. Hazing only happens if you go to a party specificly designed for that. I guess some people are masochists. Actual hazing is present in the first year of highschool, when fresh students are painted, bullied around to clear the blackboards (something that was big in my time but now with electronics that doesn’t really work, I guess) and made to do stupid chores. I always hated that. My high school narrowed it down from the whole year to one week after one kid’s arm got broken. Why do people have the need to torture others to feel accepted?

    • Charlie says:

      We also don’t have sororities here, but hazing doesn’t happen in high school either. I’ve only seen it in Ameirican movies.
      I’m confused about why would anyone want to be hazed? Is being in a sorority somehow benefical in later life?

      • Ag says:

        i think it’s traditionally seen as being beneficial because you’re supposed to be plugging into this wider network of people who can help you with your career, have connections, etc. i have no clue. i wouldn’t touch a sorority with a 20-foot pole. and people get hazed because they want to belong so badly. i mean, they’re like 18. a lot of them still have their heads up their butts. (you also pay to be in a sorority, i think on an annual basis, which makes it all even weirder.)

      • We Are All Made of Stars says:

        No, you pay anywhere from a reasonable fee to several hundred dollars or more per semester. Buying your friends is really expensive…for one’s parents.

  7. Sayrah says:

    Yeah, it was just a joke you guys! Sure

  8. Tiffany says:

    I want to see her birth certificate, please and thank you.

    • pantalones en fuego says:

      I was just coming her to say that. She could easily pass for mid 30′s.

    • Stephanie says:

      I totally agree. Some photos of her are very unflattering. It’s surprising. I’m predicting she will get this crown yanked soon.

  9. some bitch says:

    So she’s as loathsome and phony as I first suspected. “Crafting” I’m so sure. Hopefully she’ll continue to be two-faced and abusive until she provokes the wrong woman.

    • Kiddo says:

      Isn’t ‘phony’ the first qualifier to enter a pageant to begin with? Who the hell can smile for 3 hours straight and be genuine? Other than someone on acid or someone missing some faculties?

      • We Are All Made of Stars says:

        It’s simple, actually: When you twirl around so the judges can see the back of your dress, you simply open your mouth and drop your jaw muscles as if in a complete state of surprise in order to relax your face and appear as if your three-hour-long smile is genuine…lol just kidding they’re all fakies who want to be politicians’ wives.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I thought of you yesterday. I’m reading this book called Shantaram, and a character is explaining the Big Bang Theory, and he says, “so you see, we are all made of stars.” And I thought “hey, I know her!” Lol

      • We Are All Made of Stars says:

        Well thank you! I’m quite flattered/alarmed that my existence has made that much of an impression on your mind. Sounds like an interesting book. Do you remember the Moby song?

  10. joy says:

    The broad definition of hazing is actually anything that differentiates new members from initiated members. Yes I’m a sorority alumnae and I still work with collegiate chapters as a volunteer so I’m well versed in hazing. When I was a new member we had to wear little ribbons pinned to our shirt every day until we were initiated. Now that’s considered hazing, so yes it at times can be a bit ridiculous with what is hazing. Having said that, no sorority just terminates people. They’re too scared of being sued for it. There is a lengthy process that takes place with the judicial board. So she’s at the least telling half truths.

  11. Marianne says:

    I think it would be better for her if she admitted the truth. Be honest that you made pledges haze and you aren’t proud of your past.

  12. Tig says:

    This is what’s going to trip her up- the ” cover up”. Of course, read somewhere the 2nd runner-up is worse-who knows?- but appears for now pageant is sticking with her.

  13. Feebee says:

    As low as I think the bar is for sororities and fraternities holding members accountable, I do think it had be worse than her explanation to be asked to leave.

    I don’t understand why hazing is getting worse rather petering out, given what we know these days, everyone having a camera etc. Mind you I think I have a deep undercover contempt for the frat/soro system.

  14. Amy says:

    From what I understood in her post, she was hazed herself when she was a new member (they don’t call them pledges anymore and pledging is now new member education). But then she got some kind of position and made a joke about potentially hazing new members. Someone who received that email took the hazing threat seriously and reported the email to sorority HQ and even though it was meant to be a joke, sorority HQ expelled her. If that’s what really happened, I feel bad for her. However Greek life HQ does not mince words when it comes to hazing, even if it’s meant as a joke. I follow my sorority on Instagram and for the past month it’s been posting a series of anti-hazing posts, giving common excuses for hazing and the reasons those excuses don’t stand. They have a bad rep to begin with and she should have realized that joking with alumni about hazing would have gotten reported. Sorority HQ may have over reacted but if intent was suspected even if no hazing took place, I guess that’s enough to revoke someone’s membership.

  15. Nima says:

    I am more shocked that she is considered ” a beauty queen”.

  16. JaySay says:

    I was in a sorority. I went to a big school with a big Greek system and it was just a way to make your world at a huge school a little smaller. We didn’t haze or get hazed. Please. I would’ve never been in a sorority if they hazed. At many schools it’s NOTHING like you see in the movies.

    • Ange says:

      So…. the nerds aren’t running panty raids and winning talent contests with futuristic violin music?

      My world is ROCKED.

  17. Mike says:

    If she is not telling the entire truth she will be very sorry for it. Often the news agencies act like detectives in an interrogation, they do not give all the information they have so you can lie and trip all over yourself. Then they hammer you with facts that contradict everything you said. Only newspapers do it publicly.

  18. Jh says:

    Speaking 3 languages and being involved in PP does NOT make someone a good person or a decent role model. There are many well educated, successful AND attractive humans who are literally narrcacisic, deviant as-holes who know how to fake it.

    This woman scares me.

  19. Jh says:

    P.S. Her “talent” was playing a cup. Ok.

    • CK says:

      I just couldn’t take her seriously after that. She was just sitting on the floor, banging on a cup to no particular beat and just singing the song while the band drowned her out. How any of the judges managed to keep their composure and not laugh in her face is beyond me?

  20. Jen34 says:

    She needs to turn over the crown. When was she a senior? A few years ago? Whatever she really did must have been bad if she was kicked out of the sorority. She isn’t far enough away from it to be sorry or have learned a lesson. I hope Jezebel keeps digging. Mean girls should not be rewarded.

  21. HappyMom says:

    Way to shade Hofstra. They must be thrilled with her as an alum representing their school.

  22. Maggie Grace says:

    Yeah, the cup playing “talent.” Party game, maybe. Exhibition of hard-earned talent? I don’t think so.

  23. MG says:

    At my school they drew circles around female pledges’ “problem areas” (e.g., cellulite, fat) with sharpie pen for all to see.

    I would think some of this young woman’s pledges will come forward to give details of the hazing if it really did consist of more than she admits.

  24. anonymous says:

    If she were kicked out for hazing and is now covering it up- she’s also risking not being licensed by a bar association for lack of character. I’m sure her law school is watching this as well.

    • RobN says:

      I’m a lawyer, and what it takes for them to find a lack of character is almost beyond belief. Convicted rapists and murderers are allowed to join the bar so I’m guessing the too much crafting thing is not going to be seen as a disqualifying factor.

  25. RobN says:

    There is actually a broad definition of hazing that includes virtually every thing you make a pledge do that is not required of current members; it doesn’t have to be about injury or degradation. I personally see nothing wrong with harmless rituals that people do to join a group; a lot of it is just stupid and harmless.

    I think the Greek system is a joke and ought to be abandoned, but it’s also ridiculous to lump every single pledge requirement under a big banner that says hazing and treat it like it’s all the same.