Cheer hazing details released
After months of silence from the University, details of Towson’s cheerleading team’s suspension from last year have finally emerged.
The information was obtained after The Baltimore Sun sent several public records requests to the University.
The documents obtained by The Sun state that the team violated several provisions of the student code of conduct, including serving alcohol to those under 21.
In the report, details of the night in question that led to social probation for the fall 2013 semester came out, as well.
During the night in question, members of the team showed up at what the cheerleaders referred to as “team night.” When members of the team showed up at the apartment, they were informed that they could decline to do anything they were asked to do that night.
The new cheerleaders were then given the choice to either funnel a beer or take a shot of alcohol.
All of the women agreed to this, according to the documents. They were then taken into a room of the apartment where they were blindfolded and given adult diapers to wear over their shorts.
Afterward, they were brought back out into the living room, where the blindfolds were removed and the new cheerleaders performed an individual dance.
Early in the night, the new team members were also told they had a choice between doing cocaine or heroin. However, this was only a test from other members of the team to gauge the new members’ understanding of team rules.
According to The Sun, investigators wrote in the documents that, “Although no drugs were provided, this was done to let the new members on the team know that the team was drug free.”
During the investigation, members of the team told the University that this was a yearly event, and the new members of the team paid $5 to participate. Members of the coaching staff were not aware of this night, and Head Coach Edy Pratt has yet to comment on the issue, either to The Towerlight or The Sun.
The night in question was reported to the University from an anonymous source in August, which launched the initial investigation. The team was initially suspended for the entire academic year.
However, after the team appealed to a student appeals committee, the penalty was lessened to social probation for one semester.
This meant that the team could practice, but it could not represent Towson at any events, including athletic games.
The pom squad filled in for the cheerleading team at most football games this year.
According to Vice President for Student Affairs Deb Moriarty, the suspension was modified because the cheerleading team did not have adequate education on the hazing policy.
“We educate student groups, greek groups, sports clubs and other organizations [on the hazing policy],” Moriarty said at the time. “The cheerleaders seem to have fallen through the cracks.”