http://awakeningcalendar.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/techniques-of-hope-conference-cornell-university-march-26-2010/http://awakeningcalendar.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/techniques-of-hope-conference-cornell-university-march-26-2010/ Cornell University& the 2011 death of George Desdunes Monet Fraser PR Research & Strategies, Florida A&M University March 27, 2012 (http://www.ivygateblog.com/2011/06/cornell-sae-sued-for-25m-over-death-of-brother/)
The Event: Feb. 25, 2011 • George Desdunes, a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon dies during an act of pledging. • He was kidnapped by fraternity pledges and dies. (http://abcnews.go.com/US/cornell-hazing-victims-family-files-25-million-lawsuit/story?id=13948311#.T3EpfmE2-uI)
Backstory • Desdunes was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the pledges kidnapped him that morning. • He was bound with zip ties and duct tape. • The pledges planned it as punishment for him and another frat member http://www.thegrio.com/news/suit-filed-against-fraternity-in-ny-hazing-death-1.php
Back Story Continued • He was forced to drink until he passed out. • His blood alcohol level was .35, the legal level in NY is .08. • He was transported to the hospital where he was then pronounced dead. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/28/george-desdunes-dead_n_829125.html
Media Highlights • Feb. 25: Dean of Students Kent Hubble issued a statement on the school website. • Feb 27: President Skorton releases a message of condolences. • March 1: Interim suspension of Sigma Alpha Epsilon for the next five years. • March 2: Memorial Service. http://www.ivygateblog.com/2011/08/cornell-president-pens-nytimes-op-ed-a-pledge-to-end-fraternity-hazing/
May 5: three former pledges are charged with first degree hazing and unlawfully dealing with a child. • June 28: Desdunes’s Mother files a $25 Million lawsuit. • Aug. 23: President Skorton writes an Op-Ed piece for the New York Times. • Sept. 30: The interfraternity council approves an altered rush schedule that limits opportunities for drinking. http://www.campustravel.com/university/cornell/
Public Relations Lessons Learned Good Tactics Poor Tactics • Cornell University immediately addressed students on their website. • They provided a bus for students to attend the funeral. • President of the university releases Op-Ed article in the New York Times. • Not providing the students with anti-hazing seminar. • Making more direct contact with students to start an end to the culture of hazing.
Do’s • Release information and statements to media about the current development. • Provide counseling for students. • Provide students with transportation to the funeral. Don’t • Consider the problem resolved after the fraternity is removed from campus. (http://abcnews.go.com/US/cornell-hazing-victims-family-files-25-million-lawsuit/story?id=13948311#.T3EpfmE2-uI) http://thyblackman.com/2011/06/29/cornell-student-george-desdunes-dies-mother-sues-sigma-alpha-epsilon-fraternity/