A former UC Berkeley student and Zeta Phi Beta pledge quickly discovered that her sorority dues just weren't paying off.
Britteny Starling is suing her sorority sisters for allegedly hazing her so badly she was forced to drop out of school and take medical leave.
According to a lawsuit filed in Oakland this week, Starling was thrilled to pledge Zeta Phi Beta, where hazing practices are forbidden. However, shortly after pledging the sorority in 2010, Starling claims her "big sister" and others in the sorority were participating in "underground hazing" practices.
Starling stated that at the beginning of the pledge process, the girls were ordered to perform a host of tasks and rituals for their "big sisters," the older sorority girls who mentor pledges through what is supposed to be a fun process.
However, pledging was anything but fun. Starling said that pledges like herself were ordered to follow their big sisters' instructions and orders, no matter how messy, bizarre, or inconvenient; otherwise they would be booted from the sorority.
Some of those horrible tasks included reciting the history of the sorority while being beat over the head; sisters putting garbage in Starling's pocket and calling her the "trash can;" and ordering Starling to clean up juice from the floor using her back.
The aggressiveness turned more violent on Feb. 18, 2011, when her sorority sisters beat her while calling her a "bitch." They allegedly ripped off the pockets of her jeans and slammed her head into a wall, causing her lip to bleed, according to the lawsuit.
Starling was then forced to stay awake all night.
A day later, Starling's sorority sisters made pledges stand in awkward holding positions for hours, before Starling's leg gave out. One of the girls used a book to "strike Starling's ankle, injuring her severely," according to the claim.
Still, Starling was determined to pledge this sorority, and she came back for more. On another occasion, Starling claims her sorority sisters refused to let her use the bathroom, which ended in Starling peeing on herself.
Finally, Starling had enough. She told her sorority sisters that she no longer felt the need to pledge Zeta Phi Beta, and despite their pleading with her, Starling dropped out of the sorority -- and eventually quit school due to the physical and psychological stress.
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