The reports of a party at the prestigious Yale University where undergraduate students attending the soiree were asked to strip naked and forced to drink alcohol have triggered an investigation by the varsity authorities and police.
The party, hosted by 'The Pundits', a senior prank society at Yale, is now being investigated for sexual assault and hazing of undergraduates. About 50 students attended the invitation-only annual nude bash.
Students were told to arrive at the party in costume, but midway through the night were told to strip naked. Members of the Pundits "were force-feeding people alcohol" as well as forcing several students to kiss each other. Later, 10 students had to be hospitalised for excessive drinking.
Attendees were allegedly told that they would be evaluated for Pundits membership. The party was part of the Pundits' "tap" process in which individuals try to impress club members to win a tap on the shoulder to join the club.
Invitees said the Pundits forced alcohol on them throughout the evening and they felt they could not refuse as they sought to impress the group to receive a tap.
The Yale police department is investigating the February 19 event, examining whether it amounted to a form of hazing. Yale police chief Ronnell Higgins said the YPD is also investigating "possible sexual assault".
Yale College dean Mary Miller said Yale "does not tolerate hazing or intimidation". "I am deeply disturbed by reports of heavy drinking by underage students in a context that could be construed as hazing," she said.
The Pundits society was founded in 1884 and for years has regularly hosted elaborate parties in which Yale co-eds strip and socialise in their birthday suits.