According to the Dallas Morning News, an SMU senior is suing her sorority over a video that was recorded without consent.
The senior, who identified as “Jane Doe,” filed a lawsuit Wednesday, accusing Kappa Kappa Gamma national sorority of negligence and invasion of privacy. The lawsuit seeks more than $1 million in damages.
The five-to-six minute video features “Doe” and other sorority members singing and dancing in their underwear to Carrie Underwood’s “Cowboy Casanova” inside the SMU Kappa house Jan. 13 welcoming new pledges on bid day.
In a press release from Yahoo! Finance, the lawsuit filed claims against the national chapter based in Ohio, specifically, Collett Rangitsch, Kappa Kappa Gamma’s national Director of Standards, and Sandy Ammons, alumni advisor for the Dallas chapter. “Doe” is asking the court to require SMU Kappa to “put the video in the hands of a neutral third party and disclose who has seen it since it was secretly recorded earlier this year.”
According to PR Newswire, the lawsuit also says the plaintiff and other seniors participated in the ritual Jan. 13 only after all sorority members turned over their cell phones so no video could be recorded.
However, there is suspicion a camera was installed in the same room recording the event without members’ knowledge or permission.
Allegedly, a “Kappa national agent” used a security camera to record the partially naked women without their consent. The video captures “Doe” and other seniors dancing “in varying states of underdress” while singing to new pledges. Some were also drinking alcohol.
In an interview, Dunn said to The Dallas Morning News that according to lawsuit claims, Kappa’s national office heard about the video. The Ohio headquarters told sorority members to “keep quiet and not tell their parents, boyfriends, SMU officials or others what happened on bid night.”
Dunn said Kappa representatives showed the video to SMU sorority members and asked them to identify the women in the video.
“They said, ‘We’ve seen the video, and if you don’t cooperate, we’re going to turn it over to SMU administration,’” Dunn said in an interview to The Dallas Morning News. “They used it as a threat.”
As a result, the lawsuit claims the sorority expelled 18 seniors from the chapter, including “Doe,” and put 10 on probation as a result of the incident.
The case Jane Doe v. Kappa Kappa Gamma, et al., No. CC-16-01420 intends to protect the right to privacy, prevent further sharing of the video and destroy all copies of the secret recording.
Kappa’s national organization has not responded to any requests for comment.