“Big Brothers” at Underground ZBT
Kassie Parisi and Janie Frank
Trevor Duffy was pledging for the underground fraternity Zeta Beta Tau on Nov. 15 at a party during which partygoers encouraged him to drink an excessive quantity of alcohol before he lost consciousness, according to several sources who each spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The group was hosting an annual event on Saturday night referred to as “big brother night,” during which mentor figures or “big brothers,” encourage prospective members to consume excessive quantities of alcohol that is given to them by so-called big sisters or brothers from sororities and fraternities, according to one anonymous source.
“It’s supposed to be the best night of your life,” one source said.
The source said that Duffy’s mentor, or his ‘big’, was a sophomore at the University at Albany.
“Your big brother is supposed to help you drink the [bottles of alcohol] and also pour out your alcohol for you and watch you,” the source said.
However, according to multiple sources, the mentor had a health condition that prevented him from drinking as much as his ‘little brother.’ Instead, Duffy drank for the two of them.
Two sources said that Duffy’s blood alcohol content was more than seven times the legal blood alcohol limit.
The incident on Nov. 15 involved students who were unaffiliated with the UAlbany Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) International Fraternity, according to a ZBT National press release.
“This student group is not recognized by the university or Zeta Beta Tau International Fraternity. Any use of the Zeta Beta Tau name by this group of men is without permission of the Fraternity,” ZBT National said. The UAlbany Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life declined to comment on the situation. The Albany police are currently investigating the matter.
Duffy was a graduate of Xavier High School. Sophomore Christian Gagui attended Xavier High School with him.
“He was the type of guy that always welcomed his friends to anything, always knew how to make people laugh in the shittiest situations,” Gagui said. “I just wish I got to talk to him a little longer the last time I saw him… The graduates of Xavier High School are called Sons of Xavier, so naturally we become brothers at the end, and he was a brother to us all.”