The lawsuit against Virginia Tech brought forth last month by former cadet Darrien Brown has been resolved.
Brown was a senior majoring in business management at Virginia Tech and in the Corps of Cadets when he was suspended in December for his alleged involvement in a hazing act. Brown was ultimately found guilty for overseeing a “blood-pinning” ritual on Oct. 18, 2019, after being heard during a student conduct hearing along with several other cadets.
The alleged act took place during a ceremony in which 20 sophomore cadets voluntarily agreed to have the sharp side of a pin pushed into their chest, often breaking the surface of the skin. The ritual was done in a similar way to how it has been performed for years prior.
Brown’s suspension consists of absence from the school for two semesters. With that, Brown is required to forfeit his planned enlistment with the army following his graduation in May 2020 and pay back the money given to him with his military scholarship. The suspension also prevents Brown from receiving any credits from another institution to count toward his degree and allow his planned graduation date to still take place in May.
Following his suspension, Brown filed a lawsuit claiming he was deprived of due process during his student conduct hearing. Brown’s lawyer, Rob Dean, claimed the university stripped Brown of his right to know his accuser. Dean also stated that Brown may not have been provided all necessary documents in preparation for the hearing.
After stating these issues in the lawsuit, Brown demanded that his record be cleared in relation to any act of hazing and subsequent discipline given to him. Moreover, Brown requested that no further action or discipline be taken by Virginia Tech regarding this case and that the university cover all attorney costs.
It was announced earlier this week that the lawsuit was settled with the agreement of both parties.
Mark Owczarski, assistant vice president of University Relations, spoke about the resolvement of the lawsuit.
“As it relates to this civil lawsuit that was filed sometime ago ... in which Virginia Tech was the defendant, that case has been resolved to the parties’ mutual satisfaction, meaning both parties involved in that litigation have resolved the issue to the mutual satisfaction of both,” Owczarski said.
Owczarski upheld the university’s strict regulations of hazing by university groups.
“We have a zero tolerance for hazing; it is clear in our code of student conduct …. We have policies and procedures in place that allow a due process for somebody who is alleged to have been involved in hazing,” Owczarski said.
Virginia Tech has not commented on whether Brown was readmitted to the university as a student.