As soon as Miss America Kira Kazantsev was crowned, her personal life was put under a microscope — and, according to a new report from Jezebel, what turned up isn’t particularly flattering.
“In late April 2013, Jezebel has learned, Kazantsev and a friend were both kicked out of the Alpha Phi sorority at Hofstra University on Long Island after hazing pledges. At the time, Kazantsev was serving as the sorority’s head of recruitment,” reporter Erin Gloria Ryan said yesterday. “Under Kira’s supervision, according to the source, pledges in the incoming class were called names, berated for their perceived physical flaws and imperfections, and made to perform physical tasks to the point of bruising and exhaustion.”
According to the source, Hofstra University officials were alerted to Kira’s actions and immediately launched an investigation. The university ultimately expelled Kira and the friend from the sorority and banned them from all sorority-related events.
Miss America Kira Kazantsev (far left) at a sorority event.
Before publishing the story, Jezebel reached out to the Miss America Organization. A spokeswoman returned this statement…
Kira has been fully transparent with the MissAmerica Organization about her termination from the Alpha Phi sorority. It’s unfortunate that this incident has been exploited to create a storyline that distracts from what we should be focusing on: Kira’s impressive academic achievements at Hofstra University, including earning a triple major from the Honors College and her commitment to serving her community.
After the report was published, some people immediately began calling for Kira’s crown to be revoked. She promptly responded with a new blog post titled “The Reality of Miss America.” In it, she explained her termination was based on an email she sent to alumni in which she joked about scaring the new pledges. Kira said she wasn’t being serious and, besides, the event never actually happened. Regardless, the email was considered distasteful by someone who forwarded it to the administration. That’s when the investigation was launched. Kira said she had a chance to defend herself and potentially keep her position in the sorority, but didn’t attend the meeting.
“Based on the fact that I did not attend this hearing that was the official reason given for my termination,” she said. “I was never involved with any name-calling or use of profanity toward a girl during my time with the sorority. I was never involved in any physical hazing or any degradation of physical appearance of any kind. This has all been immensely taken out of context and manipulated purposefully because I am now in a public position.”
Kira concluded that she now hopes to use that public position for good by educating people about what healthy relationships look like — both in romantic and non-romantic contexts.
“I was one of those girls who fell victim not only to the abuse of an intimate partner but the abuse of people who I thought were my friends,” she said. “I also want women to understand that despite anything that has happened in your past or the mistakes that may have been made, you have the power to control the outcome of your future.”