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MTV's 'Fratenity Life' prank may lead to real criminal charges

By Wade Paulsen, 03/28/2003 

Uh ... who had the bright idea to spin off the show about the college guys?

When we last looked, MTV had decided to focus on the University of Buffalo for both Sorority Life and its new spinoff Fraternity Life. Since its debut, Fraternity Life has walked into a buzzsaw of trouble. The fratenity depicted, Sigma Chi Omega, has had its chapter suspended by the university for televised events that seemed to be illegal hazing. And now, according to the Associated Press, three fratenity pledges may be facing criminal charges for a televised break-in at the Buffalo Zoo.

The pledges scaled a wall near the zoo entrance, walked among the animals for a while, discussed stealing one, and then scaled the wall again to leave. The zoo complained to both MTV and the district attorney's office. While MTV is stonewalling, in a matter of speaking, the D.A.'s office is investigating pursuing misdemeanor trespassing charges against the students, using the tape of their own actions as the evidence of their crime.

In addition, the pledges themselves have been summoned before a university disciplinary body for possible additional punishment. Sounds like a pretty heavy price to pay for the privilege of looking like a dope on national TV.

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