Kira Kazantsev, a.k.a. Miss America 2015, won judges and audiences over with her Pitch Perfect-inspired performance of Pharell's "Happy," complete with plastic cups. But Jezebel has an exclusive new detail about Kazantsev that wasn't mentioned in the pageant — she was kicked out of her college sorority for allegedly hazing new members.
Kazantsev and one of her friends were booted from Hofstra University's Alpha Phi sorority in April 2013, according to Jezebel. Kazantsev was then the president of recruitment at the chapter, and she and her friend had reportedly hazed their sorority's pledges. An anonymous source told Jezebel that Kazantsev and her friend made the pledges' lives "a living hell," taunting them for their "perceived physical flaws and imperfections" and forcing them to "perform physical tasks to the point of bruising and exhaustion."
After Kazantsev and her friend were reported to the university for "dirty pledging," Hofstra conducted a months-long investigation into their actions at Alpha Phi. The investigation ultimately led to their expulsion from all sorority activities in 2013. Other sources from Hofstra told Jezebel that Kazantsev's actions against Alpha Phi pledges could be characterized as "abusive" by the university.
The Miss America organization, meanwhile, told Jezebel that Kazantsev was "fully transparent" about her "termination" from the sorority when entering the competition. "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," a Miss America spokesperson told Jezebel.