Several high profile incidents of hazing are leading colleges around the country to take a closer look at their Greek organizations on campus.
Five Boston University students were found in an off-campus fraternity basement in tears, with their hands tied and covered in welts.The BU chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi was shut down by its national leaders.
Four Cornell University students face criminal charges after a pledge was tied up and forced to drink until he passed out. He was left on a couch in the library, where he died. Cornell has now vowed to revamp the pledging process starting next year.
Binghamton University in New York has banned fraternities and sororities on campus from accepting new members while it investigates allegations of hazing.
And this month’s Rolling Stone shined a spotlight on hazing at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
Hazing Endemic At Dartmouth
Twenty-two-year-old Andrew Lohse, a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, told the magazine that hazing is endemic to Dartmouth’s culture.
He said new pledges were forced to eat food mixed with vomit; forced to swim in a kiddie pool filed with vomit and other bodily fluids; and, forced to drink alcohol until they vomited, and then forced to drink again.
Lohse said he reported these allegations to the college administration, but he said they didn’t take his allegations seriously, and he became the target of an investigation on hazing.
The college last week sentenced Lohse’s fraternity, SAE, to a three-term probationary period. And Dartmouth dean of college, Charlotte Johnson told Here & Now that they take these allegations very seriously.
Frat Sanctions Just A ‘Slap On The Wrist’
But in an email, Andrew Lohse wrote, “The sanctions against SAE are a slap on the wrist and proof that the college just isn’t serious – and proof that these organizations can lie with impunity.”
He continued: “The way the college has handled this is a strong message to the other frats: ‘Don’t worry. We don’t take this problem seriously like other schools do.’”
However, Johnson said that while she’s aware that hazing and drinking happen on college campuses across the country, she believes Dartmouth is a leader in dealing with these issues.
Jeremy Hobson joins Robin Young as co-host of Here & Now in its new 2-hour format, from WBUR and NPR.
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