The shock factor of fraternity scandals is waning; every couple of weeks, it seems a new hazing ritual or act of accidental violence lands Greek Life a new spot on America’s shame list. You’d think the most educated youngsters in the 21st century would be above racial chants and illicit, sexually aggressive slam books, right? Think again. This list of fraternity scandals and hazing-gone-wrong will leave you feeling befuddled about the building blocks of brotherhood.
It's sad that a select few chapters have given fraternities as a whole such a bad rap. But when these chapters based on commitment and brotherhood publicly abuse pledges, violently haze people, force members and party goers to black out, and talk openly and casually about sexual assault, bad things are going to happen - university reputations are compromised, affected students suffer psychologically, families suffer, and most importantly and tragically, kids lose their lives.
Aside from shedding light on some of the horrific fraternity culture running rampant throughout college campuses across the US, this list is also a reminder of how dimwitted and negligent people can be. What in your right mind would make you think it’s okay to post racist pictures of yourself (accompanied by racial hashtags) on social media? Why would you EVER email/ document thoughts or jokes about rape? P.S. Those questions are hypothetical.
Yale Chapter of SAE May or May Not Have Thrown a "White Girls Only" Party
In November of 2015, news broke that members of the SAE fraternity at Yale had thrown a "White Girls Only" party, and denied entrance to any women of color. The story spread thanks in large part to a Facebook post from Yale sophomore Neema Githere, who wrote, "I’d just like to take a moment to give a shoutout to the member of Yale’s SAE chapter who turned away a group of girls from their party last night, explaining that admittance was on a ‘White Girls Only’ basis; and a belated shoutout to the SAE member who turned me and my friends away for the same reason last year. God Bless the USA”
However, members of the SAE frat denied the allegation. According to Githere, they even sent a black pledge to her dorm to discuss what happened. He told her that the frat brothers were choosing to let people in based on attractiveness, not race.
The Daily Beast investigated Githere's story and did find some inconsistencies - like the fact that Githere and her friends had not been turned away at the door the year before, but had simply overheard one brother say to another that there were too many black chicks at the party. They left after Githere's male friend heard the remark and got combative. Whatever the truth, none of it reflects well on SAE.
Spearing Gauntlet Kills Pi Delta Psi Pledge
During a December 2013 retreat in the Poconos, freshman Pi Delta Psi pledge Chun Hsien Deng was blindfolded and made to wear a backpack filled with sand while running a gauntlet of tackling would-be brothers. At least one "spearing," in which he was lifted up and forcibly dropped, knocked Deng unconscious and left him with a traumatic brain injury. Despite his complaints of head pain, the frat didn't immediately seek medical attention, and the 19-year-old freshman recruit died.
Baruch College in Manhattan issued a lifetime ban on Pi Delta Psi shortly thereafter, while the national fraternity disavowed the Baruch chapter. Having ruled Deng's death a homicide, in 2015, Pennsylvania prosecutors filed third-degree murder charges against five Delta Psi members, with 37 others facing a range of charges including assault and hazing.
S.A.E Pledge Found Bound and Ziptied with a BAC of 4.0
House cleaners found George Desdunes dead on a couch at his fraternity house, with zipties and duct tape around his ankles and a BAC of 4.0. The pledge had been kidnapped then blindfolded and bound at the ankles and wrists. He was then asked trivia questions about Sigma Alpha Epsilon and for every question he answered incorrectly, he was forced to take a shot of vodka.
Desdunes passed out before he got home, so when he was dropped off at home, his frat brothers carried him upstairs and left him on the couch with “his head tipped so he’d vomit on the floor”. The cleaners found Desdunes cold and unresponsive the next morning with no one in sight. The frat’s charter was revoked for five years.
Frat Suspended After Possible Sexual Assault Video Leaks
The Alpha Tau Omega chapter at Indiana University is officially suspended, due to a leaked video of what appears to be a possible sexual assault. The video depicts a group of ATO brothers surrounding a man who appears to have been forced to perform oral sex on a naked stripper. The men surrounding the couple are seen taking turns kicking the prostrate cunnilinguist in the head repeatedly. Whether the woman was a willing participant or not, this video is pretty heinous.