5. Sigma Alpha Mu, Delaware, and The “Big Brother” Party
Another sad death in this incident, and a court case that is still running. On Nov. 8 2008, Brett Griffin died at a “Big Brother” party hosted by the Delaware chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu. He’d consumed the equivalent of 750ml of Souther Comfort, a requirement of these parties for Pledges, but the court case hinges on whether he was forced to drink it or whether he chose to do so. On the stand are Jason Aaron and Matthew Siracusa of the fraternity, who both maintain that Brett had drunk that much of his own free will, and that they had been forced to sign statements accepting responsibility, by the university. The university, of course, denies this and the case is set to conclude soon.
4. Alpha Delta, Dartmouth, and The “Blood and Crips” Party
This one isn’t a hazing ritual as such, but was too bizarre to omit. Alpha Delta are considered to be one of the premier fraternities on the Dartmouth campus which, as previously discussed, is very fraternity-heavy. So why would such a prestigious frat house put its reputation at risk by hosting a party in the worst possible taste? The theme was “Blood and Crips”, based on two of the most dangerous gangs in L.A. and the dress code was “ghetto” (not the first “ghetto party” at Dartmouth). The NAACP were told about the party a few weeks later and were unhappy, to say the least. Eventually Alpha Delta were forced to apologise, with the not overly-sincere “Gang violence is obviously an incredibly serious problem across America, and while we as a house failed to preemptively recognize the offensive nature of the party’s theme, the gravity of our oversight is now apparent to us”. Safe to say, they are all politicians in the making.
3. Phi Kappa Tau, Georgia Tech, and The “Rapebait”
After reading this far, you might be wondering why on Earth anyone would join a fraternity. I don’t know, but most Pledges seem to think they’ll inherit some kind of wisdom from their “Big Brothers”. So you can imagine how overjoyed the Pledges of Phi Kappa Tau at Georgia Tech were, to receive an e-mail from a frat brother telling them exactly how to score with the ladies. Unfortunately for the sender, this bit of “house business” was written on a library computer, and he left it logged in so the e-mail swiftly went public. A great way to make frat boys look even more misogynistic than ever.
2. Chi Tau, Chico, and The Water Overdose
Another tragic and fatal overdose now, but alcohol was not the culprit this time. Matthew Carrington was a Pledge with the Chi Tau fraternity at Chico State university when he died during “Hell Week” but the cause of death was water overdose, which caused swelling on his brain and lungs. He and a fellow Pledge had been forced to do press-ups in a freezing basement, and were made to drink water from a 5-gallon bottle of water, which was filled repeatedly. They were interrogated and made to answer trivia questions, while being blasted with cold air from fans and both vomiting and urinating. Even after Matthew collapsed from a seizure, the ordeal didn’t stop and the delay in calling the ambulance may have contributed to his death. It was a horrible waste and a horrible way to die, and his frat brothers were arrested and punished for the suffering they caused.
1. Gamma Phi Gamma, Wilmington, and the Missing Testicle
If you’re a young man reading this and still considering joining a fraternity, read this last and most painful one…and you may think again. It’s the story of Tyler Lawrence, it happened just recently and it ended up with him losing a testicle. In his hazing for Gamma Phi Gamma, he was forced to stand unclothed while some kind of “Icy Hot-like substance” was applied to his most intimate areas. Then they were whipped with knotted towels. Fairly mild, by frat standards, except that Lawrence was caught in the scrotum. As you imagine, the pain was excruciating and he ended up being taken to hospital to have the damaged area removed. Does being a frat boy still seem so attractive? I really hope not.