All Posts Tagged With: "Fraternity"
#IdleNoMore, dumping Instagram & fraternity horrors
1. You’ve seen the #IdleNoMore hashtag all over Twitter, but do you know what it’s all about? Wab Kinew, Director of Indigenous Inclusion at the University of Winnipeg, offers his take in The Huffington Post. “It is a loosely knit political movement encompassing rallies drawing thousands of people across dozens of cities, road blocks, a shoving match on Parliament hill between Chiefs and mounties and one high profile hunger strike,” he writes. The hunger striker is Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat in northern Ontario. Kinew explains where the meme started and says the movement is about engaging youth, finding meaning, rights, the environment and democracy. His summary is worth reading. Also worth reading is The Charlatan‘s coverage of Carleton University’s panel discussion on the Indian Act with the Assembly of First Nations.
2. A lot of Canadians are deleting their Instagram accounts. The addictive photo-sharing service has changed its terms of service to allow it to sell users photos and data. “…you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you,” reads the new terms. The Guardian says it will give a boost to Yahoo-owned Flickr, which just launched a mobile app that doesn’t sell your photos.
Maple Batalia, 20 years of txts & another fraternity offends
1. Two men have been arrested in connection with last year’s shooting death of 19-year-old Simon Fraser University student and aspiring actress Maple Batalia. Gurjinder Dhaliwal, Batalia’s ex boyfriend, faces first degree murder charges. More here.
2. Iman Siwalem was in the basement of her house near the University of Windsor on Saturday when she heard the footsteps of an intruder above. She locked herself in her basement room, but the man barged in, lunged and chased her up the stairs. She fled in bare feet and got her neighbours’ attention. More here.
3. It was 20 years ago today that the world’s first text message—Merry Christmas—travelled from a computer to a phone. Its inventor, Neil Papworth, was a 22-year-old Montreal man working for British telecom company Vodafone. To read more about how texts changed the world, see Maclean’s.
Drake graduates, Sandy kills, & good news for graduates
1. At least 17 people died due to Superstorm Sandy, which came ashore in New Jersey and spread across eastern North America Monday, knocking out power in many places, including parts of New York City. It was a serious storm with sad consequences for many, but that didn’t stop students at shut-down U.S. colleges from celebrating their “hurrication.” Here in Canada, at least one person was killed when a piece of a Staples store sign in Toronto came lose and struck a woman standing underneath. Classes were cancelled on Monday evening at Brock University and Niagara College, but both reopened on Tuesday. Many flights are cancelled today.
2. Drake, the much-loved and occasionally hated Canadian rap superstar, is making headlines for the high school graduation speech he gave this weekend Jarvis Collegiate Institute in Toronto. The 26-year-old dropped out of school at age 15 to pursue an acting job with Degrassi: The Next Generation. He said on Sunday that the lack of diploma left a “gaping hole” in his life, so he spent the past five months finishing the work. Why would a millionaire want to finish high school? “This is about the art of following through,” he told the crowd.
3. A Republican student group at an Ohio university has apologized for using the song Fake Empire by The National in a pro-Romney video they posted on YouTube. This after frontman Matt Berninger posted a testy response: “We encourage all students to educate themselves about the differences between the inclusive, pro-social, compassionate, forward-thinking policies of President Obama and the self-serving politics of the neo-conservative movement and Mitt Romney.”
UBC change room creep, Windsor fashion police & iPad Mini
1. Police at the University of British Columbia are looking into whether there is a link between a man charged with secretly recording nudity in a women’s change room at the Osborne Centre gym on campus and other complaints received both at UBC and at an institution across town, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). Jay Forster, 42, was recently charged after women reported him in the shower area of the gym at UBC, reports The Ubyssey.
2. In Italy, six scientists and one government official have been sentenced to six years in prison for manslaughter after failing to properly predict the L’Aquila earthquake in 2009, which killed 306 people. Unsurprisingly, the decision is sending chills though the scientific community.
3. Queen’s University’s Alma Mater Society may reconsider a 78-year-old ban against members joining fraternities or sororities, reports The Queen’s Journal. The issue is whether the ban is supported by students and whether it’s enforceable, considering there’s is already at least one frat.
A fraternity shut, a prayer dropped and a mullet banned
1. The University of British Columbia chapter of Kappa Sigma has been suspended for “code of conduct violations.” What the fraternity is accused of doing hasn’t yet been made public.
2. An Australian man is speaking out after a Perth bar told him to leave because of his mullet. I reckon that’s discrimination.
3. The president of the University of Windsor has approved removing a Christian prayer from convocation ceremonies. The request came from a student club, the Windsor-Essex County Atheist Society. The prayer had referenced an “eternal God” as “the source of all goodness, discipline and knowledge.” Read more here.
4. A Montreal police officer who was already accused of excessive force for pepper-spraying protesters during a student march earlier this year is under investigation again. Stéphanie Trudeau, who wears badge 728, faces scrutiny for an incident that started with a man holding a beer on a sidewalk and ended with four charges of obstruction of justice, assault and intimidation. An accidental audio recording on someone’s phone captured the officer calling the four arrested “a bunch of red square types,” a reference to the symbol of the student protests. More here.
You won’t guess who’s upset
McGill University has a new fraternity and it’s facing criticism from a surprising corner.
On Saturday, Delta Lambda Phi (DLP) became the first Greek society in Canada that markets itself to “gay, bisexual, and progressive men.”
But while the members report no homophobia toward them, they told the Toronto Star that they’ve faced criticism from activist group Queer McGill. Elyse Lewis of Queer McGill says that by reserving itself only for “men and those who identify as men,” the fraternity implies that transgender men aren’t real men.
Accused of recruiting on campus
Four members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity have been charged under the University of Alberta’s Student Code of Conduct for attempting to recruit pledges on campus, reports The Gateway. That’s in violation of the five-year suspension DKE received in January after alleged hazing. The investigation and charges came after the apparent recruiting was recorded by students, who then gave their recordings to the Dean of Students. Universities have been taking incidents of hazing very seriously lately. St. Thomas University’s new code of conduct allows for punishments as harsh as expulsion for off-campus hazing. The tough new rules were in response to the death of Andrew Bartlett, who hit his head after being at a party where hazing took place. The University of Guelph’s men’s rugby team was suspended in October after an off-campus party where an “initiation,” though not hazing, apparently took place, according to the athletics director.
Students worry about privacy
An American university has gone to great lengths to enforce its new rule that first-semester students may not attend fraternity or sorority events.
Cornell University is releasing an ID scanning application for Apple devices. Fraternity and sorority party organizers will be required to borrowan iPod with the application installed from the school, which they’ll use at the doors of their social events. The app allows them to check student’s names, class years and whether they’ve reached 21, the legal drinking age in the U.S.
The information scanned is accessible “to a limited few in our office… and stored on a secure server with no plans to share further,” Travis Apgar, associate dean of students for fraternity and sorority affairs, told The Sun. “The use of the scanners will improve [the Greek community’s] management of risk by properly identifying the class year of attendees,” he said.
City staff prefer “grass-roots solution” to noisy parties
Fraternity and sorority houses at the University of Toronto won’t have to deal with any new regulations. A city staff report says the houses can’t legitimately be labelled rooming houses or businesses, so they can’t be regulated under current laws. Local councillor Adam Vaughan had asked staff for to look into a licences scheme after complaints about late-night parties from neighbours of the two-dozen Greek system houses in the city’s expensive Annex neighbourhood.
The report also noted that there was “promise of a grass-roots solution,” something with which Vaughan says he agrees. Complaints are “way down” in the past year, from six problematic houses out of 24 to just “one or two,” he told the Toronto Star.
David Harrison, chair of the Annex Residents’ Association sounded less enthusiastic about the report, though he said he would consult with neighbours before releasing a full statement. He told The Star that the situation had improved only because they had “spent hours and hours and hours” working on it. He questioned what might happen if “self-regulation” were to fail in the future.
Video shows bizarre hazing ritual at UAlberta
The story sounds like something out of a coming of age college flick: desperate to pledge, students are deprived of sleep, closed into a small, urine-soaked wooden box, and forced to eat their own vomit. All in the name of becoming part of a popular fraternity on campus.
Unfortunately, for a hand full of University of Alberta students, this was allegedly the reality of completing the four-day initiation process to the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. The alleged hazing went beyond an embarrassing experience for these students. It compromised their safety and well being, and begs the question of whether or not the fraternity system needs to undergo some serious changes.
Related: No one wins in campus hazing rituals
Video footage obtained by student newspaper The Gateway, shows the grueling initiation process pledges of the Delta Kappa Epsilon went through in hopes of becoming part of the fraternity in January 2010.
One of the videos shows what one pledge was subjected to after accidently buying two small cans of beans instead of the one large can the members wanted: ”Do you have a problem following instructions? Because if you do, your life is going to become extremely difficult . . . Do you have a learning disability? Are you retarded?”
The videos progressively get more and more bizarre, according to the Gateway:
“The video also shows the pledges being told to do wall sits, being pressured into taking a bite out of a raw onion, and being pressured into eating raw eggs, to which one brother says, ‘go salmonella.’
Video footage also shows pledges attending an off-campus dinner, where they eat food that is intentionally disgusting and then smoke a cigar as quickly as possible after eating.”
An anonymous source referred to simply as “Joe” in the article explained that after doing this, some pledges get sick and vomit, and are expected to eat it to clear their plates. Joe goes on to describe another hazing method referred to as “the Hilton,” a small wooden box pledges are forced to go into several times during initiation for 15 minutes at a time, which is sometimes covered in ketchup or urinated on beforehand.
This is not first time the DKE fraternity has been in hot water. The Yale chapter of the prestigious fraternity, that lists George W. Bush as alumni, came under fire recently after fraternity pledges were heard shouting offensive obscenities at women while marching through the campus. A Youtube video surfaced just days before the Gateway story was published showing students shouting chants such as “My name is Jack, I’m a necrophiliac, I (expletive) dead women,” and “no means yes; yes means anal.” Two cases of sexual assault were also reported in late September at two separate fraternity houses at the University of Minnesota including at a Delta Kappa Epsilon house.
Since the Gateway story was originally released, the U of A has launched an investigation into the allegations, with joint investigations being conducted by the fraternity’s international headquarters and alumni group. More stories also surfaced about the alleged hazing rituals.
While the story is obviously a rare example of a fraternity gone wrong, it is kind of spooky to think that something so alarming could be going on right underneath the noses of a university community. The allegations of hazing at the DKE fraternity at the U of A have done more than just enforce a negative stereotype. As with the cases at Yale and the University of Minnesota, they have brought the whole Greek system into question.
These cases involve more than just an embarrassing prank. They involve the safety and well-being of students.
I agree with Gateway editor in chief Jonn Kmech, who stated that fraternities and sororities are not the problem here, and that the rest of the U of A fraternity and sorority system needs to speak out against these practises in an editorial published shortly after the original article. However, I think that in light of these allegations, these fraternities and sororities need to do more than just openly condemning such actions.
They need to make a conscious effort to prevent such actions from happening again, and demonstrate to the public how they’re doing so. You can condemn an action all you want, but it doesn’t stop it happening over and over again.
The DKE International Risk Management Policy boldly states that the DKE will not condone hazing in any way, along with the acts of sexual abuse and harassment, and use of illegal drugs in their fraternities. Yet it is unclear what methods of accountability DKE has for its fraternities who don’t follow this policy. If it’s unclear in the policy itself, then it’s probably unclear to the several chapters as well what consequences will befall them if they don’t follow it, if any at all.