All Posts Tagged With: "Hazing"
Crawling through slush isn’t harmless fun
The Ryerson Engineering Student Society was caught with its pants down last week, and president Sheldon Levy isn’t happy. In a statement, Levy described a YouTube video shot by a concerned passersby depicting underwear-clad engineering frosh week leader hopefuls crawling across the slushy campus as a “departure from dignity” and contrary to the university’s principles. In the video, the hopefuls are screamed at as they crawl across the man-made pond in the centre of campus known as Lake Devo. At one point, a male student spanks a crawling female.
Levy’s comments were met with predictable backlash accusing Ryerson of being the fun police, but he’s right. Events like this aren’t “harmless” or “fun.” Incidents of public humiliation never are. When I was a student at Ryerson, I wouldn’t cut across Lake Devo wearing a sturdy pair of shoes. Watching students in the video drag their limbs through the grimy slush just made me shiver.
Students crawled through ice and slush in underwear
An apparent hazing ritual at a Toronto university will go unpunished despite sharp condemnation from school officials, students and even the province’s top politician.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne spoke out Monday following the incident at Ryerson University involving a group of engineering students trying to become orientation leaders during next year’s frosh activities.
YouTube footage shows the aspiring student leaders in their underwear crawling through ice and slush on an outdoor university skating rink while organizers in blue coveralls shout at them from the sidelines. Some of the hecklers threw snowballs at the participants, and at one point a male bystander appears to spank a female student as she crawls by.
Wynne said hazing rituals no longer have a place in any student community.
“I think they’re outdated,” she said. “I think that they are dangerous, and I think we have to do everything to make sure that all our students, in whatever institution, are safe.”
The incident, which took place Thursday, was also being decried by the university itself.
Ryerson President Sheldon Levy issued a statement calling the frosh leader initiation event both shocking and demeaning.
What students are talking about today (March 25th)
1. The Ryerson Engineering Student Society is in hot water after an initiation event where frosh leaders asked first-years to crawl through cold slushy water in their underwear. It happened Thursday, in public view, before the society awarded symbolic blue coveralls. During the frigid ritual, older students aimed water guns and one male in blue coveralls slapped a female on the rear as she crawled past. Sheldon Levy, Ryerson University president, released a statement: “There is no excuse for the completely unacceptable activities that took place at the event, and anyone who contends it is ‘just fun’ or ‘builds community’ has no place at Ryerson. My response to the students and the community is to express my strongest determination that this kind of behaviour never happens again,” he wrote. Rose Ghamari, president of RESS, wrote in an email to The Eyeopener student newspaper that, “any sort of physical contact as well as shouting commands is deemed unacceptable and is not endorsed by RESS… we understand that things got out of hand and because of this we will be ensuring better practices and proper guidelines are put in place for future events so as to not cause any confusion between an enthusiastic demonstration of spirit and hazing.”
What students are talking about today (January 17th)
1. Gloria Dickie, editor in chief of Western University’s The Gazette has written an editorial suggesting democracy on campus is under threat after the paper was told their office, which they have occupied since 1973, is being considered as the new site of a multi-faith space—a bigger priority according to the University Students’ Council. They’ve been offered a smaller space instead. She writes that the move comes after USC proposed cutting the paper’s budget, asked to sit in on editorial meetings and considered a ban on in-person interviews. Adam Fearnall, USC president, told National Post that, “on occasion, perhaps [The Gazette] is overdramatic.” But many journalists on Twitter have sided with the editor. “Got to hand it to this year’s USC. Previous editions almost never managed to become national laughing stocks. Aim high! Purple pride!” wrote UWO alumnus and Maclean’s columnist Paul Wells. It now looks like Dickie may get her way. After committing to further discussions, Fearnall told the Gazette on Wednesday: “I was pleased that we were able to make progress on these important issues. Students rely upon the Gazette and the USC to sustain a strong student voice.”
University stands by suspensions
Dalhousie University is standing by its decision to suspend the women’s hockey team over an alleged hazing incident, saying the squad’s most recent version of what happened that September night is only half the story.
The team issued a statement Thursday saying it held a party to welcome new players that involved dressing up rookies in “odd clothing,” and asking them to eat sardines, hot peppers and whipped cream.
It also said the get-together at a private house included drinking games, but no one was forced to drink alcohol and no activities were mandatory.
“Throughout the evening, senior members of the team looked out for the first years to ensure that they would come to no harm,” read the two-page statement.
What students are talking about today (January 7th)
1. The new TV season is promising for university students, according to Alexander Quon of The Sheaf student newspaper. His list of shows to watch includes Buckwild, which he calls “essentially the country version” of Jersey Shore. “Redneck culture is blowing up right now,” he writes. It certainly is, thanks mostly to Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, which returned to TLC on Sunday. Returning this Saturday on HBO Canada is Lena Dunham’s smash hit Girls, a fictional-take on 20-somethings in New York centred around Hannah, an aspiring writer and generally clueless human being. Pick up this week’s issue of Maclean’s for a behind-the-scenes on set in Brooklyn. Oh, and hockey will soon be back too.
2. What a difference a weekend makes. The talk around Idle No More shifted from Friday’s big win to Monday’s big question. On Friday, Stephen Harper agreed to meet hunger striking chief Theresa Spence and other Aboriginal Canadian leaders a week later, which will mark a month after the high-profile protest began. But this morning an external audit into Attawapiskat’s finances by Deloitte surfaced and it doesn’t look good. There hasn’t been due diligence for most of the millions given to Spence’s band by the federal government. It’s a reminder of just how complicated these relationships can be. With questions over the chief’s spending on the front page again, Paul Wells points out that NDP leader Tom Mulcair neither met Spence nor called on Stephen Harper to meet her in his open letter. That’s starting to look like a smart move. Spence, meanwhile, did gain one new ally. Paul Martin, former Liberal prime minister, met her and called an inspiration to all.
Drunken party involved “an initiation”
The University of Guelph’s men’s rugby team is suspended for two games over an off-campus party.
Athletics director Tom Kendall told The Globe and Mail that a Sept. 17 party violated the school’s athletics code because of misuse of alcohol and an initiation. ”It’s more the alcohol,” Kendall said. “Nobody was hurt and the police weren’t involved. It wasn’t severe in that sense, it wasn’t a hazing incident,” he added, although he said it’s “not 100 per cent clear” what type of initiation occurred.
St. Thomas University in Fredericton, N.B. recently unveiled its draft student behaviour code, which imposes up to $500 fines and possible expulsion for incidents of hazing at off-campus gatherings where more than two STU students are present. That policy was developed after a STU student died from injuries at a party where excessive drinking and hazing reportedly occurred.
Guelph’s Gryphons rugby team will forfeit two upcoming games, against Toronto and McMaster.
STU’s new code of conduct strikes the right balance: Petz
Keep on your best behavior St. Thomas students or you could not be a STU student no more. The university has a new code of conduct that will apply to your activities both on and off campus. A committee of university officials, students and faculty will now be able to impose punishments for things like hazing, including fines of up to $500 and expulsion. Seems draconian, right?
The new rules are the result of a policy review that followed the death of Andrew Bartlett. Bartlett died last October after attending his volleyball team’s initiation party at an off-campus residence where hazing and excessive drinking allegedly took place before he fell down a flight of stairs and fatally injured his head.
Though it’s clear that universities should be accountable for their students while they’re living, working and studying on campus, policing student behavior off-campus is more controversial.
But by limiting their code of conduct to occasions when students are clearly representing the university, STU’s new code of conduct strikes the right balance between student rights to behave how they like and the university’s right to protect its reputation—-not to mention their duty to keep students safe. The code rightly spells-out which behaviours are acceptable and which are not.
To violate the code, an incident must involve at least two STU students and occur at a university-sanctioned event or one where the student is representing the university. Hazing is highlighted, with a list of more than 20 examples spelled out. Overall, hazing is defined as “any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate,” reports The Aquinian student newspaper.*
The death of Andrew Bartlett is not the first incident to prompt questions about whether university discipline rules should reach off campus. Following allegations of hazing at the University of Alberta chapter of Delta Kappa Epilson fraternity at their off-campus location, the university suspended the fraternity for five years, disallowing DKE from using university services or associating itself with the U of A. Despite calls for a harsher punishment, there was little else the university could do to discipline the chapter under the U of A’s code of student behavior.
Another incident that stirred up debate on university discipline was the Stanley Cup rioting in Vancouver. Some wanted the University of British Columbia to punish those found guilty of taking part in looting. A spokesperson for the UBC told campus paper The Ubyssey that they would be letting the police and the courts determine discipline for any students involved in the looting.
Like STU, UBC made the right choice there too.It’s reasonable for universities to try to protect their students’ safety and their own reputations, but universities are no substitute for good parenting and good decisions on the part of students. Their duty only goes so far.
*This story has been updated from an earlier version that failed to attribute details of the draft code to The Aquinian, a student newspaper at St. Thomas University. Maclean’s On Campus regrets the error.
Our student panel weighs in
A hazing scandal at the University of Alberta has recently resulted in the five year suspension of the local chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon. We asked our student panel what they thought the role of fraternities should be in the modern university. As with previous entries, videos will be posted on our front page and archived on our You Tube channel.
UAlberta case shows universities need to reexamine their relationship with the Greek system
The rollercoaster ride that has been the University of Alberta hazing scandal may have finally come to an end this week, with the university announcing a 5 year suspension for the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity. The move follows a month long investigation into the allegations of extreme hazing brought forward in campus newspaper The Gateway.
Judging by comments on the Gateway’s website, it seems some students had hoped for a much harsher punishment. “The [university] had a chance to make a statement here and fell through hard. Removing a group’s status means nothing,” one commentator wrote.
This move could cause more harm than good, as the suspension of the fraternity’s status as a student group may create more distance between the university and the frat house. The suspension bans the fraternity from registering as a student group and prohibits them from using the university’s name or insignia, along with with any other student group perks such as use of campus space or university equipment. Though members of the fraternity are required to report to Dean of Students Frank Robinson periodically, seeing that they’re not permitted to associate themselves with the U of A during this period, it is questionable what kind of responsibility they now have to school officials.
This suspension could instead push the fraternity to become completely independent of the university, which would leave the university with no jurisdiction to discipline students participating in hazing or other questionable activities often associated with the Greek system.
The university’s code of student behavior states that no student at the U of A “shall create a condition which endangers or potentially endangers or threatens the health, safety or well being of other persons.” The policy also states that no U of A student “shall physically abuse another person, threaten any other person with physical abuse or cause any other person to fear physical abuse.” The hazing, which the fraternity has admitted took place, arguably would abuse this code, under which punishments include probation, expulsion, and the rescission of a student’s degree.
Yet these punishments only apply to individual students, not to groups, meaning that the university would have to pursue individual investigations into those involved in the hazing, which would be a far more difficult feat if the university can’t pinpoint exactly which students were involved.
Though I don’t believe the suspension is a sufficiently harsh punishment for the fraternity, I’m also not sure how much good would come from punishing the individual students involved. Even if the university expelled the individuals who inflicted the hazing, or rescinded their degrees, how does that prevent future frat members from engaging in the same behavior?
If hazing practices are deeply entrenched in the Greek system, that is an issue that can’t be addressed by simply disciplining fraternities and sororities on an individual basis. This is something universities have been doing for years, and it doesn’t appear to be decreasing the number of hazing allegations that surface. Universities should instead reexamine their involvement in fraternities and sororities, and find a new strategy to combat a problem that is rooted in tradition and not simply tackle these issues case by case.
Official investigation confirms hazing allegations
A University of Alberta fraternity has been suspended for five years following an investigation into a hazing scandal.
In October, the Alberta chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon was accused of hazing new members, by forcing them to eat their own vomit, depriving them of sleep and confining them to a wooden box. Dean of Students Frank Robinson announced the suspension Thursday morning. “The DKE fraternity has acknowledged that hazing took place over a number of years and that this behaviour was participated in by both student and alumni members from this U of A chapter,” he said.
During their suspension, the frat will not be permitted to associate itself with the University of Alberta nor avail itself to campus resources. At the end of the five years, if Robinson is satisfied that DKE has reformed its practices, and has demonstrated good behaviour, the group will be readmitted as an official university fraternity.
UNB researcher finds majority of university athletes hazed using alcohol
The majority of university athletes in Atlantic Canada are subjected to hazing rituals, according to a researcher at the University of New Brunswick. Over the past four years, graduate student Ryan Hamilton interviewed 300 athletes at seven universities. He found that nearly all of them had been hazed, and usually when alcohol is involved. “Sixty-five per cent of athletes competing in the [Atlantic University Sports], at least according my study, have been hazed using alcohol,” he said. In December, the men’s volleyball team at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick was suspended after rookie Andrew Bartlet was found dead after attending a hazing event.
Suspension of U of A DKE chapter does little to condemn hazing allegations
Months after allegations of extreme hazing surfaced at its University of Alberta chapter, the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity’s international office has put the chapter under provisional suspension for three years.
As a condition of their suspension, DKE International has ordered that an alumni council, which will be appointed by the head office, monitor the activities of the fraternity. The council will oversee at least one fraternity meeting per month, and will supervise the planning of any major social events the fraternity holds.
While it’s encouraging to see the head office start to become more involved in the operations of the U of A chapter, these actions fail to condemn the hazing rituals that allegedly took place. They also provide no concrete forms of accountability for those who took part in the alleged hazing.
The conditions of the suspension still allow the chapter to hold initiations this spring, as long as it complies with the “revised pledge program and initiation ceremony that fully and verifiably complies with written Delta Kappa Epsilon International standards,” according to a statement released on DKE International’s website. The local alumni council will also aid the chapter to repair DKE’s image in the neighbourhood where the fraternity house is located.
While these conditions may lead to a more positive experience for new pledges, they do not include a clear set of repercussions for members of the chapter if they do not comply with DKE International’s demands.
The statement on the DKE website explains that if the chapter fails to comply with DKE International’s written policies and objectives, Risk Management Guidelines, and their direction and advice, they will ”be subject to sanction by the Board of Delta Kappa Epsilon International as necessary, potentially including the prompt revocation of the Charter of the Delta Phi Chapter and disbandment of the Chapter.”
Stating that there will be sanctions “as necessary” and that failure to comply with the polices of DKE would “potentially” result in the disbandment of the chapter makes the consequences seem vague and open-ended, and hard to take very seriously. It can’t be expected that the chapter will comply with the conditions of their suspension without outlining exactly how they will be disciplined if they fail to do so.
Further, the allegations of hazing at the U of A fraternity warrant a much stronger reaction from DKE International. The students who were brave enough to come forward with the allegations told student newspaper The Gateway they were made to eat their own vomit, forced to stay in a small wooden box covered in urine and ketchup, and deprived of food and water. This was clearly not a case of students simply being embarrassed by their peers.
This provisional suspension does not do enough to protect the safety of students in the U of A chapter, and seems entirely concerned with upholding the traditions of the fraternity and protecting the image of DKE. If DKE International wants to demonstrate that hazing will not be tolerated in their chapters, they should ensure that those who perpetrate it will be held accountable for their actions. Otherwise, they’re leaving the door wide open for hazing to happen over and over again in the future.
Head office will oversee all DKE practices after hazing allegations
A University of Alberta fraternity has been “provisionally suspended” for three years by its international office following allegations of hazing. Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) International has ordered the formation of a local “Alumni Council” appointed by the head office to oversee the U of A chapter.
The move comes after an investigation into hazing allegations at the U of A where new DKE pledges were, among other things, forced to eat their own vomit. As part of the provisional suspension, a representative of the Alumni Council will observe at least one fraternity meeting per month, and council members will “be involved in the planning of all major social events to ensure that Delta Kappa Epsilon’s Risk Management Guidelines are being followed,” according to a statement on DKE’s International’s website.
A representative from the International office will visit the campus at least once per semester and head office will also be overseeing the 2011 initiation. If during the three years of provisional suspension, the U of A chapter does not align its policies and practices with DKE International, which officially prohibits hazing, the chapter may be sanctioned which could include disbandment.
In late October, the U of A administration temporarily revoked DKE’s student group status pending the outcome of the school’s own investigation.
Photo: Getty Images
Hazing may or may not have killed a student, but answers are desperately needed
In late October, a St. Thomas University student was found dead in his building’s stairwell after a weekend party with his volleyball teammates. Questions began swirling immediately as to the circumstances of this tragic event, some of which have been answered, many of which the university is dancing around.
The death of 21-year-old Andrew Bartlett has been ruled an accident, but police have confirmed that alcohol was a factor in the events that led up to the fourth-year student’s fatal fall. The university has now suspended the men’s volleyball team for the rest of the year after hazing rituals were discovered at the same party Bartlett attended the night he died.
But no one will say if the two events are related in any way. Both the university and the Fredericton police are choosing their words very carefully.
In a press conference on Thursday, university president Dennis Cochrane outlined the findings of an internal investigation into the matter: The party involved drinking games where the rookie players were required to pay more for alcohol than team veterans. Though Cochrane says no evidence was found that anyone on the team was forced to drink, it’s clear a hierarchy was at play.
“There was a very clear identification of rookies, very clearly a treatment of them different than other members of the team,” he said. Cochrane went on to say that the events of Oct. 23 fit the university’s description of hazing.
While I realize the need for sensitivity in this matter, and I can sympathize with what Bartlett’s family, friends and teammates are going through, this is a question that needs to be answered and an issue that needs to be addressed. Two scenarios could have been at play. Either Bartlett was simply having fun with his friends, drank too much and a tragic accident occurred that could have happened any night of the year. Or he was trying desperately to impress his new teammates and live up to their standards. The key will be determining whether or not he would have drank the same way if the environment he was in was different.
If the hazing and team party are related to Bartlett’s fall and death, the entire story becomes a dark mark in our history. He very well may be the first hazing-related death in this country, and that is something that needs to be addressed more seriously than simply suspending a team for the year.
Hazing in Canada has gone beyond embarrassing headlines and has potentially crossed over into a realm we’ve never had to deal with before. We’ve never had a hazing-related death before. If Bartlett died because of a hazing ritual, then this needs to be public knowledge so we can figure out how to change this culture immediately before more people die.
Rookie died after attending hazing event; alcohol a factor
The men’s volleyball team at St. Thomas University has been benched for the rest of the year after a rookie who attended a team hazing event died. Andrew Bartlett, 21, was found dead in late October, the result of an accidental fall. Police have ruled out foul play, but confirmed Wednesday that alcohol was a contributing factor.
After Bartlett’s death, the university investigated allegations that hazing was involved. While STU President Dennis Cochrane said hazing did not directly contribute to the accident, he said Bartlett, a rookie volleyball player, had been involved in a team hazing event the night of his death. “First-year players were identified and treated a little differently than the veteran members of the team. And as a result, that fits the definition of what hazing would be. That’s a concern to us. Obviously it’s a concern to everyone because this one had an eventual tragic outcome,” Cochrane said.
As a consequence the whole team has been suspended.
UAlberta’s DKE chapter cannot book events, use school equipment or university logo until ‘further notice’
Following allegations of extreme hazing , the University of Alberta chapter of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity has had its status as a student group at the U of A suspended by university administration.
The suspension went into place Oct. 28 and will last “until further notice,” the U of A Dean of Students Frank Robinson announced at a press conference yesterday afternoon, according to the Gateway. “I’ve taken this action under the Code of Student Behaviour, which empowers me, as Dean, with the authority to immediately suspend a student group if I reasonably believe that the group’s activities have endangered or could potentially endanger the health, safety, and well-being of students,” Robinson said.
As a result of the suspension, the DKE chapter will no longer be able to take advantage of the privledges afforded to students groups at the U of A. As of Thursday, they will no longer be able to use university space for events and activities on campus, university equipment, or the university logo or insignia until the suspension is lifted.
However, members of the fraternity will not be penalized individually, aside from the impact on their group.
Would someone really want their first Google hit to reference such objectionable extra-curricular activities?
Explosive revelations regarding hazing initiatives at a University of Alberta fraternity shocked and surprised the country within hours of the story going online last Thursday. But it’s far from the first time something like this has happened, and it’s becoming a bigger problem.
Related: Wasn’t hazing a thing of the past?
In September 2005, allegations arose around the McGill University football team initiation activities that included threats of sodomy with a broomstick.
Again, in January 2009, reports surfaced of students at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia being beaten with tree branches, smeared with what they believed to be feces, and being forced to rub A535 on their genitals — all allegedly part of a residence initiation process.
And now, students at the U of A are coming forward with stories of what they reportedly had to endure in order to gain membership in the university’s chapter of the DKE fraternity.
Video footage obtained by The Gateway, the U of A’s campus paper, depicts sleep-deprived pledges eating their own vomit, being enclosed in a small plywood box and not being allowed to leave after the four-day event has begun.
All three instances received wide international media attention. Harsh punishments have traditionally been handed to the perpetrators, with universities making examples of them for other students thinking of doing the same.
Students at McGill were suspended and the football team lost its season. The StFX students were kicked out of residence, fined $50 each, given 50 hours of community service, ordered to take harassment counselling and banned from all student-sponsored social and sporting events, including use of the campus bar, for a year — the last of which was reversed after the students challenged the sanctions in provincial court.
While no one has been punished at the U of A yet, two investigations into the incident are underway — one by the university, the other by DKE International, the fraternity’s parent organization.
I have to wonder, with such substantial examples made of these three cases, why are students still willing to risk their reputations and possible academic expulsion or suspension, or even a criminal record, with such childish antics?
But it continues to happen, with organizers of hazing initiations across North America seemingly turning a blind eye to those who get caught. According to research completed by Hank Nuwer, an American expert on hazing, harassing initiation rituals are on the rise.
Nuwer told UNews.ca in February 2009 that there has been at least one hazing-related death per year in the United States since 1970, but the fall of 2008 saw eight.
While there have been no hazing-related deaths in Canada so far, I can’t help but think, no matter how important social status is to a person, a potential manslaughter charge is not worth the temporary feeling of power carrying out these initiations would bring. Not to mention, with the permanency of Internet archiving, would someone really want their first Google hit to reference such objectionable extra-curricular activities?
Photo: The fraternity house for Delta Kappa Epsilon, by Dan McKechnie, the Gateway
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.