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5 despicable things frats have done in just the past few months

Fatal hazings. Cheers for rape. Parties in blackface. Greek life on campus is a cesspool of toxic masculinity


Kali Holloway
October 10, 2015 6:00PM (UTC)
This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

AlterNetEvery now and again you might find yourself wondering, “What kinds of terrible things are frats doing now?” The most recent answer would be this. But as always, there’s plenty more where that came from. Back in March we did a round-up of the awful things frats had recently gotten caught doing. And while we don’t have enough time to cover all the disgusting stories that have emerged from frats since then, here’s a look at some frats at colleges around the country have been doing.

1. Pi Delta Psi at Baruch College: Allegedly Fatally Hazing of a Pledge

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Though the incident actually took place in December 2013, prosecutors announced this September that they would be charging 37 members of the Pi Delta Psi fraternity in connection with the death of Chun “Mike” Deng. According to the Guardian, Deng, along with three other pledges and approximately 30 brothers, traveled to a house in the Poconos. There, they took part in a ritual called the “glass ceiling,” in which pledges are made to run, blindfolded and wearing backpacks filled with 20 to 30 pounds of sand, through a yard as frat brothers tackle them. Deng, according to the New York Times, didn't fall in line – he fought back and talked back, which angered the brothers and made them even more physically aggressive. Per the Guardian, “[a]fter Deng lost consciousness…[the] brothers contacted the national fraternity president, Andy Meng, instead of calling for immediate medical assistance. Meng encouraged the group to ‘hide all fraternity items,’” instead of taking Deng to the hospital. Two hours later, Deng was dead. The Times reports that officials have charged “five people with third-degree murder and 32 others with a range of counts, including assault, hindering apprehension.”

2. Sigma Phi Epsilon at UCLA: Wearing blackface to parties

Along with sister sorority Alpha Phi, the UCLA chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon recently held a “Kanye Western” party, which involved attendees wearing gold chains and baggy clothes, and dressing up as “Kardashians” – complete with padded bottoms. The Daily Bruin, the student newspaper, also says some attendees had “their foreheads covered in charcoal.” Representatives of the school’s Afrikan Student Union, who were tipped off about the party by someone who managed to snap a few quick pictures (since mostly wiped from the web), are planning to hold a public meeting to discuss the incident. In the meantime, the frat’s national office has suspended the chapter as it looks into what happened. A statement from UCLA, quoted in the Los Angeles Times, reads: “We do not yet have all the facts, the alleged behavior is inconsistent with good judgment as well as our principles of community. We remind students that while they are free to celebrate in ways that draw on popular culture, their specific choices can cause harm and pain to fellow members of their community. Put simply: Just because you can do something, does not mean you should.”

3. Sigma Nu at the University of Central Florida: Saying they want to “rape some bitches”

After a long night out of drinking, the brothers of the Sigma Nu chapter at the University of Central Florida had a drunken conversation that consisted almost singularly of them talking about “raping bitches.” On a surreptitiously made recording, the frat boys can be heard saying things like, “We’re gonna rape some fucking sluts,” “Let’s rape some bitches,” “We’re gonna rape ‘em – who cares” and even just spontaneously shouting “rape” over and over again. The person who recorded the video passed it on to a woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Sigma Nu members last October. According Raw Story, the woman “[s]he said she woke up naked and in pain in the bathroom of the Sigma Nu frat house next to a condom and condom wrapper.” The alleged victim, who filed a complaint with the school, said she was given the video because “[The person who recorded it]...felt that they may be able to help me.” The frat is currently suspended. UCF reportedly has identified a suspect in the sexual abuse case.

4. Sigma Nu at Miami University of Ohio: Making pledges drink 100 beers

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Oh, what a shock: A fraternity accused of hazing pledges with enough alcohol to kill a horse. The Ohio Journal-News reports that pledges of the Sigma Nu chapter at Miami University were ordered to “drink 100 beers” – they actually had to keep a running tally written on their chest -- and were “banned from showering or shaving.” According to the story, the school found out thanks to the fact that pictures of said pledges were shared via text and SnapChat. (Guys, you know that even when you use Snapchat, the Internet is forever, right?)

5. Also, Phi Kappa Psi and Kappa Sigma at Miami University of Ohio: A whole grab bag of awful

It’s worth noting that Sigma Nu is one of three – count ’em – three frats that have been suspended from Miami University. According to the Journal-News, the two other fraternities include Phi Kappa Psi, which is on probation for hazing, serving alcohol to minors and then taking “inappropriate pictures." While Kappa Sigma – which “required pledges to work out between 3:30 am. and 6 a.m., causing exhaustion” and made “new members... clean older members’ rooms and buy them food” – has been dropped by its national office.


Kali Holloway

Kali Holloway is the senior director of Make It Right, a project of the Independent Media Institute. She co-curated the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s MetLiveArts 2017 summer performance and film series, “Theater of the Resist.” She previously worked on the HBO documentary Southern Rites, PBS documentary The New Public and Emmy-nominated film Brooklyn Castle, and Outreach Consultant on the award-winning documentary The New Black. Her writing has appeared in AlterNet, Salon, the Guardian, TIME, the Huffington Post, the National Memo, and numerous other outlets.

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