The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Fraternity pledge loses testicle in hazing stunt

The nauseating fraternity/sorority stories  — many of them involving hazing — just keep on coming.

The latest is from Wilmington College in Ohio, where three pledges of Gamma Phi Gamma who were taken to the basement of the fraternity, called “Gobbler House,” and subjected to a series of miserable exercises, including being blindfolded, told to strip, had their mouths stuffed with limburger cheese and hit with “towels and shirts that had the ends balled up in knots” or which had items tied inside to “inflict pain,” according to an affidavit published by Smoking Gun.

A 19-year-old recruit was hit in the genitals and was injured; later, he went to a hospital where doctors removed an injured testicle. About 20 members of the fraternity were either involved in the pledging or watching, according to the affidavit.

It’s just one in a long series of bad stories, including:

* In October, Georgia Tech  officials investigated reports that a member of Phi Kappa Tau had sent an e-mail to fellow frat brothers that provided a lewd, detailed guide on “luring rapebait.” The fraternity suspended itself as well as a student who sent the e-mail.

* The University of Oregon is looking into several fraternities and sororities for reportedly holding unofficial parties that sent several women to the hospital for excessive alcohol consumption.

* Fresno State University postponed its Rush Week this fall for a month so that freshmen would have more time to get adjusted to college life. Why? Because an 18-year-old fraternity pledge died in 2012.

*Last July, Dartmouth College was the site of a “Bloods and Crips”-themed party, hosted jointly by Alpha Delta fraternity and Delta Delta Delta sorority.

*Last January, Cornell University withdrew recognition from Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity after pledges were reported to have been plied with alcohol and stripped naked. Two years earlier, a Cornell student pledging Sigma Alpha Epsilon died after  he ingested large amounts of alcohol following a mock kidnapping.

* In December 2012, the University of Vermont suspended Sigma Phi Epsilon because of reports that it had asked members in a survey to respond to a series of questions, including: “If you could rape someone, who would it be?”

*In November 2012, the University of Dayton suspended Sigma Chi fraternity after an incident in which about 80 students connected with the frat were reported to have staged a drunken rampage inside a mini-mart, vandalizing it and flashing their genitals to people in the parking lot.

* And there was the famous “butt-chugging” incident September 2012 incident at the University of Knoxville College, where a 20-year-old Pi Kappa Alpha student was taken to a medical center with a blood alcohol content that was so high that death can occur. He survived, but the question became how he got so drunk. My colleague Jenna Johnson reported back then:

Campus police went to the student’s fraternity house, Pi Kappa Alpha (aka Pike), to find out. They found several males intoxicated or passed out — and this scene, as described by a Knoxville police spokesman in a Monday statement that was obtained by The Post: “Upon extensive questioning it is believed that members of the fraternity were utilizing rubber tubing inserted into their rectums as a conduit for alcohol as the abundance of capillaries and blood vessels present greatly heightens the level and speed of the alcohol entering the blood stream as it bypasses the filtering by the liver.”

This is hardly an exclusive list.

Of course students who don’t belong to sororities and fraternities act badly.

Of course college students who aren’t in Greek life drink too much.

That doesn’t really mean that colleges and universities have to put with organizations that seem to fuel this kind of behavior.

Isn’t it time schools rethink Greek life?