Here’s the story courtesy of the Baltimore Sun:
Members of a fraternity chapter at Salisbury University beat a recruit with a paddle, forced pledges to drink until one vomited blood, and made students stand in trashcans full of icewater, according to an investigation this week by Bloomberg.
The news outlet’s story (read it here) focuses on Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which according to Bloomberg has had nine deaths from drinking, drugs and hazing nationally since 2006. The founder of Salisbury’s chapter withdrew a $2 million donation after the group was suspended by the university amid the hazing investigation, according to Bloomberg.
Among the findings of the university’s investigation, according to Bloomberg: members played “Du Hast” by the German metal band Rammstein on repeat before locking the pledges in a dark basement for nine hours without food or water.
From the Bloomberg story:
“Back at the house, [pledge Justin] Stuart recalled being asked to bend over. He heard clapping, thumping, and chanting; a member took a running start and hit him in the buttocks three times with a paddle as hard as he could, Stuart said.
‘It sounded like a punch, like skin was cracking,’ he said.
Stuart held back a scream, while his back seized up for 20 seconds, leaving him briefly unable to walk, he said. The paddling left bruises that made it hurt to sit down the next day, he said.”
In an email to The Baltimore Sun, Salisbury spokesman Richard Culver said the university does not tolerate hazing. The SAE chapter was suspended until 2014 and will be on probation for another full year after that, he said.
“Other fraternities and sororities were made aware of SAE’s status and anti-hazing educational programs were reinforced,” he said. “The university supports a healthy and productive Greek life, for example, Greek organizations are required to engage in community service. Hazing and other illegal activities are not tolerated.”
According to Bloomberg, the national SAE chapter declined to discuss the Salisbury case.
The hazing allegations and the SAE chapter’s suspension had not yet been made public before Bloomberg’s story.
MY TAKE/RANDOM RAMBLINGS: I personally have many friends who were/are apart of this chapter and it’s very unfortunate that this situation had to take place. I hope other fraternities learn from SAE’s mistakes.
It would be fair to say that SAE has a reputation for being a rough fraternity on campus. Many students at the university refer to them as the “sexual assault fraternity” although I would disagree with that assessment based on numerous interactions I’ve had with members both on and off campus.
I know as you read the Bloomberg article, it makes the members seem like despicable human beings. While their actions were extremely vile and unacceptable, the members that I know are really good guys. I just wish they used better judgement in the actions they took. Hazing is not worth the risk of losing a major part of your college career.
Their suspension makes me ponder 1 key question though. The fraternity was suspended through 2014 which means that they’ll most likely be back in the spring of 2015. If a Divine 9 fraternity were found guilty of the same hazing allegations, would they have had such a short suspension?