4 frat deaths this month. 2 this week alone. What’s going on with fraternity hazing?

In the past month, at least four young men have died in circumstances apparently related to college fraternities. Two of those deaths have come this week alone. At least three young men had also died the previous semester.

If that seems like a lot, Hank Nuwer, an author who chronicles these types of deaths, has some unfortunate news. Since 2017, that number of fraternity deaths annually has become the new normal.

Despite policy changes from universities and frats, a slew of anti-hazing laws and activism from the dead students’ parents, the trend shows no sign of changing. Nuwer laments that  many young men see hazing as a “requirement for manhood.”

The deaths come at a time when families, universities and fraternities are struggling to decide how to address the toxic behavior sometimes associated with these organizations. Many supporters say frats’ volunteer service, fundraising, and sense of community outweigh the bad behaviors. But people increasingly are drawing connections between the high-profile incidents that leave young men dead, and more of them are putting the blame on fraternities’ culture of hazing.


USC fraternity suspended for four years for hazing incident

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at the University of South Carolina has been suspended until 2023 for violating the code of conduct of both the university and Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

In an official statement, USC’s Director of Public Relations Jeff Stensland said, “Operations of the Epsilon-Psi chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity at the University of South Carolina have been suspended until at least August 2023, effective Nov. 11, 2019.

“The suspension is supported by the organization’s national office and follows a university investigation in which evidence of member hazing was uncovered. Hazing is not tolerated at the University of South Carolina, and those who engage in the practice face disciplinary action.

“The university provides extensive education and training to new and existing members of fraternities and sororities about hazing and other abusive behaviors, and how to report it if it occurs. The reporting process worked in this case, resulting in the organization and its members being held accountable for their actions.

“We encourage anyone who knows of hazing activities in any student organization to contact the university’s 24/7 reporting hotline at 803-777-5800.”

Tad Lichtenauer, spokesman for Lambda Chi Alpha, said that the Lambda Chi Alpha Board of Directors became aware of the latest accusations against the Columbia chapter in October 2019 and voted to suspend operations of the Epsilon-Psi chapter effective Nov. 10.



SDSU suspends 14 fraternities after event leads to student’s hospitalization

San Diego State University on Friday suspended 14 fraternities after a student reportedly required medical attention after attending a fraternity event, campus officials said.

University Police said they received a 911 phone call on Thursday morning and were asked to respond to a residence hall in the 6100 block of Montezuma Road, where a student needed medical attention. The student, who was a freshman attending a Phi Gamma Delta fraternity event, was taken to a San Diego-area hospital.

“Given the severity of this incident, and as the safety and wellbeing of students is a primary concern of the university, SDSU President Adela de la Torre has suspended the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and all chapter organizations under the council,” SDSU said in a statement.

The decision, effective Friday, does not affect the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the College Panhellenic Association or the United Sorority and Fraternity Council, according to the university. Nor does it impact the chapters affiliated with those organizations.




Cornell IFC Fraternities Ban Social Events for Fall Semester

Cornell’s Interfraternity Council canceled nearly all regulated fraternity events for the rest of the fall semester Friday night, citing safety concerns.

The ban — which will run until Jan. 1, 2020 — cited recent events as a catalyst which had made “inherent safety hazards” apparent within the existing Greek life social system.

The ban excludes a maximum of three “date nights” or formal events with a member-to-guest ratio of 1:1 hosted at a “licensed, third party venue or the Chapter house while utilizing licensed 3rd party resources,” which included approved bartenders and security personnel.

“We have an obligation to protect the safety of both our members, our guests, and the larger Cornell community and we believe that taking this action allows us to draw back and reassess our shortcomings and enact substantial change,” reads the ban, cosigned by all IFC fraternity presidents except those representing Alpha Delta Phi and Phi Kappa Psi. The presidents did not reply to The Sun’s emailed requests for comment Friday evening.

“Everyone was given notice and opportunity to come, voice opinions, vote, and sign,” said IFC President Cristian Gonzalez ’20.

President Martha E. Pollack said that the death of Tsialas at an “unregistered fraternity-sponsored event” was part of a pattern of problems in Greek life in a campus-wide email Friday evening.

“These events, still under investigation, regrettably follow a pattern of misconduct in the Greek-letter system, a pattern that is emblematic of enduring problems that we, as a community, must recommit ourselves to solving,” Pollack wrote. “Indeed, despite substantially enhanced Greek Life outreach, training and policy development over the last two years, numerous fraternities have been found to have engaged in misconduct over that time sufficient to merit suspension of their recognition by the university.”

Cornell IFC Fraternities Ban Social Events for Fall Semester

Troy University’s Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity suspended

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – After a three-week long investigation into hazing allegations against its chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon, Troy University found the fraternity was in violation of the university’s policy against hazing.

“We did find some things that were consistent with fraternity policy, fraternity rituals, university policies that would be construed as hazing. So, therefore, the chapter has been sanctioned,” Herbert Reeves, Troy University’s dean of student services, said.

The fraternity will remain under suspension for the remainder of the university’s fall semester.

“It did consist of some things like sleep deprivation, excessive calisthenics, the use of alcohol, those type of things,” Reeves said.

As a part of the suspension, fraternity members will not be able to participate in any on-campus or social activities.

“Anything social, anything intramural or athletic in nature. Things such as their new member swaps with the sororities, but also the fraternity can have no social events. They can’t participate in intramurals. They can’t participate in homecoming activities. Basically, they can exist, or they can have a business meeting if it’s in regards to, you know, chapter business,” Reeves said.

This is the second fraternity this semester to be suspended at the university. In September, the university’s chapter of Sigma Chi was suspended for similar allegations.


Possible hazing incident involving Theta Xi fraternity at UL under investigation

A University of Louisiana at Lafayette fraternity is under investigation for a possible hazing incident.

Lt. Billy Abrams, UL Police Department spokesperson, confirmed Thursday the department is investigating a hazing allegation against the university’s Theta Xi fraternity chapter. He was unable to provide more information, including when the investigation was launched, but said more information could be forthcoming.

Eric Maron, senior communications representative for the university, confirmed an investigation into possible hazing is ongoing. No other details, including the current status of the Theta Xi chapter, were provided as of Thursday evening.



Hofstra University Fraternity Placed On Interim Suspension Following Hazing Accusations

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A fraternity at Hostra University has been placed on interim suspension and faces possible disciplinary action.

This after one of its pledges came forward alleging hazing in September, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Wednesday.

Taylor Rose Clarke is editor of the Hofstra student newspaper, The Chronicle.

“I am just honored that my sources would trust me with such vulnerable details and trust me to tell their story,” Clarke said.

Following weeks of interviews, Clarke broke the story of alleged fraternity hazing involving Sigma Alpha Mu — also known as “Sammy.” The local Delta Alpha chapter has since been placed on interim suspension.

One sophomore said he was victimized during what he called a nightmare inside an off-campus frat house.

“They had strippers over one night for new members,” the student said. “They gathered you in a room and they took a lighter, they said, ‘This guy’s got hair like a girl’s, maybe we should just burn it.’ They got close and burned off two inches. I stamped it out.”

He said they put the pledges into a bathroom and turned up the heat.

“For an extended amount of time. It was almost like a sauna,” the sophomore said.

And played dare with cigarettes.

“They were throwing cigarette butts, along with some of the alumni. A couple of them hit me and someone spat on me too. It was pretty hellish,” he said.

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The reports were first taken to public safety with claims some pledges were threatened with bodily harm if they were to reveal secrets.

The national chapter told McLogan it is looking into the chapter’s conduct, adding it does not tolerate hazing because it is against state law.

Hofstra immediately launched a formal inquiry.

“I guess ‘scarring’ is the right word. A lot of trust was lost,” the sophomore said.

MORE3 Former Penn State Frat Members Get Jail Time In 2017 Hazing Death

The school newspaper, the alleged hazing victim, and other fraternity sources told McLogan the university has been open, supportive and cooperative during its Greek life investigation.

“We are a small campus. We are a good campus. It is our lead story because it is an important topic,” Clarke said.

The status of Sigma Alpha Mu has yet to be determined, pending the outcome of the investigation.

On Capitol Hill, the federal “End All Hazing Act” is being debated. It seeks to prevent hazing incidents on college campuses and calls for more accountability and transparency from Greek organizations.

Hofstra University Fraternity Placed On Interim Suspension Following Hazing Accusations