Well, here’s one story we hope never to hear again, but probably will by next fall: a sorority and a fraternity at the University of Connecticut have been suspended amid allegations of some rather terrible hazing. According to recent reports, local chapters of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity are accused of taking hazing inspiration from Dazed and Confused, proving once again that a considerable number of Greek organizations attract the type of people who completely ignored Jackass‘ “don’t try this at home” warning as teens and attempted to staple their scrotums to random objects.
Kappa Kappa Gamma member Hillary Holt claims she went with her sorority sisters to an off-campus SAE party, but instead of getting drunk and accidentally sending cutesy texts to somebody in her poetry class (I was lame in college, evidently), she and other sorority sisters were “forced to drink beer, wine and shots” until they blacked out. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but in my experience, mixing wine with anything besides cheese makes me sick to my stomach. Mixing beer with shots makes me vom. Mixing the three of those would surely make me pass out, which is exactly why people don’t do it.
For those who think it’s easy to simply decline the booze when offered, Holt’s quotes on the matter might convince you otherwise:
“They did put drinks to our mouths and made us drink it…You have seven to nine people yelling at you, girls and guys, and if you don’t do what they tell you to, the consequences could get worse.”
Anytime the word “consequences” is used regarding the act of not drinking, you know there’s a problem. Being told to do anything by seven to nine people simultaneously isn’t easy to handle, but when you’ve already been drinking (an assumption on my part regarding her state of mind throughout), it is nearly impossible. “Consequences” are intimidating enough; when you’re drunk and being told to keep getting drunker, they can be terrifying. The word “consequences,” when yelled, implies punishment–punishment by that many people is not something anybody would want to face. And in this case, these threats apparently led to Holt guzzling a ton of alcohol and winding up in the hospital with a BAC nearly three times the legal limit (.08). That’s really high, guys.
Not to sound like an informercial, but wait–there’s more! According to Holt, the sorority sisters were told to lie on the floor and “sizzle like bacon,” like in the Dazed and Confused hazing scene. Charming.
Kappa Kappa Gamma’s national office claims it doesn’t tolerate hazing rituals and is working with the university regarding these allegations. Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national spokesman Brandon Weghorst says the UConn chapter was sent a letter ordering them to halt operations as an investigation is conducted.
“SAE offers its apologies to Miss Holt for any hazing or ordeal that she may have been subjected to, especially in a Sigma Alpha Epsilon house. And we apologize if any of our members were responsible for those actions. They are not consistent with our expectations.”
I went to a school with a relatively large Greek scene (small school, but a huge proportion of the students were in fraternities and sororities). To be completely honest, the only “real” hazing I ever heard about from my friends in Greek life involved SAE and their parties, but of course, those were unconfirmed rumors. Nevertheless, the fraternity has certainly had its fair share of revolting, degrading and criminal hazing incidents on record, so I’m not exactly surprised to hear this story.
Violent, dehumanizing and dangerous hazing stems from the desire to harm or humiliate another human being out of either an “it happened to me, so now I get to put somebody else through it” attitude or sheer sociopathic tendencies. Seriously. If you want to hurt another person, chances are, you’re not a great person on the inside and you don’t deserve friends, so it makes sense to just break them until they’re manipulated into loving both you and the organization facilitating their abuse.
Anyway, friendship! Oh, and Cosmo: is this still “worth it”?