Cornell Shuts Down Frat After Rushees End Up in Hospital

Turns out Greek Life rush isn’t all, fun, games and “pretty heels.” In the wee hours of the morning, IvyGate was forwarded an explosive email, sent by Eric Blair of the Cornell Interfraternity Council to all “potential fraternity members.” The Greek czar tells a twisted tale:

I am writing to provide you all with an update of events that occurred last night that resulted in a fraternity having their university recognition temporarily suspended. The suspension is in response to a recruitment event at the fraternity house that resulted in the hospitalization of three students due to alcohol poisoning.

Brotherhood, community, philanthropy, and life-threatening intoxication. Fun. But surprising? Who would have thought that a biyearly institution which corrals eager, tiny freshmen–most of whom never drank in high school, and have the alcohol tolerance of fieldmice–and subjects them to intense drinking bouts could have ill effects? And it’s not even pledge week yet. Irony:

The health and wellness of all individuals is a priority of the Greek system at all times.

Yeah, obviously. The Greek system is definitely up there with Community Health Educators and the Cornell Christian Fellowship. Nevertheless, the buzzkilling po-po and Cornell administration are coming down hard on these bros:

The Ithaca Police Department responded to the event as well and are currently investigating along with Cornell University Police.  This incident is being taken very seriously and will likely have repercussions that effect the entire system.  At this time the fraternity has been instructed to desist from all activities including recruitment.

Boom goes the dynamite. As of now, the identity of the tragic shuttered frat remains a mystery–all-knowing commenters and tipsters, make us wise.

And freshmen, be careful out there. PSA: you don’t have to subject yourself to all-male alcoholic bro-hazing and three years of being someone’s bitch in order to make friends at college. The allure of the Greek system is understandable; it often does a world of good. But when young’uns are being wheeled into the ICU, young women are mercilessly objectifying each other, and frats are coming under the hard fist of the law, it might be a good time to realign priorities.

Read the full Cornell Interfraternity Council email after the jump.

Potential Fraternity Members,

I am writing to provide you all with an update of events that occurred last night that resulted in a fraternity having their university recognition temporarily suspended.  The suspension is in response to a recruitment event at the fraternity house that resulted in the hospitalization of three students due to alcohol poisoning.  These students were transported to the hospital by brothers of the fraternity late last night.  The Ithaca Police Department responded to the event as well and are currently investigating along with Cornell University Police.  This incident is being taken very seriously and will likely have repercussions that effect the entire system.  At this time the fraternity has been instructed to desist from all activities including recruitment.

I would like to stress the importance of safety the rest of the week.  The health and wellness of all individuals is a priority of the Greek system at all times.  Although hard alcohol and illegal substances are banned at all events this does not mean that other forms of alcohol can not lead to dangerous situations.  At the events for the rest of the week please  make responsible decisions especially in regards to alcohol.  If someone does need medical attention do not attempt to transport them to the hospital yourself.  Call 911 and allow trained medical professionals to deal with the situation.  We do have a Medical Amnesty Protocol that applies if you call for an ambulance and ensures that you will face no judicial repercussions from the university.

Take care,

Eric Blair ’10

Cornell Interfraternity Council


  • Yale ’10

    So despite the fact that they chose to be responsible and transport the kids to the hospital, they are still being subjected to disciplinary ramifications from the IFC, Ithaca PD and Cornell PD? That is exactly how you encourage students to NOT take students needing medical attention for alcohol poisoning to health services.

    I’ve been in position of having to decide whether to take a teammate (in the context of a varsity sports team) and a brother (in the context of my fraternity) to get medical attention and in both instances there were discussions with other teammates and brothers and in both instances the fact that the Yale administration promises no repercussions was integral to the decision to seek medical attention for the individuals. Had no such policy been in place, it is very possible that a different decision would have been made to protect the team, the fraternity, ourselves and the individuals needing medical attention (to protect the individuals needing medical attention above all else because they are the only ones not in a position to consent to the ramifications they would face). It is possible that the individuals may have been fine without medical attention, but do you really want to have policies in place that encourage students to take that risk???

  • Yale ’10

    So despite the fact that they chose to be responsible and transport the kids to the hospital, they are still being subjected to disciplinary ramifications from the IFC, Ithaca PD and Cornell PD? That is exactly how you encourage students to NOT take students needing medical attention for alcohol poisoning to health services.

    I’ve been in position of having to decide whether to take a teammate (in the context of a varsity sports team) and a brother (in the context of my fraternity) to get medical attention and in both instances there were discussions with other teammates and brothers and in both instances the fact that the Yale administration promises no repercussions was integral to the decision to seek medical attention for the individuals. Had no such policy been in place, it is very possible that a different decision would have been made to protect the team, the fraternity, ourselves and the individuals needing medical attention (to protect the individuals needing medical attention above all else because they are the only ones not in a position to consent to the ramifications they would face). It is possible that the individuals may have been fine without medical attention, but do you really want to have policies in place that encourage students to take that risk???

  • biggreen

    It seems a bit excessive, but I guess Cornell handles it differently than Dartmouth.

  • Cornell ’10

    To above poster: immunity for large organizations would promote reckless drinking with the knowledge that they’ll always be off the hook. In contrast, the current policy is “lose-lose” for them. Short of (covertly) kicking the person into the street, the frat will have to take responsibility for the incident regardless of their course of action. Knowledge of this compels the organization to act responsibly from the start – by discouraging heavy drinking. This is probably, in fact, what lead the IFC to ban hard alcohol in the first place.

    The brothers should just be glad that none of them will need to face personal repercussions. That, in my opinion, is already too much tacit consent for these activities.

  • biggreen

    It seems a bit excessive, but I guess Cornell handles it differently than Dartmouth.

  • Cornell ’10

    To above poster: immunity for large organizations would promote reckless drinking with the knowledge that they’ll always be off the hook. In contrast, the current policy is “lose-lose” for them. Short of (covertly) kicking the person into the street, the frat will have to take responsibility for the incident regardless of their course of action. Knowledge of this compels the organization to act responsibly from the start – by discouraging heavy drinking. This is probably, in fact, what lead the IFC to ban hard alcohol in the first place.

    The brothers should just be glad that none of them will need to face personal repercussions. That, in my opinion, is already too much tacit consent for these activities.

  • Will

    Word is that the involved fraternity is Pi Kappa Alpha (known on campus as PIKE).

    http://wvbr.com/news/744

  • Will

    Word is that the involved fraternity is Pi Kappa Alpha (known on campus as PIKE).

    http://wvbr.com/news/744

  • Bender Bending Rodriguez

    “And it’s not even pledge week yet. Irony:

    The health and wellness of all individuals is a priority of the Greek system at all times.”

    That’s not irony! That’s just hypocrisy!

  • Bender Bending Rodriguez

    “And it’s not even pledge week yet. Irony:

    The health and wellness of all individuals is a priority of the Greek system at all times.”

    That’s not irony! That’s just hypocrisy!

  • FG

    It’s “affect the entire system” not “effect the entire system”, Eric Blair.

  • FG

    It’s “affect the entire system” not “effect the entire system”, Eric Blair.

  • disdain

    Why kind of ‘brotherhood’ do these fraternities promote if there were ever a debate to obtain medical attention for a member or pledge?
    The above poster (Yale ’10) says he’s seen students requiring medical attention for potentially fatal conditions not once but twice, and both times it was open to discussion whether to actually seek that care.

    What model of responsibility or manhood are they emulating when they would leave a fellow student in a life threatening situtation rather than face a temporary suspension for their social club? Are you kidding me? You people claim to be future leaders? You claim loyalty and fraternity?

  • disdain

    Why kind of ‘brotherhood’ do these fraternities promote if there were ever a debate to obtain medical attention for a member or pledge?
    The above poster (Yale ’10) says he’s seen students requiring medical attention for potentially fatal conditions not once but twice, and both times it was open to discussion whether to actually seek that care.

    What model of responsibility or manhood are they emulating when they would leave a fellow student in a life threatening situtation rather than face a temporary suspension for their social club? Are you kidding me? You people claim to be future leaders? You claim loyalty and fraternity?

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  • Yale ’10

    @disdain

    Whether or not someone truly requires medical attention and/or whether or not something is potentially fatal is a matter of opinion. I’ve seen people vomit and be unable to stand, but not seek medical attention and just have someone stay up with them and give them bread and gatorade and they wind up being fine and just having a massive hangover in the morning.

    The fact of the matter is that many people have been in situations where they debate the pros/cons of taking someone for medical attention for drinking versus putting them in bed and letting them sleep it off. People are more likely to pursue the latter route if one of the “cons” is massive repercussions for the individuals involved and some social organization.

    Yale cares about the safety of its students and recognizes the above logic. Therefore, it has policies that immunize students/ organizations that seek medical attention for themselves or others. Consequently, students are much more likely to err on the side of seeking that medical attention when they are unsure of whether it is necessary than to just put someone to bed and hope that they will be okay in the morning.

  • Yale ’10

    @disdain

    Whether or not someone truly requires medical attention and/or whether or not something is potentially fatal is a matter of opinion. I’ve seen people vomit and be unable to stand, but not seek medical attention and just have someone stay up with them and give them bread and gatorade and they wind up being fine and just having a massive hangover in the morning.

    The fact of the matter is that many people have been in situations where they debate the pros/cons of taking someone for medical attention for drinking versus putting them in bed and letting them sleep it off. People are more likely to pursue the latter route if one of the “cons” is massive repercussions for the individuals involved and some social organization.

    Yale cares about the safety of its students and recognizes the above logic. Therefore, it has policies that immunize students/ organizations that seek medical attention for themselves or others. Consequently, students are much more likely to err on the side of seeking that medical attention when they are unsure of whether it is necessary than to just put someone to bed and hope that they will be okay in the morning.

  • Cal Poly ’12

    Uh there is a benefit to taking a pledge to the hospital. Yes you will get in big trouble with the college and probably have the organization suspended (uh there is a no hazing rule after all) but it’s much much better than having someone DIE and the trouble associated with that is so much more.
    http://cbs5.com/education/cal.poly.hazing.2.1016474.html

  • Cal Poly ’12

    Uh there is a benefit to taking a pledge to the hospital. Yes you will get in big trouble with the college and probably have the organization suspended (uh there is a no hazing rule after all) but it’s much much better than having someone DIE and the trouble associated with that is so much more.
    http://cbs5.com/education/cal.poly.hazing.2.1016474.html

  • disdain

    @Yale’10
    Firstly, your argument seems to be that you behave so irresponsibly that having to face repurcussions for your decisions would only exacerbate the situation and make you behave with even further disregard for your pledges/brothers/teammates. I don’t find this to be a defensible position. Indeed, if you can’t be trusted to do the right thing for those around you, why should the university tolerate your presence at all, much less accomodate your misbehavior?

    Secondly, you write that “whether or not someone truly requires medical attention and/or whether or not something is potentially fatal is a matter of opinion.” It is not. It is a matter of fact. Moreover it is a finding of fact that you and your associates are unqualified to make – especially in an intoxicated state. Your inability to diagnose someone’s medical condition does not make it a “matter of opinion” and is the very reason to take them to a hospital.

    However, the thrust of my post was not to debate university policy but to point out the lack of personal character you display in callously weighing the health (and possibly life) of someone you claim to care about against some fairly trivial consequences. I ask again: what kind of ‘brotherhood’ or ‘fraternity’ allows you to pressure someone into a dangerous situation and then abandon them rather than get in trouble with school administrators? That’s a betrayal of what most fraternities claim to stand for. It’s selfishness and it is cowardice.

  • disdain

    @Yale’10
    Firstly, your argument seems to be that you behave so irresponsibly that having to face repurcussions for your decisions would only exacerbate the situation and make you behave with even further disregard for your pledges/brothers/teammates. I don’t find this to be a defensible position. Indeed, if you can’t be trusted to do the right thing for those around you, why should the university tolerate your presence at all, much less accomodate your misbehavior?

    Secondly, you write that “whether or not someone truly requires medical attention and/or whether or not something is potentially fatal is a matter of opinion.” It is not. It is a matter of fact. Moreover it is a finding of fact that you and your associates are unqualified to make – especially in an intoxicated state. Your inability to diagnose someone’s medical condition does not make it a “matter of opinion” and is the very reason to take them to a hospital.

    However, the thrust of my post was not to debate university policy but to point out the lack of personal character you display in callously weighing the health (and possibly life) of someone you claim to care about against some fairly trivial consequences. I ask again: what kind of ‘brotherhood’ or ‘fraternity’ allows you to pressure someone into a dangerous situation and then abandon them rather than get in trouble with school administrators? That’s a betrayal of what most fraternities claim to stand for. It’s selfishness and it is cowardice.

  • Yale ’10

    @disdain

    Realism vs Idealism

    Go back to the library. You clearly do not understand how the real world social scene of colleges works. Sorry.

    Also, when I think someone needs medical attention, I’ve always argued in favor of taking them to get medical attention and in the two instances I cited, I’ve prevailed. In both instances, some argued that the individuals in question would be fine and seeking medical attention was unnecessary. Their fears were assuaged by the fact that there would not be consequences for taking the individuals for medical attention (e.g. there is amnesty).

    This debate has played out numerous other times in questions of whether to take someone to DUH (Yale’s health services center) vs the hospital (the latter has the potential to get you in trouble – e.g. parents find out b/c of need for insurance, but also offers better care).

    I’ve also seen this exact debate play out at numerous other schools when I’ve visited friends. Importantly, the debate actually played out at Cornell when there was a huge fight at one of the fraternities (not Pike) and members of the fraternity debated whether it was a good idea for various persons to go to the hospital and seek medical attention for injuries sustained because of the consequences.

    The fact of the matter is that these debates play out in the real world and meting out punishments makes it less likely that students will choose to seek medical attention for fellow students. Sure, in the most dire of circumstances, you will still seek medical attention, but in “iffy” situations, the decision becomes much less clear-cut. That’s just a fact of life in the real world regardless of whatever naive idealism you seemingly have about how things work.

  • Yale ’10

    @disdain

    Realism vs Idealism

    Go back to the library. You clearly do not understand how the real world social scene of colleges works. Sorry.

    Also, when I think someone needs medical attention, I’ve always argued in favor of taking them to get medical attention and in the two instances I cited, I’ve prevailed. In both instances, some argued that the individuals in question would be fine and seeking medical attention was unnecessary. Their fears were assuaged by the fact that there would not be consequences for taking the individuals for medical attention (e.g. there is amnesty).

    This debate has played out numerous other times in questions of whether to take someone to DUH (Yale’s health services center) vs the hospital (the latter has the potential to get you in trouble – e.g. parents find out b/c of need for insurance, but also offers better care).

    I’ve also seen this exact debate play out at numerous other schools when I’ve visited friends. Importantly, the debate actually played out at Cornell when there was a huge fight at one of the fraternities (not Pike) and members of the fraternity debated whether it was a good idea for various persons to go to the hospital and seek medical attention for injuries sustained because of the consequences.

    The fact of the matter is that these debates play out in the real world and meting out punishments makes it less likely that students will choose to seek medical attention for fellow students. Sure, in the most dire of circumstances, you will still seek medical attention, but in “iffy” situations, the decision becomes much less clear-cut. That’s just a fact of life in the real world regardless of whatever naive idealism you seemingly have about how things work.

  • 83crewbulldog

    To Yale ’10: disdain is dead on right and you are pathetic douche. First of all God help the hapless alcohol/vicodin saturated bozo whose heart rate continues its precipitous decline while you and your manly, knuckle dragging, shit-faced-blotto cohorts “rationally” weigh the merits of saving his life as opposed to covering your asses. That the possibility that your reputation might be compromised is even REMOTELY a factor in deciding whether or not to help someone speaks VOLUME about the kind of person you are.

    And as for your remark, “You clearly do not understand how the real world social scene of colleges works. Sorry.” MAN UP you big pussy. If you’re so concerned about being a “man” and a “brother” then you’d know that being a man means being truthful to your own values and standing up to and NOT conforming to group think or peer pressure.

    I guess they’ll let ANYONE into my old school these days.

  • 83crewbulldog

    To Yale ’10: disdain is dead on right and you are pathetic douche. First of all God help the hapless alcohol/vicodin saturated bozo whose heart rate continues its precipitous decline while you and your manly, knuckle dragging, shit-faced-blotto cohorts “rationally” weigh the merits of saving his life as opposed to covering your asses. That the possibility that your reputation might be compromised is even REMOTELY a factor in deciding whether or not to help someone speaks VOLUME about the kind of person you are.

    And as for your remark, “You clearly do not understand how the real world social scene of colleges works. Sorry.” MAN UP you big pussy. If you’re so concerned about being a “man” and a “brother” then you’d know that being a man means being truthful to your own values and standing up to and NOT conforming to group think or peer pressure.

    I guess they’ll let ANYONE into my old school these days.

  • 83crewbulldog

    To Yale ‘10: disdain is dead on right and you are pathetic douche. First of all God help the hapless alcohol/vicodin saturated bozo whose heart rate continues its precipitous decline while you and your manly, knuckle dragging, shit-faced-blotto cohorts “rationally” weigh the merits of saving his life as opposed to covering your asses. That the possibility that your reputation might be compromised is even REMOTELY a factor in deciding whether or not to help someone speaks VOLUME about the kind of person you are.
    And as for your remark, “You clearly do not understand how the real world social scene of colleges works. Sorry.” MAN UP you big pussy. If you’re so concerned about being a “man” and a “brother” then you’d know that being a man means being truthful to your own values and standing up to and NOT conforming to group think or peer pressure.
    I guess they’ll let ANYONE into my old school these days.

  • 83crewbulldog

    To Yale ‘10: disdain is dead on right and you are pathetic douche. First of all God help the hapless alcohol/vicodin saturated bozo whose heart rate continues its precipitous decline while you and your manly, knuckle dragging, shit-faced-blotto cohorts “rationally” weigh the merits of saving his life as opposed to covering your asses. That the possibility that your reputation might be compromised is even REMOTELY a factor in deciding whether or not to help someone speaks VOLUME about the kind of person you are.
    And as for your remark, “You clearly do not understand how the real world social scene of colleges works. Sorry.” MAN UP you big pussy. If you’re so concerned about being a “man” and a “brother” then you’d know that being a man means being truthful to your own values and standing up to and NOT conforming to group think or peer pressure.
    I guess they’ll let ANYONE into my old school these days.

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