It’s here. Just as we predicted, Dartmouth’s hazing scandal has turned into a swirling, lightning-forked shitstorm. This is the kind of controversy college presidents resign over. Here’s a play-by-play if you’re just joining us now.
The AP story: Good overview. Read it. The Globe article: It’s College president Jim Yong Kim arguing that he can’t change Dartmouth’s culture by himself. The article cites “tradition-bound alumni” for opposing reform. (Of Dartmouth’s ~60,000 alumni, just 146, or 0.002%, have signed a well-publicized alumni petition to stop hazing.)
The 27 identical hazing charges against SAE brothers: That’s a lot! Apparently a witness
other than (who may or may not be Lohse) came forward and named names. On the same day, SAE’s outgoing president wrote in to say that he and his brothers were scapegoats of Dartmouth’s P.R. strategy. He also admitted that “certain practices from 2009 … were in violation of College policy.”
The mysterious Rolling Stone piece: Ehhh. That magazine’s last similar piece, an article about the 2006 Duke lacrosse fiasco, was a sketchily-sourced trend piece about gender politics. And several tipsters have told IvyGate that RS’s reporter has been stonewalled by pretty much everyone she’s contacted at Dartmouth—except, of course, whistleblower Andrew Lohse, who ironically has been charged with hazing, too. Lohse’s main advocate, Joseph Asch, argues that Lohse should be protected by a non-existent Good Samaritan statute. Otherwise it looks like Lohse shot himself in the foot.
As for administrative incompetence: Yeah, we don’t know. But here’s the thing: the past three major hazing scandals in the Ivy League (Princeton in 2010; Cornell in 2011; Dartmouth in 2012) all involved brothers of SAE. So maybe SAE is the problem? The national organization? Could we consider that?
What does this hazing scandal even mean, anyway? Money. It’s about money. Money money money. Dartmouth, which is egregiously Greek, is a massive feeder to lucrative industries like finance and consulting. Just listen to the ex-Goldman author of today’s big Times op-ed: a willingness to hurt others makes for great business acumen, not just awful hazing. And it shows. Such success makes for rich alumni who donate lots of money. Which means (per the Globe):
“Many…fraternities have been kicked off campus and then let back on after their alumni donated a lot of money,’’ said Stewart Towle, a senior who said he joined a fraternity as a freshman but has since left.