Yesterday was not a good day for hazing-whistleblower Andrew Lohse. First, Dartmouth’s administration dropped charges for hazing against 24 of his former SAE brothers—not including Lohse himself (and a few others). Then, Rolling Stone’s long-awaited hazing article came out. It’s a well-written meditation on class, violence, and power in Dartmouth’s overheated campus culture. It’s also a comprehensive character assassination of its main subject—Lohse—whom editor Janet Reitman portrays as a violent, pretentious, alcoholic, mentally ill, status-anxious, back-stabbing drug addict. (Really—read it.) Following which, Joe Asch, Lohse’s main champion—his only champion, truly—declined to comment on the article for which he had built up so much anticipation. If there’s one thing Rolling Stone should be applauded/feared for, it’s getting Lohse to cooperate with such a thorough take-down of himself.
Then again, this is the guy whose pledge name was “Regina”—after Mean Girls—“in honor of his aggressive social climbing.” So maybe that was the point.
After the jump: the top 10 lines that Andrew Lohse probably can’t believe Rolling Stone published:
“The problem with Andrew is he’s always the victim, he doesn’t take responsibility for what he does,” says one of his former buddies.
The Thursday night of homecoming is SAE’s annual champagne formal, which Lohse attended, already drunk on red wine. He then proceeded to drink almost two bottles of champagne, followed by lots of bourbon and multiple beers. By 6 a.m., most of the SAE brothers had passed out, and Lohse and some of the pledges took off for breakfast.
“Andrew was a polarizing figure from day one,” says a brother. […] Lohse only received a “bid,” or offer to pledge the frat, after several brothers came to his defense, citing his popularity with women. A friend recalls walking into Lohse’s room one night to find a girl in his bed, alone, while Lohse was in bed with another girl down the hall.
In a letter to Rolling Stone, SAE’s lawyer, Harvey Silverglate, labeled some of Lohse’s most extreme allegations “demonstrably untrue” and compared Lohse to the stripper who falsely accused a number of Duke lacrosse players of raping her in 2006. “Lohse is… a seemingly unstable individual,” Silverglate wrote, “with a very poor reputation for truth-telling and a very big axe to grind.”
“You get high with Andrew Lohse, and all of a sudden he’s on a 20-minute tangent about literature and liberal politics, and he’s fascinating and exciting to be around, and makes you believe that you can do great things, because he wants to do great things. But one by one, I think a lot of his friends just gave up.”
In the months since he wrote his article, Lohse has virtually lost all of his Dartmouth friends. “I felt like an idiot because I’d defended him,” says one brother in a rival fraternity, “and here he was, throwing it back in our face.”
Some former friends recall Lohse himself as the polarizing force: He would show up drunk at people’s doors at 3 a.m., or spend half the night on a desperate search for drugs.
What followed was, depending on one’s reading, a profound expression of drunken entitlement, or “an existential act of rebellion,” as Lohse maintains. “I can walk wherever I want to walk,” he told the guard. Then he picked up a plastic folding chair and tossed it in her direction.
“He told everyone he’d traveled the world and was a changed person,” says a former friend. “But he was still drinking and smoking weed, still actively pursuing all the things that had gotten him in trouble to begin with.”
He’s writing a memoir: a “generational tale” that he hopes will be part Bright Lights, Big City, part The Sun Also Rises and part This Side of Paradise, and describes as “a one-way ticket to the secret violence at the heart of the baptismal rites of the new elite.”