Dartmouth Drops $30,000 on Frat Breadsticks Annually

Artist’s rendition of a Fratpack

In what one anonymous commenter has called “[a]nother outrage,” Dartmouth College will no longer supply frat parties with breadsticks.

Party packs, those “ubiquitous bundles of bottled water, garlic bread, and marinara sauce found in the front rooms of fraternities and sororities hosting parties” were costing the College “around $30,000 a year.”

Party packs were intended mitigate risks associated with binge-drinking, if, say, you weren’t responsible enough to drink some water and put something in your stomach while getting hammered.

Said one commenter: “As an alum, I can tell you that there were many nights where a snack and some water from a party pack did me a LOT of good and helped keep me out of trouble.”

Dartmouth administration said the too-expensive party packs cost weren’t doing much for harm reduction, but students and Greeks alike will miss them.

Ben Hawley ’16 expressed disappointment over the packs’ imminent disappearance.

“It’s really too bad,” he said. “I used to enjoy eating the party packs a lot.”

Dartmouth SAE Tells Pledges to Quit Talking About All Their ‘Hazing’

It seems that some people never learn. Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the Dartmouth fraternity that came to symbolize hazing last year, appears to be up to the same activities that brought them national attention. An email Tuesday from SAE’s president details a “mandatory event” for this semester’s pledges, telling them to meet at Dartmouth’s Bema — an outdoor amphitheater — with a note book, pen, and a change of “fratty clothes.” Also: “Do not draw attention to yourself.”

Secrecy is emphasized throughout the email, which even goes so far as to threaten removal from the fraternity if someone releases “house secrets.” There are allusions to former SAE brother Andrew Lohse, whose tell-all column in The Dartmouth last year detailing the house’s pledging rituals led to a feature article in Rolling Stone magazine that highlighted Dartmouth’s “hazing abuses.” As the email reads:

“This house values secrecy and we have seen how quickly things get out of control when we do not keep things in the house. You will likely lose your pledgeship if you are found to have revealed house secrets. Trust is a key component to a strong brotherhood.”

However, at some point Tuesday, information about SAE’s event was posted on Bored@Baker, an anonymous Dartmouth message board. A subsequent email from the president notes “Bored@Baker reads that hazing will occur at the BEMA tonight at 9pm.” Although he continually stresses the need for secrecy about the night’s activities, he never denies that hazing will take place. Read the rest of this entry »

Penn’s Closed AEPi Chapter Will Rise Off-Campus as APES

After choosing to disband following a particularly nasty scavenger hunt (oxymoron?), a tipster tells us Penn’s AEPi chapter will rise again, as APES. For those of you not in the know, APES is the common national off-campus version of closed AEPi chapters, seen here at Emory and George Washington. They’re not typically recognized by a university or the national fraternity organization. Basically, they’re the Sarah Palin of Greek life.

So why would this brotherhood dismantle itself and vacate their fraternity house by choice? Because it’s badass. As our tipster tells us:

Their fling tanks said “Rise of the Apes,” clearly acknowledging, and proud of, the fact that they were soon joining the “esteemed” ranks of off campus fraternities.

Off-campus “pseudo-Greek” iterations of former fraternities are common at Penn — Theos (The Old Sammy), OZ (Old ZBT), the Owl Society (Psi U’s logo) — and usually command a certain degree of “cool,” something our tipster tells us the former AEPi brothers hope to capitalize on. As a Daily Pennsylvanian columnist wrote the last time an off-campus society was established, Those unofficial societies always throw the rowdiest parties anyway.” And who needs a national fraternity brotherhood when you have that?

Crimsonites Declare War on Harvard Greek System

Ah, Harvard University. The very mention of its name fills you with warm, fuzzy feelings of inclusiveness, openness and community. Then every so often someone comes along and ruins the spirit of things by being all exclusive about whom they’ll hang out with. This usually never happens at Harvard!

The Crimson staff noted in a recent editorial that these scoundrels currently take the form of fraternities and sororities, who apparently discriminate among students. And it laments that Harvard’s “paternalistic” drinking policies are pushing more and more students to off-campus parties thrown by these abominable Greek organizations:

Greek organizations rely not only on gender division, but also on arbitrary exclusivity. As organizations that will turn away guests because of their gender or appearance, these are hardly an appropriate solution to the perennial problem of social space on campus. Additionally, one of our greatest assets as a college is our strong campus culture, and the regular fractionation of Harvard students to off-campus venues will negatively impact campus unity.

The staff pleads with their readers to see the madness of university policies that allow these dreaded groups to plow through Harvard’s social scene and leave shambles of unity in their wake. If only all organizations could be as open and welcoming as the Crimson.  Read the rest of this entry »

Cornell’s SAE Has History of Alcohol-Fueled Brother “Kidnappings”

As we reported on Friday, the circumstances that led to the death of Cornell sophomore and SAE brother George Desdunes on Feb. 25 are still somewhat mysterious. The university confirmed in a press release that George was “provided alcohol while in the care of certain members and associate members” of his fraternity, and that the resulting intoxication contributed to his eventual death. Still, much about the account struck us as frustratingly (and deliberately) vague.

It does seem pretty clear that the “members” and “associate members” described in the account were brothers and pledges, respectively. But, we still weren’t certain if the drinking occurred during a pledging event; nor did we know exactly what it meant that he was “provided” the alcohol. Today, however, we have a genuine theory.

Yesterday morning, IvyGate received an email from a someone claiming to be an alumnus of the Cornell chapter of SAE. We were able to verify that this person was in fact in the fraternity, and that he graduated within the past 10 years. He told us that during his time at Cornell, SAE pledging protocol involved a custom whereby new members were “encouraged to occasionally kidnap a brother.” The basic scenario involved three-to-five pledges corralling the chosen brother, then spiriting him away to an isolated location for some form of reverse-hazing.

Said our tipster:

At that point usually the pledges would haze* the brother in some way, mostly by just getting him really drunk (usually, really drunk).  When I read that [Desdunes] was “in care of … associate members” that is what came to mind. Especially around this time: late feb to early march is when pledging has fully gotten under way and before the busier stuff starts so that’s the couple weeks when the “fun” pledging activities went on.  But considering how drunk the kidnapped brother would be when he was returned, it’s not hard to see how it could have gone too far.

(*In a later email, the alumnus said that “hazing” was meant in “at least some jovial sense” that “usually meant that the brother was at least somewhat complicit.”)

Read the rest of this entry »

Ragtime: Nothing Really Changes Edition

  • Columbia: Tries to upset hipsters through incessant debate over a smoking ban policy on campus.
  • Harvard: Awww… candidates for Undergraduate Council come across as lifetime friends, or so we think.
  • Yale: First Columbia has “Consent is Sexy.” Now Yale asks, ““Do You Want To Have Sex?” over Facebook.
  • Princeton: Students from across the Ivies attended the Ivy League Summit at Princeton where they learned about politics and more importantly eating clubs.  
  • Penn: IFC is having to regroup after their prez’s resignation.

RagTime: You Dropped a Bomb on Me Baby Edition

  • Princeton: Experienced a morning bomb threat
  • Columbia: Administrators approve gender-blind housing
  • Brown: Library union agrees to a four-year contract
  • Penn: IFC president might resign after arrest
  • Columbia: Stole Judith Butler away from Berkeley

Dartmouth frats: where humanity dies, according to terrifying date-rape ballad

So we’re a tad late to the game on this one (seriously), but:

HOLY. CRAP.

Back at the end of September an anonymous Gmail account identified only as “Expecto Patronus” sent out a blast message to the entire Dartmouth student body.

(Apparently this happens regularly.)

Among the contents of said email was a three-stanza riff on … well, uncertain. On its own, the thing is actually fairly oblique: “Welcome to Dartmouth; we are glad you are here; Prepare to surrender; what you hold most dear.”

(Sunlight?)

The poem moves swiftly from salutations into evocations of all-enveloping darkness in such a way that mostly just leaves us scratching our heads. But clarity, it turns out, was granted in the form of a musical number titled “Out of Control,” included as an attachment with the email, and — OH MY GOODNESS IT’S A SIX-MINUTE SONG ABOUT RAPISTS.

Let’s break it down, though, because this is deranged: Starts innocently enough. The propulsive drum beat and screeching electric guitar. Shredding axe. Fuck yeah…

Only to catch us off guard when the twee vocalist with the affect of an Auto-Tune suddenly transitions into a throaty growl as she ravages the Greek community (figuratively, people, c’mon) with her acid-tinged couplets.

There are roofies and underwear mishaps; negligent college officials; Dementor-esque fraternity brothers with no reservations about sucking out your soul through their Ice-stained maws. And, somewhere in the middle, the whole thing breaks into a minute-long November Rain guitar solo. So. Yeah. What exactly are we supposed make of this?

For starters, there’s the dissonance between the song’s themes (dark) and its presentation (an imbroglio of heavy-handed Guitar Hero histrionics). The Guns N Roses pastiche doesn’t help. And, do we count it as irony that the singer’s choice of a vocal aid — the Auto-Tune — has provided the musical accompaniment for its fair share of sexual misdeeds?

Long story short, the song mostly just confuses the hell out of us — and everyone else too, by the looks of it. For example, an opinion columnist for the Dartmouth gave an account of the ballad that puts the “silly” in “supercilious”:

“’Out of Control’s’ eschatological refrain … has offered you a Miltonic Satan singer: compelling, victimized; brooding, cynical; most importantly, destructive … Sexual assault is a real problem at Dartmouth. But to say that my alma mater is a place where humanity dies is turgid poetics.”

So, rather than grasping at straws, we’ll just say this: Date rape is messed up. But so is this song.

After the jump, an (abridged) transcription of the song’s lyrics:

Read the rest of this entry »

Princeton May Ban Greek Life, Become Civilized

Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman recently told the Ink in an interview that she is considering banning all Greek life on campus.  The threat comes in the wake of a series by a recent Daily Princetonian tell-all with some surprising(?) conclusions. Students in fraternities were:

a. Wealthier and whiter than other students on campus.  88% of Greek Life at Princeton is white, 70% of Greeks come from families that make more than $150,000 a year.  Even Tilghman said,

Those [students] who made the decision to participate in the Greek system were essentially engaging in organizations where they were going to meet people very similar to themselves.  It looked and felt a lot like self-segregation. And that was a problem for us.

Tilgman’s thoughts on other, non-keg-stand-related extracurriculars:

You will see students who come out of very selective schools. You will see students who are coming out of public schools. You will see people of different ethnic groups. It looks like America.

Tilghman’s vision of America isn’t of a land run by a bunch of wealthy white me,  like Princeton’s social life? For shame!

b. Frats are populated by barbaric, misogynistic brutes (remember, this is the DP talking. Haha… “DP.”)  John Burford, a whistle-blowing sophomore who rushed SAE as a freshman briefly before jumping ship, gave some colorful descriptions.  Burford was frequently forced to drink excessively; one of his brothers was taken to the hospital with a potentially life-threatening and totally buzz-killing blood alcohol level of o.40. Burford himself must have suffered damage to his stomach lining  (or at least his gag reflex) after his first year;

On average, I threw up once a day for my entire first semester. Not every day, but once or twice a week, I would throw up multiple times.

Burford was sober enough to recall that 5 of the 7 guys in his pledge class were felled by alcohol poisoning during the year.  As part of their pledge duties they were also sent to a strip club where he was treated to the world’s least enjoyable lap-dance:

Surrounded by his pledge brothers and 40 other club patrons, Burford climbed onto the stage and selected a stripper. She removed his shirt, handcuffed him to a tall metal pole in the middle of the stage and began to beat him with a thick leather belt volunteered by one of his pledge brothers.

Kinky. Burford, who also had trouble finishing his assigned tasks, was told to drink a 20-ounce soda bottle full of tobacco spit. This was reputedly a punishment for slacking off during milk-chugging/sprinting bouts; in other words, frat justice.

“Chewing tobacco pretty much instantly makes you throw up … so none of them thought I could do it,” Burford said. Still, he took the bottle and managed to drink all of its contents in one chug.

After pledge “activities” that forced Burford to risk hypothermia by swimming in a freezing lake — and his sanity, by making him listen to rounds of death metal at full volume in a dark, boiling hot room — he finally quit.  Who can be sure of what was going through his head? Maybe he realized that he could make friends, get girls, and be social without having to suffer through barbaric ritual abuse? Or maybe he wanted to join ballroom dancing.

The national Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter, clearly all gentlemen, conducted a super-serious day-long investigation of hazing at the chapter–and shockingly  found that the allegations were all super-seriously false.  Princeton does not recognize greek life, which means they can’t investigate Burford’s claims or monitor fraternity activity.  In President Tilghman’s words,

I fundamentally believe that it’s impossible to regulate the very things that we are most concerned about with fraternities … which are the excessive alcohol and the hazing.

She’s considering a few options:  recognizing Greek life, suffering through the current status quo, or banning greek life completely by requiring students to sign a pledge not to pledge upon matriculation, which was the university’s policy between 1855 and World War II.  If Burford’s experience tells us anything, it’s that the university absolutely needs a way to police it.  A lot of the discussion in the aftermath of the Daily Princetonian‘s feature centered around a common refrain:  “wait until a student dies–then the Princeton administration will learn its lesson”.  It shouldn’t have to come to that– and besides, kids have already risked their physical and mental health.  John Burford told countless news sources about the illegal activities of the men he used to call “brother”; it’s not too wild to assume that these barbarous bros didn’t like that too much.  Princeton already has exclusive eating clubs–greek life seems excessive.  Even the founding president of Kappa Alpha Theta at Princeton, Mimi Stokes Brown ’85 backs us up;

My personal feeling is that the school doesn’t need them. Between the eating clubs and residential colleges, it just seems unnecessary… I can’t think what value is added by having fraternities and sororities.

Shirley Tilghman was recently the subject of The Ink‘s recurring 21-question interview and when asked to describe, in one sentence, what exactly she does all day, Tilghman says;

I work to ensure that in the future, including tomorrow, Princeton University is fulfilling to the greatest extent possible its potential to transform the lives of its students, and discover new knowledge.

If Tilghman really wants this to be true she has to change her policy.  Non-recognition allows for illegal action to go unchecked.  Banning might work, but frats could continue in secret, or hazing could just get squeezed into other social groups.  Recognition could work if Princeton decides to take full responsibility and monitor fraternity parties and rush activities for fraternities and sororities.  Maybe this would make greek life so lame no one would want to do it.  That might not be a bad thing.

Creative Dartmouth Fratboys Snort Coke off of Their Brothers’ Photographed Faces, Urinate on Their Socks, Destroy Their Tables; Police Confused

As generations of uptown yuppies, downtown hipsters, Austrian supermodels, and Ivy society types have discovered, cocaine is one versatile and fashionable narcotic. Stylish as it is already, snorting it through rolled-up Ben Franklins makes it even classier. Or off of a mirror: super 80s chic. You can slice it and dice it every which way: really, it’s an outlet for creativity.

So, how to amp up the cool-quotient of your high, while adding that special Ivy League flavor? Well, turns out the DartCoke bros and an unknown number of their SAE cohorts have found a way: snorting the drug off of the grinning visages of their fellow brothers, immortalized on alumni photo composites. Combine that with Jim Beam shots, unrequited lust, post-Tabard fun, and the venerable SAE “Pool Room” (all chronicled in Sarah Koo’s arrest affidavit, great bedtime reading) and you’ve got real Hunter S. Thompson fodder. And apparently, past partakers in the common-room antics that got the “SAE 3″ — Andrew Lohse ’12, Brian Shea ’10 (for snorting) and Clark Warthen ’10 (for witness tampering) — pinned with felony charges and kicked out of SAE have left traces all over their frat, confounding the cops.

The basic story: eyewitnesses told police that they had seen some of the foolhardy fratboys snorting off of composites– picture frames with head-shots of every brother in a certain year, usually festooning frat walls and trophy closets. The dutiful police went in to test the pictures for cocaine residue, CSI-HPo style.

But here’s the rub: According to an insider source, the crusading popo picked up the wrong composite for testing, one that Shea and Lohse had never used. The guys thought they were in the clear, and probably headed off to go dance to house music and clench their jaws. One problem though: the other composite also had cocaine residue on it, allowing the cops to bust the unlucky trio. Catch 22, we guess. They can’t really say, “no, test the other one!”, can they?

You could definitely see headshot-snorting as a profound gesture of brotherhood, though one sort of nullified by the fact that it was a fellow brother, Phil Aubart, that called security on the drug trio. Seems as if the frat has a double problem: a snake in the grass and coke in the composites. A bro civil war is afoot! That said, does Aubart really deserve the destruction of his pet brotherhood project, an apparently-cool table, as well as people peeing on his socks?

“[Aubart] cared a lot about that table.”

Never come between a boy and his furniture. According to Phil, quoted Warthen’s arrest affidavit, it gets worse, with plans for

“pissing on all my stuff”

and statements like

“a number of guys want to kill you.”

Witness-tamperer Warthen, former Vice President of SAE, showed off some impressive, Solomon-like leadership by issuing an open fratwa against Phil. (For reference, here he is in The Dartmouth defending the display of the Confederate flag and chastising an offended black woman for her ignorance.) He had this to say about Benedict Aubart, in an angry email to his pals, planning vengeance:

guys,

can you seriuously [sic] smash-bros the shit out of phil’s table? it would really mean a lot to Brian, and would be a great signal to Phil that it’s not just a small contingent of people in the house that despise him, it’s truly a widespread sentiment that he’s the most abhorrent thing ever happen to this house and this campus.

And Smash Bros they did (Falcon Punch; none of that lame-ass Kirby nonsense). The table was shattered and immolated, post haste. Andrew Lohse just spit on Phil, while others poured beer on his door and put their bladders to work on his clothes. “They stand together“: fraternity and camaraderie, obviously bonds everlasting. At the very least, the sad, gonzo story of shattered brotherly love and squandered opportunities has left us with this tidbit, probably the best thing ever written in a Hanover Police arrest warrant:

I asked Mr. Shea about his relationship with Bernadette Reyes [accused snitch]. He stated that she is a girl that wants to “hook up” with him. He denied that he has any interest in her and attributed the attraction to being primarily one way. I told him that I had some further work to do with Bernadette Reyes and that I did not want him to communicate with her until it was completed. He agreed not to be in contact with Miss Reyes.

And of course, making the rounds from an anonymous source:

I asked an SAE what happened. He said, “I’d love to Phil you in, but can’t Shea anything other than doing drugs is not Warth it because you could Lohse everything you’ve worked for. I told him that’s Koo but it will be Hart not to Reyes the question later.”