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Dartmouth Hazing Account Spurs Controversy

In this photo taken Monday March 12, 2012, students leave the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity on the Dartmouth College campus in Hanover, N.H. (AP)

The Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity on the Dartmouth College campus in Hanover, N.H. (AP)

Dartmouth College students, alumni and even trustees have spoken out against Andrew Lohse’s account of Greek life at the Ivy League school, first published by the school’s student newspaper. Lohse is a senior at Darmouth and a former member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.

A recent article published in Rolling Stone magazine by Janet Reitman has brought more attention to the issue and delves further into Greek life at Dartmouth. The piece is titled “Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy: Inside Dartmouth’s Hazing Abuses.”

Lohse’s account might make you wonder what makes people accept and perpetuate hazing rituals?

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  • Anonymous

    How did these idiots get into an Ivy League school?  I went to UMass Amherst and knew enough to not eat a vomit omelet.  I’m not very sympathetic to these whining lemmings.

  • http://www.fibrowitch.net Jan Dumas

    So was Andrew taken from his dorm room and forced to join the frat? Oh wait, he wanted to join the frat!  So if you did not like what was going on, why did you not leave the frat and go back to the dorms.  

    Also, I don’t care about how there is not a lot of stuff to do at night around Dartmouth.  When I was in college I filled my free time with studying!

  • Ray

    Did Janet Reitman actually just laugh when she was describing the death by alcohol poisoning of a fraternity member? Did I hear that correctly, that she sounded more defensive about details, that to be honest I didn’t catch, while somehow finding humor in a student’s death? What is going on in her mind?

    • Rex

      I’ve heard some people, maybe her, talk like that in general. Maybe that’s just how she expresses something so important.

  • Merle Adelman

    Dartmouth students couldn’t
    possibly be this one-dimensional. Do you believe that the portrayal of the
    students in this piece is accurate?  I have met a number of current and former students who have achieved extraordinary things, and have had wonderful social experiences both at the school and in the world at large.  Did Janet speak to a variety of students?

  • Doubter

    Lighten up.  This is such old news.

  • Anonymous

    Better be safe and ban eggs too. 

  • Rex

    I believe Andrew should have quit the fraternity when he was presented with anything that he did not agree with, despite his longing to be a part of the fraternity. I was in a fraternity and, although I wasn’t presented with some of the hazing activities as described by Andrew, would have drawn the line at bodily harm, human excrement, and vomit.
    Did he try to stop any of these activities when he became a brother?

  • Kristina Campbell

    I was in a sorority at UMass Amherst and the fraternities definitely did have drinking “challenges” and we participated in “exchanges” where there were drinking games. But in my experiences, which are all I can speak to, is it was all in a fun a playful vein. I personally never saw abuse. Our version of hazing was asking the pledges to do push ups for pledge points, maybe do some laundry, clean a room or serve the sister’s dinner. I know the issues exist, but at the end of the day you must take personal responsibility for your own safety. Parents need to talk to their college bound children about the dangers of binge drinking. AT 18 you must protect yourself. My sorority sisters and I kept together, we never drank and drove, we came to a party together and gathered everyone before we left so no one was left behind. The Greek area can be a positive experience but I know it attracts some kids who are looking for family at any cost.

  • Anonymous

    Andrew Lohse says that he was forced to swim in a kiddie pool filled with body fluids and excrement but then says that he didn’t actually know what was in the kiddie pool. This is a manufactured story that is being used to sell magazines.  

  • Guest

    I was a member of Dartmouth’s SAE, a few years before Lohse.  Not only is Lohse’s portrayal obviously exagerrated, but so is the theme of Reitman’s article – that the hazing is somehow tied in to the later antisocial behavior of these bankers to be.  Well, we’re not antisocial, and we’re not bankers – my year produced one banker, as opposed to multiple writers,  successful lawyers (most of which don’t work at Wall Street firms), a couple of guys in public service, a bevy of doctors, guys working to become academics, etc.  Guess we must’ve missed the memo about the fast track from serving vomlettes to screwing pensions. 

  • Richard Hannah, ’62

    The article by Janet Reitman has the ring of truth to it.  Further, there are many letters to the editor of The Dartmouth by students who corroborate his accounts.  Faculty members weigh in also.  This story should not be swept under the rug.  Many in my Dartmouth class of 1962, fraternity members and not, are very concerned and expect President Jim Yong Kim to assume a strong leadership position in addressing juvenile, boorish and dangerous behaviour. His handling of the situation so far has fallen way short of the mark.

  • Anonymous

    The vomit omelet could be the culinary equivalent of a perpetual motion machine for bulimics. 

  • Guest

    The point of the article by Lucy Pollard ’10 was to negate Reitman’s larger attempt to demonize the entire culture of Dartmouth College through Andrew Lohse’s account. The article admits that hazing is a significant problem facing Dartmouth, but Pollard’s article aims to show that Dartmouth is not defined by the violent corporate-in-training soul-less ego’s Reitman described. See: http://thedartmouth.com/2012/03/30/opinion/pollard

    As well, there were multiple statements within this piece that were misfactual. At the least, Reitman has addressed a few of these in her article. WBUR should have interviewed a student in addition to Lohse or provided better contextual evidence rather than relying on primarily two skewed sources for this story.  Please see comments in response to the Rolling Stone or Pollard’s article for a wider angle on the bigger picture. 

  • Smiclops

    I’m sorry but this article is simply a parting shot for being kicked out of his Frat for doing cocaine. Check out the comments on the original article and there are links to the story on how it all happened. Snorting coke in the common room and threatening witness’ after the fact to keep your ass outta the fire doesn’t seem all that noble. Seems like he didn’t have a problem with the Frat culture while he was having fun and now that its all over he’s going to rat out his brothers? REAL stand up guy. *ironic clapping*

  • NYDN
  • Fanernyi

     http://dartreview.com/dartlog/2012/4/5/vox-clamantis-in-nuntio.html

  • Ellis

    I think Chakrabarti pulled a cheap, sensationalized hatchet job on Dartmouth’s President Kim in her coverage of this small-time, silly story.   Well, now that this evening’s news carried a story that BU has been implicated in a far more grotesque example of hazing, let’s see if Meghna has the guts to take on her station’s own sponsor!

    • Meghna Chakrabarti

      Hi, Ellis. Just to let you know, today we’re doing a long segment on the BU incident, and college  hazing more broadly. Taking on the question of whether or not people are overreacting to this issue. Hope you can tune in and, if you want, even call in. 

  • pdb

    I can’t believe that people are denying it happens or condoning it as innocent. Are the incidents of date-rape and sexual assault at Darmouth and other colledges as easily dismissed? Its appauling that there is even a debate going on about this.

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