The Chico State Choppers are Becoming a National News Story…

… as well they should, since it’s not every day that a fraternity enters a national forest with a gun and hatchets and starts chopping (shooting?) it down.

The lads continue to try to lie their way out of it, but the evidence against them seems to be overwhelming.


A good lawyer, though, might say something like this to the court.

Your honor: This was Chico State. This was a fraternity. These people had firearms and hatchets. Did they use the secrecy of tree cover to murder and behead their pledges? They certainly could have. Others might have. But these young men held back, instead channeling their aggression into the far less anti-social flattening of a forest.

Sadistic Cult Seeks Lodging Near University of Arizona

An investigation by the [University of Arizona] alleges members [of a fraternity kicked off campus and seeking recertification] hazed pledges by blindfolding them and forcing them to drink alcohol at an event at the off-campus fraternity house on March 23.

One pledge was shoved into a pillar as he made his way down the hallway at the fraternity house, according to the UA’s investigation.

He was later seen hunched over, complaining of stomach pains and was taken to the hospital. The student required “long-term hospitalization,” UA officials said.

In a letter to the fraternity, the Dean of Students Office said they talked with witnesses who feared retaliation. “A witness was allegedly told by members of the fraternity the night of the assault that ‘we kill rats.'”



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doodlydoo doodlydoo rahrahrahrah doodlydoodoodlydoo doodlydoodoodydoo rahrahrahrah doodlydoodoodlydoo
doodlydoo doodlydoo rahrahrahrah doodlydoodoodlydoo doodlydoodoodydoo rahrahrahrah doodlydoodoodlydoo
doodlydoo doodlydoo rahrahrahrah doodlydoodoodlydoo doodlydoodoodydoo rahrahrahrah doodlydoodoodlydoo
doodlydoo doodlydoo rahrahrahrah doodlydoodoodlydoo doodlydoodoodydoo rahrahrahrah doodlydoodoodlydoo

Another argument for the abolition of fraternities.

Abolition is the only answer. All social fraternities — alongside the sycophantic sorority life that they exploit — must go. They must go permanently and forever, at Penn [State] and everywhere else. Reform is simply not possible.

… Reform is not possible because the old-line, historically white social fraternities have been synonymous with risk-taking and defiance from their very inception. They are a brotherhood born in mutiny and forged in the fire of rebellion. These fraternities have drink, danger and debauchery in their blood — right alongside secrecy and self-protection.

They cannot reform.

Abolition is “… impossible,” [people] say, their [incredulous] faces a testament to the power fraternity men still wield.

Fraternities may no longer decide who’s in the yearbook, but they still exert control. The proof is in the knee-jerk insistence that they are too formidable to fight. But we must push through this sense of impossibility. What happened to Timothy Piazza was a predictable tragedy, and there will be more unless we end Greek life for good. I make no claims that it will be easy. Fraternities have dominated campuses, defied authorities and rebuffed efforts at suppression for nearly 200 years. But in that time we have ended slavery, given women the vote and put men on the moon. Of course we can get rid of fraternities. College presidents, administrators and trustees just have to muster the will to do it. As for the rest of us, we need to keep pressure on them to do so, and keep counting the bodies until they act.

She’s right that abolition is the only answer. With some exceptions, frats are utterly lawless and defiant and cannot be controlled.

But I’m afraid she’s wrong that we can push through and make presidents, administrators and trustees — many of them rah-rah frat/sorority people — shut them down. First of all, there are large swathes of universities in this country – many of them our big public institutions – that are little more than fraternities and variations on fraternities (athletes are of course one of the variations; as are still almost entirely male groups of trustees, etc., etc.). On-campus or off, formal or informal, male cults and the – what was the word? – sycophantic sororities they exploit are these universities. Abolish the raison d’être of your institution and watch everyone apply to another school.

The second reason is one I noted in an earlier post. The character formation generated by fraternities – cynical, hypocritical, conscienceless, sadistic, status-obsessed, rigidly loyal to the group – is precisely tailored to the American hedge fund. We couldn’t have Bernard Madoff, Dick Fuld, T. Boone Pickens, and Steve Cohen without them.

“There isn’t an abomination award going that you haven’t won, Martha.”

Veteran UD readers know that UD finds in her favorite play, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, many lines and sentiments applicable to current university events, and that one up there, about abomination awards, went through my mind when I read of the latest exploits of that most abominable American campus, Chico State.

One of its fraternities went to a national forest and as part of its hazing procedure cut down 32 trees.

This is the sort of thing that raises everyone’s game. Any fraternity can make a vulnerable young person, eager for acceptance, drink himself to death. It takes genius to realize that there’s a whole world of vulnerable nature out there too.

Animals? Fraternities have been torturing animals since forever. But unless UD is mistaken, chopping down a national forest is – well – the cutting edge.

When new campus abomination awards are handed out, Chico State University almost always gets them.


Sustainable Chico! Making room for new trees in our national forests!

“The only real solution to the fraternity problem is to rid ourselves of fraternities.”

So say lots of people today, with the double whammy of the Baruch College and the Penn State death squads. Turns out “fraternities … embody some of the worst behaviors of American men.”


Nothing like ridding ourselves of them will happen. Ever. Nothing remotely like ridding ourselves of them will happen. Fraternities are structural to American capitalism. Fraternities are where boys get psychopathologized in ways useful to Goldman Sachs. Frats are where youthful “superficial charm, conning, and manipulative behavior, lack of empathy and remorse, and a willingness to take risks” is matured and deepened in a communal setting. Watch Last Days of Lehman Brothers. (That’s brothers, see.). Crash Kappa Beta Phi’s drag show. Frat culture’s ultimate reward, in our time, is the American presidency. We won’t get rid of fraternities because fraternities is us.

The problem with fraternities is that they’re just too easy to criminalize.

All-male, highly secretive cells, sustained by sadistic initiation rites intended to prove absolute loyalty to the cell – this describes the mafia, Hell’s Angels, and American academia’s extensive system of fraternities.

I’m sure it’s possible to have all of the elements you need to create a criminal conspiracy and not create a criminal conspiracy; but this would mean exhibiting the impulse control one does not associate with bands of young men hidden without supervision behind high walls.

Fraternities have it one better than the mafia and outlaw biker gangs: Everyone thinks they’re cute. No one thinks the mafia is cute, but everyone thinks bonny frat boys with their local good works and character-building by-laws are adorable. I mean, they’re just kids. Plus they’re going to graduate from college and all.

So no one’s looking because these young college men are serious and clean-cut and appealing. They are a tight band of brothers enjoying almost total secrecy inside a nice large private residence, and they can be counted on to keep silent about any and all activities within the house.


What UD‘s trying to suggest in all this is that you’d almost have to be dumb, unambitious, unable to grasp life’s opportunities, to be existing under utopian criminal conspiracy conditions and not become a criminal conspiracy of some sort. Imagine a biker gang without a meth distribution business sounds like one of those conceptual challenges your professor poses in Intro Logic. So of course not all but a lot of frats are – on a small scale, of course, most of them – criminal conspiracies …

Too often fraternities function as unlicensed alcohol serving establishments on college campuses: a place where underage people, and those who are already intoxicated, can easily get alcohol. These practices are illegal in most states.

That sort of thing. (Drug distribution can become a seriously big deal at American fraternities.) You tell your stupid or indifferent or afraid university that you’re a dry frat, and your cover is complete: Your organization represents one big ol’ cynical lie, and the choirboy/gangster bit probably looks pretty amusing from inside the frat.


And so Greek life grinds on at our universities, dropping the odd rape or overdose or assault (lots of drunken fights break out in and around frats) here and there without attracting too much attention; but then you beat one of your eager-to-please initiates to death, or give drugs and alcohol to a coed who fatally overdoses. Something like that. Something that’s death.

This will finally attract some attention to your cell, especially if, like the guys at Penn State, the circumstances of the death are particularly depraved. And filmed. And if they happen at a campus already deep in blood and sex and gore via the frats and the athletic department. (Frats and sports: Hell of a synergy there: “[T]he secret to long service in a large public land-grant institution [is] ‘never messing with athletics or fraternities.‘”) You’ve now made it impossible to look away, impossible not to think about why so many fraternities are so disgusting, and why they’re part of universities.


Reflections on fraternities.

Here’s what you get – on the first page – when you search “fraternity” on Google News today.

1. Penn State hazing death

2. Johns Hopkins University students overdose on opioids at fraternity party

3. University of Arizona fraternity removed from campus after alcohol, hazing, assault

4. Drexel University suspends fraternity – sexual assault

5. A [Hanover New Hampshire] petition warrant article to allow fraternities [which have been permanently barred from Dartmouth for violations] to operate [in the community] without a connection to Dartmouth College or another institution failed

That’s it. One manslaughter and you are…


Penn State: The Butcher’s Bill

A recent history of sadistic cultists who kill people at one American university.

“He looked fucking dead.”

Most of the research about fraternities and academic performance comes to the same conclusion: Membership in a fraternity is consistent with lower grades and diminished intellectual capacity.

… Just why the link exists is the subject of speculation. Here’s a possibility: Maybe it’s because fraternity members drink so much alcohol? One study by the Harvard University School of Public Health found that 86 percent of students who live in fraternity houses were binge drinkers, almost double the rate of other students.

Another theory: Time that could be used for studying is spent on fraternity activities, especially during the periods when aspiring members are undergoing humiliation or torture in disgusting or inane initiation rites.

Yet another possibility is that fraternity members skip more classes than other students, and lost class time tends to correlate with lower grades. Think excessive drinking plays a role there?

James Greiff’s 2013 opinion piece about fraternities provides some context as we follow ever more grueling accounts of the Passion of Timothy Piazza, the latest – and most high-profile – victim of marauding bands of drunk male idiots.

The beauty of these bands is that they thrive under the protection of our universities.

Usually manslaughter by fraternity occurs more straightforwardly than in Piazza’s case – you’re tortured to death while being hazed – and this blog has covered several of those sorts of stories over the years (put FRATERNITY in my search engine if you can stand it). Certainly forced alcohol poisoning, which Piazza endured, is often part of routine beaten-to-death incidents. But Piazza’s tortured end featured two unusual elements: His long dying was filmed by a security camera; and he died from a level of neglect you’ve probably never encountered – maybe never imagined – before. Vomiting, bruised, in agony, his limbs literally stiffening in front of his fellow drunks’ eyes, Piazza attracted little attention beyond mocking laughter, Snapchatting, and rough, random efforts to change his position so he wouldn’t choke on his vomit.

“Maybe there is a place for fraternities as hothouses for future alcoholics who engage in sometimes violent behavior,” concludes Greiff; but it is important to be very precise about the nature of these hothouses. They are secret all-male anarchic holes given cover and legitimacy by universities, of all places; their torture and killing goes on right next door to the school of theology; and everyone agrees to pretend that their charity car washes make their members something other than alcoholic sadists.

It is time to liberate these men from the stifling rules of universities – rules they don’t follow, true, but which can, in the aftermath of one too many deaths, come down on them like a ton of bricks. The fraternity hothouse has never been a very good match with universities, but it is a perfect match with outlaw motorcycle clubs. Transfer them out of the university and put them under the umbrella of the Hells Angels, the Pagans, the Outlaws, and the Bandidos.

Its beloved coach sexually assaulting boys in a campus shower; its last president convicted of child endangerment; fraternity brothers stripping unconscious women students and then publishing naked photos of them on social media; fraternity brothers stepping over the dying body of a pledge all night until he dies of neglect…

Penn State is always in the news. Hometown hero Jerry Sandusky (he had his own ice cream!) dominated the news for years – and you can still follow ongoing stories about how much his case continues to cost the university ($237 million as of January). Even as the Sandusky thing finally began to quiet down, everyone was covering the unconscious naked women thing… and now PSU has done it again, dominating the university-news cycle by hosting on its campus such spectacular cruelty (even by Penn State standards; even by fraternity standards) that the whole nation is once again riveted to Happy Valley.

Read the (literal) blow-by-blow here.. The frat camera records Timothy Piazza’s long dying. Highlights:

4:59 a.m.: Piazza stands up and staggers into the fraternity’s front lobby, falling again onto a stone floor. There, at 5:15 a.m., Beta brother Jonathan Martines steps over the prone Piazza on his way to the kitchen for a glass of water.

… 6:44 a.m.: One of Piazza’s fellow pledges, according to the report, enters the hall. At 6:57 a.m., he starts to take a video of Piazza using the “snapchat” app …


Yes, a most unusual school.

Date with Destin…

… for three clever University of Alabama students.

Allison Stanger in the New York Times

What alarmed me most … was what I saw in the eyes of the [Middlebury College] crowd. Those who wanted the event to take place made eye contact with me. Those intent on disrupting it steadfastly refused to do so. They couldn’t look at me directly, because if they had, they would have seen another human being.


Intelligent members of the Middlebury community — including some of my own students and advisees — concluded that Charles Murray was an anti-gay white nationalist from what they were hearing from one another, and what they read on the Southern Poverty Law Center website. Never mind that Dr. Murray supports same-sex marriage and is a member of the courageous “never Trump” wing of the Republican Party.

Students are in college in part to learn how to evaluate sources and follow up on ideas with their own research. The Southern Poverty Law Center incorrectly labels Dr. Murray a “white nationalist,” but if we have learned nothing in this election, it is that such claims must be fact-checked, analyzed and assessed.


[W]hat the events at Middlebury made clear is that, regardless of political persuasion, Americans today are deeply susceptible to a renunciation of reason and celebration of ignorance. They know what they know without reading, discussing or engaging those who might disagree with them.


… the University of Florida way.

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