Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan asks whether the latest dead eighteen year old – this one at the University of Kentucky, a grody football school whose frat system is exactly as disgusting as you’d imagine – might finally shame the nation into shutting down its collegiate slaughterhouses.
UD thanks Mondo for telling her about the latest.
It’s always embarrassing when an institution founded on hyper-exclusivity, on the imposition of degrading, sometimes fatal, initiation requirements on desperate wannabes, begins to be shunned. It’s like that painful scene from Apollo 13 where NASA is breathlessly beaming capsule footage to no one cuz the nation has lost interest in the whole space thing. Only here it’s like What if they gave a lethal overdose and nobody came?
George, a UD reader, sends her the absurd, unsurprising disciplinary statistics on frats and sororities, for instance, at Indiana University. This headline captures it nicely:
Vast Majority Of IU Fraternities & Sororities Disciplined Since 2016
So, you know, having written about Greek dégueulasserie on this blog for years, I don’t need to revisit the abattoir here; I just need to update you on the faltering fortunes of these freshman fatality factories. As in, they’re faltering.
But here’s the thing. No one will ever actually kill them. They will stagger on, rotting brick Colonials inhabited by rancid remnants financed by hedgies who used to be members.
Guns of course are ubiquitous at frats, but they’re an adjunct to the frat’s extensive drug dealing operation (see pages and pages of guns and frats here), or they’re AK-47s that the lads like to photograph themselves holding, or they’re be-well-son-and-take-care-of-yourself goodbye gifts from Maw and Paw as the little guy heads off to school. And of course they’re notoriously handy when suicide is in the air. All routine American gun use.
Real powpowpow, however, has been thin on the ground. Stuff that draws pledge-blood has been… anemic.
Yes, this Oklahoma State guy (an inter-fraternity council secretary)
used a loaded gun to scare two new fraternity recruits. The victims say (Owen) Hossack pointed the gun at their heads and asked if they would take a bullet for their brothers. Then, police say, he fired the gun …
But I mean big deal nobody got hurt and loyalty is an important value…
See, if you ask UD the omnipresence of guns, alcohol, drugs, teenagers, secret guys-only events, and loyalty tests should mean that America’s budding Stephen Paddocks begin routinely manifesting themselves at our fraternities. By national standards, shooting a gun at two guys’ heads but not killing them is, uh, kid stuff.
On the other hand, there’s evidence that things are escalating to the serious mass shootings UD keeps expecting. New Mexico State University (feast your eyes) is exactly the sort of walking abortion of a school you’d expect to be a first-adopter here, and sure enough they did manage to draw blood at a recent hazing event.
Dozens of students, including Jonathan Sillas, attended the Kappa Sigma fraternity’s initiation event.
As Sillas was leaving, another student, Miguel Altamirano, pulled him to the side and told him to turn around, according to a criminal complaint.
Altamirano pulled out a .40 caliber handgun, held the firearm against Sillas’ leg and pulled the trigger, the complaint states. The bullet went through Sillas’ leg.
Gun-friendly states always use the passive voice. The bullet went through. The shooter did not put the bullet in Sillas’s leg; the bullet decided to go through Sillas’s leg. And note the other thing going on at hazing events: Sadistic tyranny. Pulled him to the side and told him to turn around. Right out of The Story of O. Frat hazing (and sorority hazing) reeks, my dears, of S&M.
Duh. We all know that. It’s about torturing people pathetic enough to be willing to be tortured in order to join your club.
I mean, datz why I keep wondering why no mass killing at Sigma Alpha Epsilon yet! You know they’ve got guns galore, but no one’s gonna confiscate them because that would initiate a massacre of free Americans by the federal government. Little by little, a pledge shooting here and a pledge shooting there, we’re inching toward mass murder at an American university fraternity. Just be patient.
… UD thinks a little caution is in order.
But this is America, land of the bold, where mere undergrads majoring in biology can open ponzi schemes and use them to finance the Vegas strip club lifestyle one associates with people in their thirties at least.
The scheme – call it a kedge fund – couldn’t have worked without a supportive community of drunks/the mentally challenged/fellow criminals. It takes a village.
Although in the case of this fraternity – a medical one – they don’t bankrupt, overmedicate, pointlessly medicate, or kill each other. They do that to us.
Surely you didn’t expect UD to be optimistic about a recent uptick in legal and other efforts to keep the lads from killing each other. The lawyer quoted in my headline notes the problem: No adults in the room.
Just because we’re violent unregenerate hazers who reportedly take photographs in our house of members holding AR-15s doesn’t mean we should be evicted! Couldn’t be more proud of Chandler Elmore, owner and transporter of multiple big firearms and a football hero recruited from darkest Ark. How dare Wash U drive us from our home.
“It’s obviously not coincidental that this most recent incident [the AR-15 in the frat house] corresponded with the timing of our permanent suspension. Clearly, this is what caused our removal from campus,” [the fraternity’s vice-president commented]. “We understand the school’s frustration regarding the alleged social events. However, we also have frustrations and complaints regarding the way the school handled the initial investigation (which prompted our original suspension) and subsequent investigations that they conducted.”
We didn’t really haze actually in fact when you look closely. These were just some alleged social events. As for the AR-15, none of us knew anything about that, we promise. I mean, haha, except Chandler! The last thing in the world we’re interested in – after getting wasted and torturing pledges – is playing with big scary guns.
Nothing against your AR-15 or anything… We love frats here at Wash U and have just loved hosting you… And – haha – nothing to do with the whole Parkland thing… But… uh… could you leave?
And oh honey.
My lord what a morning.
If American universities actually start checking their fraternities for guns! It’ll be San Diego State all over again, baby! (Hm. Not really “all over again.” Guess it never really stopped.). Drug distribution networks around the country will be bereft, and no one will be able to figure out how to haze.
Fraternities are one of America’s very best places to hide weapons and drugs cuz you know – bright clean-cut lads preparing for the next charity carwash… Last place you’d look for AR-15s…
It’s the details that get to you. One of the Penn State students on trial for manslaughter and a bunch of other stuff tried, at one time, to leave the deadly fraternity he had just joined. He was, one assumes, disgusted and humiliated by the hazing he’d undergone.
The president of the fraternity – himself facing the same array of charges in the long squalid death under his care of pledge Timothy Piazza – talks him out of it.
Too bad. The guy shoulda gone with his gut and gotten out. Now Gary DiBileo gets to have his life ruined, along with his frat brothers.
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.
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
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.
And and and and and… You’ve got to string together a lot of ands to describe campus life at Baylor University.
1.) My fraternity brothers were preparing for finals at the University of Florida…
University of Florida! Are you kidding me? That university was just ranked number one in America for most athletes arrested!… Oh whoops. Let me concentrate on the matter at hand. Fraternities. Ok. Frat boys studying for finals…? Uh… ok….
when word echoed throughout Zeta Beta Tau that we were being blamed for unthinkable behavior: harassing combat-wounded veterans.
Linda Cope, the founder of the Warrior Beach Retreat, a local charity in Panama City Beach, appeared on Fox News and other media outlets alleging that we spit on veterans and urinated on the American flag.
Panama City Beach? Are you kidding me? The rankest town in America, where three men raped an unconscious woman on the beach midday and no one did a thing… It was only discovered when the police chief reviewed video in connection with a slew of other crimes. … But ahem. Let me once again concentrate on the matter at hand. Spring break, unspeakable acts…
We went from being anonymous college students to being the most hated fraternity in America over allegations that, to us, came completely out of left field.
Completely? Says here (see response from the national chapter at the bottom of the page) that “What was not pointed out was that at the time these events occurred, the chapter was already on probation imposed by the University of Florida.”
Many of us have family members who have proudly served in the military. My grandfather fought during D-Day. I have a photograph of my grandfather sitting on the wing of a captured German fighter plane.
The focal point of our chapter house’s living room was an American flag that we proudly displayed.
That’s all great. Great. But, you know, the male bonding that you love so much … too much… “Witnessing the tears and anguish of my brothers at the moment school officials clarified that our chapter had been officially closed was indescribably painful… [Nothing can adequately convey] the heartbreak and devastation that I and my fraternity brothers feel over losing an organization that we loved so dearly. Many of my brothers feel they have lost their collegiate identity.” … plus alcohol, can make you forget how much you love Old Glory…
Due process was conveniently cast aside to mollify an angry public that deemed the allegations indisputably factual in light of the stereotypical fraternity culture portrayed in the media.
Yes, it looks as though your fraternity didn’t behave as outrageously as initial reports suggested. Maybe you’re right to be upset that the resounding response from America to this clarification of your Panama City Beach behavior is So fucking what. But you go to the University of Florida, you’re a member of a fraternity already on probation, and your guys were part of ongoing, high-profile Panama City Beach foulness. Sorry.
With no means to defend ourselves, we had no choice but to watch our execution in the court of public opinion.
Soyez tranquille! Guns are on their way. Once you’re fully weaponized, no one will be able to shut you down.
When does a bikers’ club become a gang? When does a college fraternity become a gang? When does a football team become a gang? This blog has covered the Waco shootout, the Michael Deng killing, the Vanderbilt rapes, the San Diego State fraternity drug markets, etc., etc. These activities sure look to her like organized gang activity, subject to gang-specific enhanced legal penalties.
The Penn State frat in question here (Penn State! It can really afford more sagas of sordid men.), already in trouble for all kinds of shit, is accused of
obtaining some of its funding by converting the pre-paid food plans of its pledges and confiscating and selling their prescription drugs. These funds were then used to pay for countless socials, presocials and parties at the fraternity house at which underage students were plied with alcohol and, in some cases, with drugs to facilitate sexual assault and abuse.