I have never understood the appeal of joining a college fraternity. In Baton Rouge, nine members of LSU’s Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity have been booked this week into the parish prison on hazing-related charges. Excerpt from a local news report:
Arrest warrants released Friday say DKE members operated under a code of silence that concealed abusive hazing rituals that led to the arrest of nine students this week. Pledges came forward in recent months and told their stories to university administrators and police: their fraternity brothers had beat them, doused them with gasoline and urinated on them.
The documents, filed with the arrest of two DKE members Friday, provide a window into the culture of secrecy that shrouds initiation practices at fraternities and sororities across the country. One of the warrants describes a pledge being accused of “narcing” — “in this case the act of telling a non DKE member information about what goes on inside the house.”
Police searched the DKE house on Dalrymple Drive and found the “chapter room” on the third floor as described by pledges. Writing on the walls referenced initiation rituals and included an explicit threat: “All narcs will die.”
The arrest warrant for Blake Chalin, 20, says a pledge accused of “narcing” was beaten up at Chalin’s residence. The pledge was told to get into the “bows and toes” position, which is a plank with only toes and elbows touching the ground, and remain there while being kicked and punched.
Chalin then made the pledge take a “new boy shower.” That ritual — which was described in several other arrest reports — involves pledges holding a milk crate filled with ice and cayenne pepper or creole seasoning above their heads while standing in a cold shower and looking up. As the ice melted, the pepper would drip into their eyes.
Allegations against nine members of LSU’s Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity that surfaced Thursday include ordering pledges to lie face down on a basketball court covered in broken glass while being urinated on.
Pledges had gasoline poured on them and were forced to submerge themselves in an ice machine wearing nothing but their underwear, according to arrest warrants released Thursday afternoon. Members of the fraternity are also accused of kicking pledges with steel toed boots, attempting to burn them with cigarettes and beating them with a metal pipe.
The national DKE office closed its LSU chapter last month. Good riddance.
Thugs, the lot of them. And if you think this is just a white-male thing, note that one of the DKEs arrested in this case is Shakti Gilotra, and Indian-American. And, hazing is also a problem in historically black fraternities.
I understand why people would want to be in what fraternities purport to be. But the second anybody tried to haze me, I would be out the door and calling the cops. Why do young men put up with this? I’m not asking rhetorically; I really don’t understand it. Why would young men want to be part of an organization that compels them to treat others like this? I would be deeply ashamed of my son if he did something like this to another human being. Fraternities like LSU’s Dekes train men in the art and practice of sadism.
How can you tell the difference between hazing frats and non-hazing frats? Again, I’m asking seriously.