It didn't change my daughter's mind about Dartmouth as a school. If anything it just confirmed for her the wisdom of her earlier decision not to join any sororities. If you don't join any frats/sororities you don't have to worry about their hazing rituals or any other of their questionable practices.
Yeah, you can just be an outcast. The better road is to go to a school where there is not such insanity. The Dartmouth culture is ingrained in this Frat boy behavior and that culture is not about to change. Even the Dartmouth president said it in the Globe article. Go Big Green !!!
There's a lot less to the "hazing scandal" than meets the eye.
The Dartmouth administration panicked and filed charges before bothering to investigate carefully. Big mistake: by charging so many students (and one fraternity house), they have lent credibility to the wild claims of one very disturbed individual with a serious arrest record who admits he has no love for Dartmouth.
Now the administration looks like the judges at the Salem Village Witch Trials in 1692, or the House Unamerican Activities Committee during the 1950's. They are desperate to believe terrible hazing took place or is still taking place, even though they can't find any evidence that any one with common sense finds persuasive.
The sad thing is that the Dartmouth administration is hurting Dartmouth's reputation with prospective students and parents. And Dartmouth is a great school with great professors and great students. Its only weak point is (some of) its administrators.
My student (very involved in Greek life) tells me that much of what is alleged actually happened and that it is widely known. You will note there are a lot of complaints voiced about Lohse's "character" and not as many outright denials of the allegations. I think its about time the administration did something. They have been impotent for far too long.
AboutTheSame and gekkoman: The individual students charged are accused of hazing in Fall 2011. By their own account, they worked with the administration to ensure that their new member recruitment process met all guidelines.
The "anonymous SAE" who posted on Dartblog represents himself as having graduated from Dartmouth, so what he says does not relate to Fall 2011.
Praxidike: Lohse's original account, which set things off, was of his own pledge term. That is the same term the SAE brother wrote about. I don't think any of us yet know the specifics of what the charges brought by the college entail. Fall of 2011 may or may not have been similar to Fall of 2009. I found the Dartblog post interesting as a counterpoint to/partial explanation of the original column.
I was in SAE at Dartmouth, before this scandal but recently enough to know what goes on. This entire "scandal" is just crazy. I don't know what happened in 2009 with that kid, but I can tell you that NOTHING he accused them off is even remotely like what I experienced or what anybody I have talked to experienced. This entire story is overblown and I truly hope it doesn't impact anybody's long term view of Dartmouth. The accuser is an abuser of drugs and alcohol who was thrown out of the fraternity and suspended from the college. I know hundreds of greek alumni from Dartmouth who loved their experience and find his accusations to be wild fabrications. Its a shame that one troubled kid can do so much damage to a school's reputation.
Like gekkoman, my student is also very involved in a Greek organization, and confirmed that some of the extreme practices described by Lohse, and by the SAE in DartBlog, are well known, notably the vomelette. His opinion/experience is that about half of the houses do things like that, and half don't.
I think that part of the problem is that "hazing" has been too widely defined, so that funny and harmless traditions are lumped in with things that clearly cross the line into abusiveness or danger.
DartAlum, it may be that under the influence of a few bad apples SAE strayed further and further towards the latter category since your time. The character of a house is always going to be defined by the current members, and that does shift over time.
I have talked to current students about the vomelette, both SAE and other houses. It is one of those things where "everybody knows it happens" but nobody knows somebody who actually made one or ate one. It is an urban legend. Maybe it happened at some point, maybe it didn't. Maybe somebody did it on a stupid dare. Maybe somebody was told that they had to eat one, but it was really just an omelette. Years of exaggerated stories hurt the greek system at times like this because there are a lot of B.S. "war stories" out there. Students in the "hard guy" houses don't deny any of the rumors because they like being known as "hard guys", but that doesn't mean that they really do the things that are rumored. I could tell you a ton of myth/reality kind of stories, but don't think that would serve much purpose.
Fundamentally, greek houses are just a bunch of friends. That is especially true at Dartmouth since you don't pledge until you are a sophomore. 18-22 year old guys, with a little beer, will do some dumb things from time to time, but they don't make their friends do the stuff that Lohse was talking about.
For any parents or future students reading this I can assure you that the hazing at Dartmouth is not the destructive force that Lohse writes about. My fraternity brothers and I are all normal, healthy, well adapted adults with good jobs, wives and kids.
SAE is well known for this sort of thing and that has been confirmed by the less bashful, present day members. Most frats don't engage in these more extreme activities but SAE does. No urban legend--fact. And you can bet the administration is not hanging their hat on the word of Lohse alone. Time will tell.
gekkoman, I don't think you have any idea what you are talking about. When this story first broke it was a joke around campus because SAE was known as being a soft house full of preppy kids. I can personally tell you that none of the hazing written about occurred at SAE when I was there. None of that stuff is institutionalized in the fraternity.
Yes, the administration is hanging their hat on the word of Lohse alone, as confirmed by the college to the students charged in the hazing scandal.
btw, Lohse also believes that President Bush was the architect of the 9/11 attacks. You believe him on that too?
Last edited by MaineLonghorn; 03-27-2012 at 03:40 PM.
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