Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one of the biggest and deadliest frats in the country, has officially banned pledging.
While pledging a sorority or fraternity was never supposed to be fun (see: The Cinder Block Test scene from Old School), the age-old practice has become increasingly deadly. The ban comes in the wake of at least nine deaths linked to SAE events since 2006, according to Bloomberg data.
Rather than being tortured (one SAE brother compared the pledge process to Guantanamo Bay), prospective SAE pledges will now partake in the oddly-named True Gentleman Experience, designed to create "bonds of the most sincere and lasting friendship."
Of course, some SAE brothers aren't happy about the ban. "Life isn't always fair and level for everyone, so why should getting initiated into the best fraternity in the nation be easy?" wrote Jake Shrull on the frat's official Facebook page. Another SAE brother voiced his concern that the ban would mean "any jabroni" off the street would now be able to get into the exclusive club.
Here's a list of Horrible Hazing Rituals from sororities and fraternities around the country that may make them reconsider.
1) Testicle loss at the Gobbler House
Loss of dignity can be expected during the pledge process, but 19-year old Tyler Lawrence ended up losing a testicle. According to search warrant affidavits, pledges at Wilmington College's Gamma Phi Gamma house, known as "Gobbler House," were blindfolded, ordered to strip and “lie on the floor and imitate a swimming action.” They then had “a substance described as being like ‘Icy Hot’ applied to their nipples, back, buttocks and scrotum” and were whipped with towels. Lawrence ended up going to the hospital where his testicle was surgically removed due to “damage caused to him when he was struck by the towel.” Oh, and an estimated 20 frat brothers were watching and/or participating in the whole thing.
If you pass out a frat party, don't be surprised to wake up with Sharpie art all over your face and body (see these highlights). Unfortunately for one Kappa Sigma member, his friends had something more permanent in mind. Texas Christian University student Amon Carter IV woke up from a night of drinking in a lot of pain - his frat brothers used a hot coat hanger to brand his buttcheek with Greek symbols.
3) Passing the Egg
No loss of body parts here. The Pass the Egg move is a more traditional hazing ritual, but the footage speaks for itself. Just be glad you're not the guy at the end of the egg-passing row.
4) Vomit Omelettes
SAE, the frat mentioned above, is known for unorthodox hazing methods. Dartmouth College alum and SAE brother Andrew Lohse published a controversial op-ed in the school newspaper, graphically describing parts of his pledge experience: "I was a member of a fraternity that asked pledges, in order to become a brother, to: swim in a kiddie pool of vomit, urine, fecal matter, semen and rotten food products; eat omelets made of vomit; chug cups of vinegar, which in one case caused a pledge to vomit blood; drink beer poured down fellow pledges' ass cracks… among other abuses." #truegentleman.
5) Cocaine or Dildo
Mean sorority girls are a breed all their own when it comes to hazing rituals. In addition to banning muffin tops and forcing pledges to line up according to breast size, an ABC report sorority members at Rutgers University gave pledges a tough decision: do a line of cocaine or use a dildo in front of everyone.
6) Crab Boil
The "crab boil" that went down during Tulane University's Hell Night ended in criminal charges rather than a nice meal. Frat brothers at Tulane's Pi Kappa Alpha house devised a mixture of flour, cayenne pepper, wasabi sauce, vinegar and boiling water which was then poured on the backs, chests and genitals of unlucky pledges. According to police reports, the torture lasted for more than five hours. Two pledges were hospitalized due to second- and third-degree burns.
Alexandra DiPalma is a producer for Fusion Lightworks, Fusion’s In-house Branded Content Agency.