When a student enters college, some of them take part in fraternities and sororities which they believe allows them to establish ties for business opportunities once they graduate.
Others join these groups to gain a new family which helps them adjust in college life. However, not all memberships in fraternities and sororities are good ones because some of these hopefuls end up experiencing the worst form of hazing or initiation to get in these groups.
In the United States, victims of hazing incidents were either humiliated in public and some even died in the process.
Although efforts have been launched to stop college hazing in the country, hazing rituals continue to plague several universities and colleges and they have increased in numbers.
Here are 10 worst instances of college hazing incidents in the US in no particular order (they’re all bad).
1. 2011 “Crossing Bus C” Hazing Incident, 1 casualty
Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion undertook the “crossing Bus C” hazing between his band members while outside an Orlando hotel. The members ran to one end of the bus while they were kicked or punched by their fellow band members.
If they were to fail to get to the other side without falling down on the way, they had to restart the entire process. Champion originally left the bus to vomit, but he was forced by his bandmates to return back to do the challenge again. An hour later, he collapsed and died due to blunt trauma. His death was ruled as a homicide case according to the police and a lawsuit was filed to those who took part in the event.
2. 2011 S.A.E Reverse-Hazing Incident, 1 casualty
George Desdune, 19, was kidnapped by his frat brothers for a reverse-hazing ritual and restrained with the use of duct tapes and zip ties by the frat’s freshman pledges. He was asked several questions regarding the fraternity and with every wrong answer, he was force fed with vodka, Pixy Stix, hot sauce, chocolate powder and dish soap.
This resulted to Desdune’s death as he was dehydrated due to constant vomiting and he was found dead the next morning. Four students were charged with murder because of Desdune’s death and are awaiting trial for the incident.
3. 2002 Zeta Beta Tau Hazing
Not all frat members are supportive of hazing and that is the same case with Benjamin Klein. However, his fellow frat mates disagreed with his sentiment and tied him up to give him a taste of the frat’s hazing rituals. They beat him up and held his head under a bathtub full of water until he agreed not to leave the room.
At least three days later, his dead body was found in a nearby creek close to the frat house. Unfortunately, no one was charged with his death as it was ruled as a suicide case; but it had lead to the closing of all fraternities and sororities in Alfred University.
4. 2005 Chi Tau “Hell Week”, 1 casualty
In light of the fraternity’s “Hell Week”, Matthew Carrington and his friend were verbally ridiculed by their frat mates while doing calisthenics in the sewage-flooded basement of their frat house for hours. Both were forced to take in five-gallons of water, then were left in the area to suffer without access to a clean restroom while a fan was left open to blow cold air on their skin.
As they were left in the room for hours, Carrington suffered a seizure and the frat members delayed calling for an ambulance for an hour. In the hospital, Carrington was pronounced dead due to water intoxication which triggered heart failure. The fraternity was closed and the frat members who tortured Carrington and his friend were sentenced to prison.
5. 2008 Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity’s “Hell Night” Ritual
Several members of the Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) conducted the “hell night” hazing ritual on their freshmen pledges while using hot water, crab boil, vinegar, pepper and wasabi on their skin. Some of them were even hit with balloons filled with boiling water, which added to the pain they already had suffered due to the other things thrown at them by the frat men.
The pledges all reported second to third degree burns given the nature of all the items used on the victims. Felony charges were given to the members of Pi Kappa Alpha and they were stripped of the officially recognized fraternities in Tulane University.
6. 2013 Gamma Psi Sorority Hazing
According to the account of Gamma Psi pledging Jo Burch, she and her fellow pledges were asked to engage in a hazing ritual that forced them to crawl through mud in order to get to a freezing creek while the sisters screamed and spit on them as they went.
They were also forced to sit on washing machines and for every part that the sisters see to be jiggling for any reason, it would be circled using a Sharpie and they would be ridiculed in the process. So far, no charges were given to the sorority as the Young Harris College administration denied the claims of the students.
7. 2012 Dartmouth Hazing Case
Dartmouth College is considered the location of some of the country’s worst fraternities and sororities engaging in severe hazing rituals on their pledges. In the 2012 case, frat pledges were forced to swim in a kiddy pool filled with rotten food and excrement for hours, despite how dangerous it was for the pledges.
They were forced to eat rotten food, drink vinegar and even a mixture filled with a variety of condiments, alcohol and rotten food. If a pledge puked out the mixture, they had to puke in the chalice and the others would be forced to drink it once their turn came.
8. 1959 Kappa Sigma Hazing, 1 casualty
While the hazing incident occurred in the past, it is considered one of the most horrifying cases of hazing in the United States. The members of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity would force their pledges to swallow several pieces of liver that was the same size as that of club sandwiches.
The worst part of it is that they needed to swallow it without chewing and they had to take in several pieces ordered to them by their frat leaders. While this hazing ritual was taking place, one pledge – Richard Swanson – died two hours later due to choking.
9. 2012 Sorority Hazing at Binghamton University
Sorority pledges from a sorority in Binghamton said in 2012 that their sorority sisters forced them to take freezing cold showers while reciting the Greek alphabet without stopping.
They also told the police that they were force-fed vomit-inducing pills as part of their initiation to the sorority. In order to prevent any mishap while taking these pills, they were made to hold hookah coals with their hands while hot. The University did close all fraternities and sororities in light of these allegations, but the system was reintroduced after a new set of guidelines were established.
10. 2012 Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Hazing
A former pledge of Zeta Phi Beta named Britteny Starling sued the sorority after she was forced to take part in a hazing ritual that forced her to act as a human mop and garbage can. She was forced to clean up juice from the floor or college garbage from her sorority sisters with the use of her hands and pockets.
She also recalled instances where they were forced to stay up all night and not allowed to use the bathroom. In one hazing ritual, they were forced to stay standing for long hours and if they fell down, they would be hit in various places. Starling had suffered a severe ankle injury and managed to shut down the sorority after the lawsuit.