Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Dartmouth student Andrew Lohse wrote a damning opinion piece that ran today in his college’s newspaper exposing some egregious acts of hazing allegedly committed by his fraternity. Now he’s planning on writing a book. “I’m hopefully going to write a book about this,” he told Business Insider in a phone interview. “I have been writing on and off for about a year about it.”
In case you missed it, here’s an excerpt from today’s op-ed:
I was a member of a fraternity that asked pledges, in order to become a brother, to: swim in a kiddie pool full of vomit, urine, faecal 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 beers poured down fellow pledges’ arse cracks; and vomit on other pledges, among other abuses. Certainly, pledges could have refused these orders. However, under extreme peer pressure and the desire to “be a brother,” most acquiesced. While not every pledge is asked to do these things, many are. The specific tasks vary year to year, but these are things I’ve witnessed as a member of the fraternity.
Lohse, a New Jersey native who is on medical leave from the Hanover, New Hampshire-based Ivy League, caused quite a stir with his piece both on and off campus. He said the reactions have been mixed.
“People are reaching out to me,” he said, adding, “There’s lots of bad sh*t floating around.”
One of his fraternity brothers called him and said he betrayed him and had no integrity, Lohse recounted.
Lohse said he attempted to “depledge” from his fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon a few days ago, but he couldn’t technically do so because only pledges could depledge. Unable to find his fraternity pin or formally submit his letter of resignation, Lohse said writing that op-ed would be probably be sufficient enough to assume he is no longer a brother.
Lohse joined SAE in the fall of 2009 and was eventually suspended after he was arrested for cocaine possession and witness tampering in May 2010. After his suspension, the local executive officers of the frat eventually decided to let him remain as a brother.
While Lohse was candid in his op-ed about pledge “Hell Nights”, he declined to speak on record about taking part in the hazing as an initiated brother.
“I was present at some of the hazing,” he said. “I’m not comfortable talking about that in depth at this point.”
He did, however, elaborate more on the kiddie pool incident.
According to Lohse, the pool is kept in the basement of the fraternity house.
“You don’t know what’s in it until you’re a brother and you and the other brothers make it,” he said. “It’s an oral tradition that’s passed down.”
The frat’s pledges are apparently so intoxicated they barely know what’s happening when they are getting in the pool of vomit, faecal matter and semen, Lohse said.
“I was basically blacked out. If you were totally sober you wouldn’t get in,” he explained. “I watched that happen totally sober. It’s kind of crazy. It smells terrible.”
Afterwards, the pledges have to clean up the mess, he said.
Lohse claims debauchery that takes place in the frat houses is the root of Dartmouth’s “human and cultural dysfunctions.”
In an unedited version of his op-ed that appeared on the Dartblog, he called for the college’s president to do something.
Dr. Kim, I have a question for you: what will it take for you and your administration to decisively address hazing, sexual assault and substance abuse? If one student speaking out isn’t good enough for you, what is?
“Dr. Kim is an incredible public health leader,” Lohse said, adding, “Dr. Kim could do so much. I’m really hoping that he can actually do something. He is uniquely suited.”
A request for comment from Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s national offices was not returned at the time of this publication. A spokesperson for Dartmouth’s Greek Letter organisations and Societies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.