Sigma Chi has been kicked out of the IFC and had their charter revoked by their national office after a member of this year’s pledge class was hospitalized over a week ago for kidney failure, the result of being denied food and water and forced to exercise for extended periods. (I think it’s safe to speculate alcohol may also have been involved.) Sigma Chi is located next to the Michigan Union, and every year around the rush period a mysterious 6″ x 6″ mud pit appears on the side of their lawn. Of course, everybody is acting shocked that hazing exists, as IFC policy prohibits behavior that endangers the “mental, physical, or academic health of a student,” which seems to me a rather loose definition of hazing. This from the Michigan Daily’s story:
” … Greek Life Assistant Director John Duncan said the student and seven other members of his pledge class were “not given much food or water and they had to do an extensive amount of exercise for an extended period of time.”
Sometime after the initiation, the student, a Kinesiology junior and Ann Arbor resident, reported the incident to his family, who drove him to a nearby hospital. He was admitted Sept. 14 with muscle breakdown, which led to acute renal failure. … “
Perhaps most interesting are the comments for Vice President of Student Affairs Royster Harper:
“I think we have to continue to educate students that it is inhumane to haze, and then we have to help students to understand that it is also inhumane to allow students to haze you or treat you that way,” Harper said. “I don’t know that it is an isolated incident, and I do not know if it is happening in other places. But I do know that it is inhumane.”
I have never knowingly tortured, harrassed, abused, or hazed anyone in my life, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect others to do the same. I think it’s a sign of the sad state of affairs when Royster can get away with blaming the victim, and claiming with a straight face it’s her job to teach students what is inhumane. It’s difficult for me to imagine the sadism required to abuse someone so severely their kidneys fail, and I think Royster should have instead talked about finding who is responsible and making sure they are harshly punished.
Also, this from the Ann Arbor News article, but not noted in the Daily:
“… John Duncan, assistant director of U-M’s Office of Greek Life, said the IFC found Sigma Chi guilty of another hazing incident last March, but he wouldn’t provide details. He said the fraternity was on probation after the March incident and was to have a written copy of a new membership program reviewed by the IFC and local Sigma Chi alumni. Duncan said he wasn’t sure if the house fulfilled that stipulation. …”