hazing

Back in the day, JP Morgan had no issue with managing the investment account of Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s charitable foundation. Then the bank’s reputation took a hit in the eyes of the regulatory industry, and started paying multi-billion dollar fines, and had its hiring practices in China questioned, and it was forced to reevaluate some of the people with whom it did business. At the same time, SAE was setting records for deaths “linked to drinking, drugs and hazing,” and someone decided JPM had enough bad publicity of its own without being linked to an organization that makes people strip down to their underwear, stand in a trash can filled with ice, and recite a credo about what it means to be a “true gentlemen.”

That JP Morgan, it of $23 billion “to resolve regulatory and criminal investigations,” of rogue whales, of possible Foreign Corrupt Practices violations, decided it could be hurt by an association with SAE was extremely troubling to national President Bradley Cohen. “If JPMorgan is going to turn us down, who’s next?” he wondered aloud to Bloomberg. “What if universities start saying SAE’s not welcome?” The thought was too much to bear, so he did a bunch of thinking and decided that pledging could no longer be part of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon way.

A lot of people, like the parents of kids who died trying to get into the fraternity, thought this was a good move. One Oklahoman, did not. Read more »

Directed at no one in particular but if a certain jelly donut-addicted Fed Chair has found even his extra-forgiving sweatpants getting too snug, he might want to take note. Read more »

That November, living at home and angry over what he saw as the unfairness of his predicament [of being suspended for cocaine possession and witness tampering], Lohse quietly visited the campus to report SAE for hazing. He had been encouraged to make the move by several friends and by his brother, Jon, who had quit his own fraternity during his senior year. Lohse met with Dartmouth’s associate dean for campus life, April Thompson, and David Spalding, Kim’s chief of staff, who was a brother at Alpha Delta of Animal House infamy. He told himself the move was in the fraternity’s – and Dartmouth’s – best interests. “I saw my role as a reformer,” he says. “I would argue that making these issues front and center is a very positive thing to do.” Telling none of his friends or fraternity brothers that he was in Hanover, Lohse presented the school officials with a “dossier of fraternity-hazing and substance-abuse-related­ information.” For well over an hour, he detailed his experiences and even named names…On February 22nd, his 22nd birthday, Lohse received a call from Dartmouth’s office of judicial affairs, informing him that, based on information he’d provided the college, they were pursuing charges against him for hazing. The college has also charged 27 other members of SAE, stemming from events in the 2011 pledge term. While the other students all categorically deny doing anything illegal, the information that Lohse provided to Dartmouth officials may directly implicate him in hazing. As a result, Lohse – the only student to come forward voluntarily – may be the only student who is ultimately punished. Coupled with the chair-throwing incident, the charges could get him expelled from Dartmouth. “I told them the unabridged truth, and they got me to incriminate myself,” he says. “I understand that no one is above the rules, but none of this would have even been possible if I hadn’t spoken out in the first place.” [Rolling Stone, related]