America's 'deadliest fraternity' drops pledging


Labeled the "deadliest fraternity in the U.S." by Bloomberg in December, Sigma Alpha Epsilon has decided to completely nix pledging, and consequently hazing, in an attempt to improve its image. 

Calling it a "historic decision," the fraternity made the announcement to ditch pledging and hazing Thursday, saying it will "protect Sigma Alpha Epsilon's future and to eliminate a class structure between our new members and our active members​." (Via SAE)

What's a frat to do with for membership without pledges? Well, SAE said they hope a new initiation period where candidates must be initiated within 96 hours will foster a stronger brotherhood.

>> Read more trending stories

​Pledging is nothing new for college campuses, but SAE has had multiple deaths from hazing and alcohol-related incidents in recent years, including reports of drug overdoses, hypothermia and multiple cases of alcohol poisoning. (Via TexasMonthlyCampus Safety MagazineKTVB)

In an interview with Bloomberg, one member of SAE said that being forced to sit in a dark basement for nine hours listening to blaring rock music without food or water was so much like torture that it reminded him of Guantanamo Bay. 

Some are skeptical that the announcement counts as a mea culpa from SAE. One writer at PolicyMic said:

"SAE is still far from accepting blame for the recent string of pledge deaths. ... Rather than acknowledging the tragedy of its pledge deaths, SAE provides a pragmatic rationale for its decision: the 'damage to our national reputation is making it difficult for [chapters] to operate.'"

Caitlin Flanagan, who spent a year investigating fraternities in a piece for The Atlantic, said in an interview with CBS she found that hazing actually ranks as the lowest cause for harmful incidents within fraternities saying:

"Hazing is the least common problem. It's only 7 percent. Most common is assault and battery. These kids get liquored up and they get in horrible fights."

SAE's new fraternity guidelines, called the "True Gentleman Experience," will go into effect Sunday.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Car drives off with nozzle in tank, sparking gas station fire
Car drives off with nozzle in tank, sparking gas station fire

A quick-thinking attendant prevented a small fire at a Southwest Austin gas station from becoming much, much worse, Austin fire officials said. The fire at an Exxon station at U.S. 290 and FM 1826 was confined to a single pump. It was reported just before 8 p.m. Friday. The Austin Fire Department said a car drove off with the fuel nozzle still in its...
Bear spotted climbing fence at Florida apartment complex
Bear spotted climbing fence at Florida apartment complex

A bear climbed over a fence Thursday at an apartment complex near the St. Augustine Outlets, according to reports. A woman who sent in a video showing the bear's climbing skills said she saw it at around 9:45 p.m. near the Old Town Villages Apartments. The complex is a few miles from the St. Augustine Outlets. In the video, the bear was seen walking...
Schilling crowned 2017 Clark County Fair Queen
Schilling crowned 2017 Clark County Fair Queen

Taylor Schilling, daughter of Mike and Tanya Schilling, was crowned the 2017 Clark County Fair Queen on Saturday. Schilling, a 2017 graduate of Northeastern High School, has been showing hogs at the fair for eight years. In the fall she will attend Ohio State University to study food science and animal nutrition. Each of the eight contestants was asked...
Apple supplier Foxconn to announce in August if Ohio among three states to get operations
Apple supplier Foxconn to announce in August if Ohio among three states to get operations

Ohio is among seven states competing to land factories from Apple iPhone supplier Foxconn, a Taiwanese touchscreen maker. The company will announce locations of new U.S. operations in early August, according to the Associated Press, which would be built in three states. Ohio has made no mention of negotiations with Foxconn, but Governor John Kasich...
Verizon backpack giveaway 2017: Some locations giving away free backpack with school supplies
Verizon backpack giveaway 2017: Some locations giving away free backpack with school supplies

Certain Verizon Wireless Zone locations will be giving away free backpacks full of school supplies on Sunday.  Through the “School Rocks Backpack Giveaway” program, Wireless Zone, along with TCC and the Culture of Good, have prepared more than 235,000 backpacks to be handed out to children in locations around the country. The backpacks...
More Stories