The Wessex Wire

The Student News Site of West Essex Regional High School

The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

Greek life investigated for campus hazing

The University of Maryland recently halted all sorority and fraternity new member activities and social activities where alcohol was present due to “concerning hazing behaviors and harmful alcohol-related activities within the fraternity and sorority community,” as explained by an email from the university Vice President. After two weeks of student interviews and campus investigations, the ban has been lifted for all but 5 chapters.

UMD is not alone in this crackdown on sororities and fraternities. Many universities around the country are facing controversy and intense hazing allegations in their Greek life community.

 A video recently circulated, showing members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at the University of Miami participating in a hazing ritual. 

“In the video, one member of the fraternity steps into a trash can and crouches down while three others stand around him downing large amounts of milk,” according to an article from the Hurricane, UMiami’s student newspaper. “They then spit or vomit the milk onto the student in the trash can, leaving milk and what appears to be vomit running down his back.” Since then, the fraternity has been under investigation. 

The University of Virginia placed a three-week ban on all fraternity-sponsored social events after a pledge from Kappa Sigma at the university was hospitalized on Feb. 20. Students have said the pledge was drinking heavily before he fell down the stairs and hit his head. 

While many of the Greek organizations have now been reinstated at their respective universities, many wonder if these allegedly dangerous practices will actually cease. 

These incidents bring to light the widespread issue of extreme, sometimes dangerous hazing and binge drinking that occurs in college Greek Life. These social groups are a big part of campus life and can be defining parts of one’s college experience. But, now many sorority sisters and fraternity brothers find themselves unable to participate in these parties and events because of dangerous allegations that cause their organizations to be shut down or suspended. 

Many prospective students factor Greek life into their college decisions. The prevalence of these organizations on campus and the kind of environments they cultivate help high school students decide which university will provide them with the social scene they are looking for. Allegations against fraternities and sororities at certain schools may cause them to think differently about their future plans. Some students may reevaluate the way they are choosing their college, considering schools that they know will have  active Greek life that will not be shut down, or where the sorority culture does not include hazing. 

“I’ve heard crazy stories of people having to do so many dangerous and even life-endangering things [during] rush,” senior Hailey Cohen said. “For me, I would not want to risk my life just to be in a sorority.”

Behind the Byline
Eliana Rosen, Editor in Chief
Eliana Rosen is an Editor in Chief of the 2023-2024 Wessex Wire. When she isn’t spending time with friends and family, she is probably listening to Taylor Swift and Noah Kahan on repeat. She spends her summers at Camp Ramah in the Poconos, her home away from home.   
More to Discover