Leaked Beta Emails Reveal Mild Hazing

Earlier this week, campus was rocked by the sudden appearance of yet another scandal. Dartmouth fraternities had once more surged into the headlines. Well, not quite. In fact, Beta Alpha Omega (or as they apparently prefer to be known “Beta Alpha Bromega”) had only just made it to an article on Gawker, an internet blog about colleges and a grab bag of other such sundry and sultry subjects. Their crime? Well, nothing too extreme: their entire email server was left public by accident and so, all emails sent to the Beta server could be downloaded or read by anyone.

Beta: “Thanks Google, I thought we were friends…”

As a result, the deepest, darkest secrets of Beta were revealed to the public. The overall response by college students and even the would-be muckrakers at Gawker was…disbelief at how tame Beta truly was.

But we were promised a scandal and at least two effigies to burn!

There was a picture sent out of a clogged toilet, an email or two expressing regret about a young girl who hit her head during a party by accident (which might raise questions of witness tampering since the fraternity members understandably asked the female in question to not implicate the fraternity itself), and most incriminatingly, a four page document describing the events for a “Sink Night.” As every Dartmouth student knows, there is always a ritual of some kind to introduce pledges or New Members in a fraternity or sorority to the brotherhood. This is known as “Sink Night” where the individuals “sink” their bids at a particular organization and become pledges at that organization. 

Of course, rumors spread about every house’s sink night and the supposed horrors that lie waiting for innocent sophomores. But here for the first time is incontrovertible evidence of such activities. And…it’s shockingly tame.

Quite boring, actually.

The pledges were split up and taken into separate rooms where they would be either interviewed with such brainteasing questions as “If olive oil comes from olives, where does baby oil come from?” or “Would you rather save 3 children or 1 adult?” 

Another room would simply be a serious discussion of pledge term. In the “Zoo” room, brothers went a little farther and asked them “Which brother has the hottest girlfriend?” And if they started to answer that, they were supposed to cut them off by saying “‘Don’t F*#@ anser that one pledge’ then call the pledge a ‘home wrecker.’” Yes, that is precisely how tame the document is – a bunch of college boys who can’t even type out an obscenity in a secret document for supposedly hazing individuals.

In another station, the pledges would have to sit there and listen to terrible music including heavy metal. Sweet Jehosophat, that must have been incredibly painful for the poor dears. 

Seriously, it’s really quite boring. Just ask Tyrion.

At the last station, brothers were told to be explicitly extremely nice to the pledges in a slightly over the top manner. While this might be slightly mentally distressing, it’s hard to consider this a traumatizing hazing experience. I mean, some people even enjoy being told that their ties are nice. Shocking, I know.

Finally, the pledges were led blindfolded into the basement, put in a circle and…wait for it…sprayed with champagne. They then removed their blindfolds and participated in a welcome ceremony with the whole brotherhood that involved singing songs together and passing around a “loving cup” filled with alcohol which everyone took a swig from. If they chose to, that is.

You see the document ends with the following in bold and large font:

Never force a pledge to drink. Ask them if they’re drinking, if yes – drink when need be. If not, make someone else drink for them.

Be very conscious if some pledges are drinking a lot. Never allow a pledge to take more than one shot at your station. It is not worth the risk. If they get two things wrong, make someone else drink and say that it’s because “you’ve heard Pledge X is a pussy who can’t handle it” (or something to that effect)

Beta was attempting to be reasonable, careful and thoughtful while also introducing pledges to the house with a little fun. Why else would you plan out such activities if not to ensure that each brother participated in a helpful and inclusive manner? Why else would you explicitly set enforceable guidelines and communicate them to everyone? These Sink Night activities aren’t dangerous, demeaning or destructive. In fact, the pledges were probably safer than on any random night of binge drinking as they were being observed at all times by older, sober brothers. Too bad Beta’ll be punished for their caution.

–Review Staff.