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“Stranger than fiction” is more than just a C+ Will Ferrell movie; it’s a phrase used to describe a situation that unfolds in real life which is more bizarre than something even a pumped-full-of-hallucinogens M. Night Shyamalan could have thought up. This story out of the University of Arizona, which involves a fraternity, decent yet ill-fated risk management, rat murder, mafioso-style intimidation tactics, and puzzles falls into that category like a small square block would fall through a large square hole.
From New York Post:
Pledges of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity at the university in Tucson were blindfolded by frat brothers during a “puzzle night” in March designed to bond prospective members by having them work together in groups of three. The lined-up pledges were then led down a hallway to a dark room while one student was violently shoved into a pillar, causing serious injury, according to a letter to the fraternity from the school’s dean of students.
Seems like your standard hazing event gone wrong. One puzzle night iteration I’ve heard of involves having pledges solve a large jigsaw puzzle in a completely dark room with a strobe light as the only light source, though I have no clue what Arizona Alpha Sig’s puzzle night actually included. I really hope the serious injury incurred by a pledge was a shitty accident caused by a dimwitted asshole and not anything intentional, but regardless, New York Post neglected to mention the following tidbit included in that letter from the dean.
After approximately 15 minutes, the new member educator noticed the same new member that was shoved hunched over complaining of stomach pains. (Former president’s name redacted) stated it was decided that the new member needed medical attention and he was driven to the hospital by the recruitment director.
After everything that’s gone down over in State College lately, it’s refreshing to see fraternity members being proactive when it comes to getting injured pledges (or, as I like to refer to them, humans) the help they need. You shouldn’t be fucking injuring your pledges, obviously, but if you do — by accident or not — make sure you treat them like you would any other distressed person.
So the fraternity is in trouble for assault and underage drinking charges associated with hazing. Not exactly a novel storyline as far as Greek life goes. Then comes the pledges fearing for their lives part.
After this meeting [with the former Alpha Sig president], DOS followed up with witnesses who expressed fear of retaliation from fraternity members. A witness was allegedly told by members of the fraternity the night of the assault, that “we kill rats,” and stated that new members were forced to consume alcohol and placed in a room where music was blaring.
A witness shared that after the interim measures had been put in place by the Dean of Students Office, several text messages from Alpha Sigma Phi members were sent to at least one new member which is a violation of the interim measure which stated:
Any contact with the alleged victims for purpose of intimidation and retaliation are prohibited and will result in future disciplinary action.
It’s like a scene straight out of Goodfellas.
“I’m not mad, I’m proud of you. You took your pledge brother being pushed like a man, and learned the two greatest things in life. Look at me. Never rat on the brothers and always keep your mouth shut.”
The crazy part here is how it seems as if at least one of either the pledges or the university believed (or at the very least entertained the idea) that Alpha Sig members would have legitimately murdered pledges who decided to narc them out.
Prisoner 1: What are you in for?
Prisoner 2: I killed some teens because they threatened to open their stupid mouths and get my college social group shut down.
Prisoner 1: If they’d gotten the group shut down, couldn’t you still have just hung out with your same friends?
Prisoner 2: That’s not the point.
Prisoner 1: What is the point?
Prisoner 2: I don’t know.
Hilariously, none of that really even seems to have mattered, as it looks like Arizona Alpha Sig already had some rats living within their sacred fraternity.
In addition, DOS spoke with the University of Arizona Police Department (UAPD) who stated that after interviewing several members of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity regarding the events that occurred on March 23, 2017, UAPD was able to confirm which individual physically assaulted the new member.
From how it looks, the Arizona Alpha Sigs were fucked from the get-go, but the witness tampering/intimidation was the final push into the pillar.
Arizona Alpha Sig has been kicked off for a minimum of four years..
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