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A tipster sent in a link yesterday about a possible hazing scandal developing at UNC-Charlotte involving the school’s Pike chapter and a pledge being what doctors would call really, really, dangerously fucking drunk. Sorry for the medical jargon. The incident happened on a pledge retreat and, allegedly, it was a hazing incident, and not the pledge simply drinking too much because he’s an 18-year-old idiot who didn’t know any better.
Lucky for TFM News, the lovely TSM columnist Veronica Corningstone happens to attend UNCC, and was able to provide more information, per an anonymous source who wished to be called “Norm’s Beard” for some reason. I used to prefer code-naming my sources after pornos, in honor of Watergate, but unfortunately porn titles aren’t as catchy as they used to be, and citing a source called “GF Let’s Her BF’s Dad Poke Her Wet Pink” (real title, by the way) doesn’t have the same ring that Deep Throat does. So, anyway, here’s what GF Let’s Her BF’s Dad Poke Her Wet Pink, er, I mean, Norm’s Beard, had to say:
As of October 1st, UNC Charlotte’s Pike Chapter has seen better days. There is both a criminal investigation and a university investigation underway for a possible hazing incident. It is unknown yet if Montgomery County or the family is pressing charges.
The incident took place during a campout in Uwharrie National Forest for Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity’s pledge retreat. The pledge was allegedly forced to drink alcohol and was eventually taken to the hospital by brothers when he wouldn’t wake up. Doctors determined that the student’s BAC was 0.42. Currently, the Kappa Kappa chapter of Pike is under interim suspension while the university and nationals investigate. This chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha, was on probation at the time of the incident for an after party following a concert with Mac Miller two years ago. They were on the verge of returning to good standing.
Two things to wonder here:
1) Was it actually hazing?
If it was a pledge retreat, one would think actives would not have been there. My pledge class retreat was pledges only, and as far as I know the majority of pledge retreats are the same way. Maybe some actives raided it or something, but if there weren’t any actives at the retreat, then I am not sure how this would qualify as hazing. Instead, this would just be a bunch of stupid people acting incredibly stupid, but all on equal footing. That might not get Pike off the hook, but it’s not hazing, if that’s the case.
Jesus Christ. I have had many a day of heavy drinking in what I assume is my substantially shortened life due to the aforementioned many a day of heavy drinking, but a 0.42 blows my mind. What was this kid doing? Eating an entire Jello shot mold made with Everclear while sitting on a boxed wine spigot and taking tequila shots with Four Loco chasers? If you get yourself up to a 0.42, you clearly have no idea how to drink, or how to handle your liquor, and your stupidity should prohibit you from partaking in the privilege of drinking.
To address the title by building off my second point: I don’t get booze hazing, at least in the most intense of senses, and it needs to stop.
I will grant that I think something like making a pledge take a shot of some filthy rail whiskey without a chaser is funny. I will even admit that I once had a pledge chug Popov until I was satisfied with his performance, so I might be somewhat of a hypocrite here. Though, to be fair, I didn’t make him chug it for that long, partly because I wasn’t trying to put him in any real danger, and partly because I got bored and punched him in the dick mid-chug. And trust me, I get bored quickly — I have ADD. The important thing to take away from that story is that I wasn’t doing it to see how much he could drink or to get him overly drunk. It was simply a “Ha ha, you have to taste bad tasting things,” sort of hazing. Some people might not take my word on that, and to them I say fuck you. You weren’t there. I DON’T KNOW YOU! Either way, heed my words, not my actions, I guess.
Booze hazing, in the sense of making a pledge or pledge class drink excessive amounts to test their strength or alcohol tolerance or whatever the fuck, is almost indescribably stupid, and incredibly dangerous. It also makes no sense from a hazing standpoint. Think about it; these pledges are 18 years old and fresh out of high school. There may be a few stars in the class, but even if the rest are talented, they’re still green. Most of them probably couldn’t outdrink that 110-pound, single and dominating life, senior Tri-Delt who throws back 151 shots like they’re lemon drops and calls anyone who chases with something other than a beer a total pussy (marry me, hypothetical dream woman). You, as a fraternity, are not only asking those pledges to drink way more than they can handle, but in all honesty, probably more than you could handle. As a seasoned fraternity drinker, your body might not react as harshly to all that booze as a pledge’s would, but it certainly would not respond well. In my mind, this is the equivalent of a fresh crop of recruits showing up for basic training and being immediately forced into SEAL training. No one is going to get stronger doing that. People are just going to get hurt.
By no means do I think alcohol should be out of the equation when messing with pledges, as I clearly stated above. I also have no problem with 18-year-olds drinking in general, and that certainly is not exclusive to Greek Life when it comes to college drinking. If you want to get your pledges drunk, give them a stripper, take away said stripper, and commence Mind-Fuck-Apalooza, have at ’em. If you want to give the pledge class a keg of Natty and then throw them into THE RING OF FIRE, do it, and take more pictures.
My point is that the endurance shit has got to go. It does nothing. It’s not funny or creative, and nobody learns anything, since it’s pointless. Hell, even if they did learn something, they would just blackout and forget it. Seems counterproductive. And of course we can’t forget it’s extremely dangerous and might actually hurt a pledge. We’re not out to seriously hurt pledges, gentlemen. There’s a reason we paddle on the ass, not the face.
So can the extreme booze hazing, the endurance booze hazing, just stop already? If you practice that sort of hazing, the best case outcome is that something catastrophically terrible didn’t happen. There are no positives that will come out of it. And on that note, when your pledges do drink, have someone paying some attention. Whether or not you’re making them drink, if they get hurt doing something that is in any way involved with the fraternity, it’s on your house. Do you really want to leave the fate of your house to a drunk pledge’s decision-making abilities?