Dartmouth College, an Ivy League school famous for its bizarrely powerful Greek system, is having a pretty tough year. Today it gets even worse. Dartmouth has confirmed to Gawker that it extended the suspension of one of its most notorious fraternities, Alpha Delta, over allegations of branding—that is, pressing a piece of hot metal into a fraternity pledge’s skin. If that sounds unpleasant, you might want to prepare yourself for the rumored details of what exactly transpired.
According to Dartmouth’s gossip mill, college officials learned of the branding shortly after a sophomore Alpha Delta pledge, who was branded on his ass during a pledging ritual in Fall 2014, sought medical care after he discovered the affected tissue had become infected over a recent winter break. This somehow got back to Dartmouth administrators, who responded by heaping a lengthier suspension—but not permanent de-recognition—on Alpha Delta. One of the frat’s more famous alumni happens to be Dartmouth’s sitting president, Phil Hanlon.
We were alerted to A.D.’s branding allegations by a tipster, whose email we’ve copied below. The same tipster provided screenshots of Dartmouth’s anonymous chat service, Bored@Baker, suggesting the ass-branding rumor has achieved some traction in Hanover.
Judging from your Beta story a year and a half ago, Gawker seems to love stories about frat shenanigans. According to the Dartmouth-only chat site bored@baker, Alpha Delta—the frat that inspired Animal House and claims current Dartmouth president Phil Hanlon as an alumnus—has been derecognized over hazing gone awry.
Basically, a sophomore pledge during the fall elected to be branded on his ass to avoid more drinking-intensive pledge activities. Unfortunately, the brand was infected over winter break, and after the pledge (now a brother of AD) was hospitalized, some medical staff notified Dartmouth.
AD has been no stranger to controversy in recent years: they were one-half of the “Bloods and Crips” mixer two summers ago, and were put on probation this past fall for another offense, though that apparently hasn’t stopped them from initiating new members.
Would be a good story: this century-old frat gets shut down over some guy’s ass, who must feel pretty shitty right now.
Here are the screenshots:
Dartmouth spokesman Justin Anderson confirmed the extension of Alpha Delta’s suspension in an email to Gawker: “Alpha Delta fraternity has been charged with violating Dartmouth’s standards of conduct in connection with the reported branding of some new members of the fraternity by other members in the fall of 2014.” Anderson declined to address the specifics of the allegations. The rest of his email is below:
The activities in question reportedly occurred inside the Alpha Delta fraternity house, while the fraternity was on suspension for policy violations in the winter and spring of 2014. The organization has a significant three-year history of disciplinary violations, including hazing, underage service of alcohol, and hosting unregistered events.
Because of the serious nature of the charges, and the evidence gathered to date, Dartmouth is strengthening and extending the terms of AD's current suspension pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.
If Alpha Delta is found responsible during that process, a range of possible disciplinary sanctions could be imposed including, but not limited to, probation, suspension, or permanent revocation of recognition.