Fraternities are social organizations that are found at colleges across the country. Fraternities are often identified by Greek letters. Members are chosen from an applicant pool of mostly undergraduate students. The applicants that are accepted are called pledges and are given a trial or probationary period. At the end of the probationary period, members of the frat or sorority vote on who they would like to initiate. Most fraternities operate out of houses with anywhere from 15 to 25 guys living under one roof and then other members have other living arrangements, either living in dorms or off-campus housing.
Ideally, members of fraternal organizations engage in community service activities, as well as put on social gatherings and support each other in their university studies. Unfortunately, Greek organizations have also had a difficult time fighting the stigma surrounding their way of life. Studies like the one Harvard University published finding—4 out of 5 fraternity and sorority members are binge drinkers—have not done anything to help their image problem. And, when fraternities end up in the news due to not-so-good coverage, that also serves up a devastating blow to all fraternities.
Not all fraternities are created equal. There are good ones that promote unity, integrity, honesty, and academic excellence. But it's the not the good ones that seem to always be up in the press. Let's take a look at 15 frat houses you do not want to be playing beer pong at anytime soon.
15 Pi Kappa Phi, University Of Arizona
University of Arizona's chapter of the national fraternal organization Pi Kappa Phi was closed indefinitely in 2013 due to extreme safety concerns.
The "Pi Kapps" were warned and fined repeatedly for alleged hazing incidents, partying that landed several members and guests in the hospital, drinking, and other serious offenses.
Even after being fined, within a 3-year period, they racked up violations, including cases of hazing, and engaging in high-risk behavior. The University and the national Pi Kappa Phi organization condemned the fraternity's idiotic behavior.
Pledges of the Pi Kapps reported that the brothers had forced them to drink on empty stomachs and gave them no food for days on end. The Pi Kapps had zero regard for anyone else's life but their own.
14 Alpha Gamma Rho, Arkansas State University
Want to attend a party and watch a drunk guest fire several rounds from an AK-47 into a backyard sandbox? Well, you are in luck! The Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity house is where you can do just that.
Beer pong? Check. Horseshoes? Check. Firing machine guns? Check. You'll enjoy all sorts of fun at the Alpha Gamma Rho frat house. Unfortunately, the police didn't find shooting AK-47s to fall under an acceptable form of entertainment, and they placed some young men behind bars.
Underage drinking was just the least of their worries when they awoke from their drinking stupers. Maybe next time they'll think twice before they play with machine guns and perhaps hide all the weapons before they have guests over and commence drinking?
13 Beta Theta Pi, Carnegie Mellon University
The brothers of Beta Theta Pi got into some hot water over some very obscene photos taken at their residents. Guests that had been at their house and had a little too much to drink, namely females, had unknowingly been targeted by some perverted, immoral aspiring photographers. Their nude photographs were shared via text message and social media to each other over a period of months.
There wasn't just one victim. There were upwards of a dozen victims that had their pictures taken and shared. In addition to pictures, there was a video allegedly taken of passed-out young women.
Carnegie Mellon released a statement explaining that the safety, well-being, and security of their community was their top priority and that the Beta Theta Pi fraternity was suspended indefinitely.
12 Alpha Delta, Dartmouth College
Did you know that the Alpha Delta fraternity at Dartmouth College was the real-life inspiration for the 1978 comedy Animal House?
The crazy antics portrayed in the movie were quite tame compared to the alleged stuff that the brothers have done—things such as taking red hot branding irons and burning Alpha Delta brands on pledges backsides, inhuman amounts of alcohol consumption, and urinating on unsuspecting people that were walking by from their 2nd-floor balcony.
Dartmouth College finally had enough of the out-of-control fraternity and de-recognized them as an official fraternity. Supposedly, once the move to de-recognize was taken, there is no possibility of them coming back; it's a permanent move.
11 Kappa Delta Rho, University Of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania's Kappa Delta Rho chapter has joined the list at #11 due to some rather serious misconduct.
Ironically, above the Kappa Delta Rho's front door is the saying "Honor Above All Else." The brothers of Kappa Delta Rho had a secret website which they regularly updated with pictures that they would take of bare or partially bare young women. Most of the pictures were taken inside their fraternity.
Hazing, drugs, and taking photographs of women in various stages of undress was more than enough for the university, as well as the national Kappa Delta Rho organization to suspend them.
10 Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Yale University
"White girls only." That's how a brother of Yale University's Sigma Alpha Epsilon answered the door when a group of young women knocked on their door in the hopes that they would be invited into the party.
This is just one example of wrongdoing by Sigma Alpha Epsilon. The fraternity had been infiltrated by a disgusting amount of serious racism. The fraternity's motto? "A True Gentleman." The university issued a statement condemning the fraternity's actions and then kicked the members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon out of their gorgeous on-campus mansion.
9 Sigma Alpha Epsilon, University Of Oklahoma
Saying that Sigma Alpha Epsilon has a not-so-good reputation is quite an understatement. On some campuses, SAE is said to stand for 's*xual assault expected'. In 2015, a video emerged of the University of Oklahoma chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon singing a not-so-good song. The song was littered with usage of a word that isn't appropriate—the 'n' word. The video caused outrage across the country, and the national chapter of SAE moved quickly to distance itself and condemn the University of Oklahoma chapter.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon is one of the largest fraternal organizations in the country. Unfortunately, this incident isn't an isolated one. There have been dozens of instances of racial discrimination, assault, harassment, hazing, and drinking at many chapters of SAE. In 2009, Valdosta State University got in trouble for flying the Confederate flag!
So, SAE's national chapter is finally taking action to stop the disgusting discrimination practices at its more than 200 chapters around the country. They plan on introducing tougher regulations and laws, mandatory education, and sensitivity training, etc.
In the meantime, the SAE chapter at the University of Oklahoma was suspended and ordered to vacate the property immediately.
8 Beta Theta Pi, Penn State University
The brothers of Beta Theta Pi had high-definition security cameras at their fraternity house. This was very beneficial for prosecutors who moved to prosecute the brothers of Beta Theta Pi for their involvement in the death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza.
Tim Piazza took part in hazing at Beta Theta Pi where he was forced to drink substantial amounts of alcohol on an empty stomach. He became severely intoxicated and fell down a flight of stairs at the fraternity. He suffered a ruptured spleen and a severe traumatic brain injury.
Video footage shows Tim Piazza struggling for hours. He is seen falling down several times and in various stages of excruciating pain. While he is struggling, the brothers avoid helping him. Some go so far as to do things such as throw things at him, pour beer over him, sit on him, strap a backpack to him, throw him around, and kick him. In the last hours of his life, he is seen rolling around on the floor, trying to stand up, holding his head, and then eventually falling for the last time. He becomes rigid and loses color. It's only at this point that calling for help is discussed, but the brothers decide to work to cover their tracks instead of immediately calling for help.
The brothers deleted pictures off cellphones and get rid of any evidence that could tie them or make them in any way responsible for Tim's death. The fraternity was immediately shut down, and members faced a total of 850 criminal charges. This was the largest criminal hazing case in history.
7 Zeta Beta Tau, University Of Florida
In 2015, the brothers of the University of Florida's chapter of Zeta Beta Tau had 3 of their members expelled from the university, and their fraternity was shutdown indefinitely.
What did they do to deserve this serious disciplinary action? They harassed military veterans. The school charged them with destruction of property, obscene behavior, theft, and public intoxication. The brothers stole American flags that belonged to veterans and then proceeded to urinate on them! They shouted threats at the veterans and were verbally abusive in addition to displaying out-of-control behavior.
The national Zeta Beta Tau organization agreed to the closing of the University of Florida's fraternity chapter. They issued a statement saying that they were appalled and disgusted by the behavior of its members and that goes against everything the fraternity stands for.
6 Pi Kappa Alpha, Western Carolina University
The Zeta Xi chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha at Western Carolina University got itself into boiling water starting with the brothers not maintaining a decent grade point average. This got them placed on academic probation, and they were de-recognized as an official fraternity.
But then, two years later, they were granted recognition again only for it to be quickly revoked when incidents of drinking and hazing, including waterboarding came to light. Yes, waterboarding, the same controversial interrogation technique used on terrorists at Guantanamo Bay.
A pledge was forced to sing the fraternity's chant while having water poured onto his face, going into his nose and mouth. Other pledges also had similar hazing done to them.
5 Sigma Chi, Louisiana State University
In 2015, the Louisiana State University's chapter of Sigma Chi were officially kicked off campus. They won't be able to reapply to return to campus or for official recognition until at the very earliest, December of 2018.
The Sigma Chi brothers were involved in hazing, drinking, and drug abuse. In October of 2015, one brother overdosed on intravenous drugs and died. The young man's tragic death was what drew attention and initiated an investigation into the fraternal organization.
The Sigma Chi chapter at Louisiana State University was officially closed by the International Sigma Chi organization. They agreed with the university's decision and won't consider reinstating them into the fraternal order until the 150 current brothers of the house graduate and leave the university.
4 Pi Kappa Phi, Georgia Tech University
Georgia Tech University's chapter of Pi Kappa Phi was slapped with a suspension due to 'sustained hazing'. The brothers of Pi Kappa Phi admitted to the hazing which included forcing pledges to smoke tobacco, excessive drinking, extreme physical exercise activities, and physical abuse.
A father of one of the pledges noticed welts on his son's backside and was told that it was from a severe beating that all the pledges received by the Pi Kappa Phi brothers. The father notified the university immediately.
The fraternity was suspended and must adhere to a strict set of guidelines if they so wish to come back to campus in the future. The fraternity must have a live-in advisor, have fraternity representatives from the national organization present at recruitment events, attend and provide hazing workshops, and give weekly updates to the university.
3 Pi Kappa Phi, California State University - Northridge
Brutal. Grueling. Outrageous. The Zeta Mu chapter of Pi Kappa Phi at California State University at Northridge forced pledges to go on an 18-mile hike in a dense forest without any shoes, cellphones, or water. And, this was in addition to being blindfolded!
During the 18-mile hike one of the pledges passed out from extreme physical exertion and having no access to water. The pledges were without cellphones so they couldn't call for immediate assistance.
The pledge, Armando Villa, died shortly after being carried out of the woods and transported to a nearby hospital. The President of the University was appalled by the stupidity and the recklessness of the fraternity and suspended them from campus.
2 Kappa Sigma, West Virginia University
"It's about to be an eventful night to say the least." That was the last tweet by Kappa Sigma pledge Nolan Burch. Only hours after posting his last tweet, he would be dead.
Nolan Burch, along with 19 other pledges, were pledging West Virginia University's chapter of Kappa Sigma. On the afternoon of November 12th, Kappa Sigma blindfolded 20 of their pledges and led them to a secret location where they force-fed them alcohol. Shortly thereafter, they noticed Nolan looked pale and was in and out of consciousness. The brothers took Nolan back to the fraternity instead of a hospital.
After laying Nolan down on their dining room table someone said his face was blue and someone else checked for a pulse and couldn't find one. The brothers finally called 911 but it was already too late. Nolan Burch was dead. His blood alcohol content was 0.49—six TIMES the legal limit to drive.
The national organization of Kappa Sigma said that the day prior to the fatal pledging activities the fraternity had received notice that they were no longer recognized as being Kappa Sigma due to previous infractions. Yet even not being allowed to recruit under Kappa Sigma they still did. Horrific tragedy.
1 Tappa Kappa Epsilon, Johnson & Wales University
The horrific hazing endured by the pledges of the Tau-Mu chapter of Tappa Kappa Epsilon is so far beyond comprehension. Just a few things the pledges endured in 2015 include being forced to eat sticks of butter, raw onions, and jalapenos. Then, when the pledges puked, the brothers would keep it in buckets, and that's what the pledges would be allowed to shower in. Yes, take a minute to digest that.
In addition, the brothers took a branding iron and branded the pledges on the backside. Unfortunately, one pledge contracted a severe infection and ended up in the hospital for an entire month where he had to have necrotic flesh removed.
Sadly, the pledge refused to press charges for fear of retribution. But, the national TKE chapter conducted their own investigation into the hazing and immediately closed down the Johnson & Wales University Tau-Mu chapter of Tappa Kappa Epsilon.