If you want to take a tour through the dark, vomit-coated frat houses of Dartmouth College, read Janet Reitman's Rolling Stone story from yesterday on Andrew Lohse, the SAE bro defector who in January wrote a much-maligned op-ed in the student paper The Dartmouth, calling for the overhaul, if not the outright dismantling, of a Greek system filled with horrifying hazing practices.
If, however, you want to skip right to being outraged about the fact that some of the country's most wealthy and powerful men such as billionaire hedge-fund manager Stephen Mandel and GE CEO Jeffery Immelt might have been making "vomlets" for fraternity pledges during their Dartmouth years, Business Insider has just the thing for you: a short collection of the choicest reactions to Reitman's article from The Dartmouth's comment section following its recap of the Rolling Stone piece. Reactions to Lohse's appearance on the pages of Rolling Stone ranged from the apologetic:
Pretty much accurate. Sorry for partying
To the defensive:
If your son or daughter gets drunk and falls off a balcony at a wild house party but is NOT a member of a Fraternal organization, there is NO support. IF THE EXACT SAME THING HAPPENS and they are a part of the Greek system, you can bet that there will be consequences, accountability and serious repercussions. So, which will it be?
Errors in judgement with or without accountability – your choice. That's the difference that being a member of a Fraternal organization makes.
Drugs, booze, sex and networking are a part of every Campus. Fraternities and Sororities are an easy target because they are organized – plain and simple. This is a cheap shot designed to sell the Rolling Stone.
To the professionally critical [from "Professional Journalist"]:
as much as Janet (the Rolling Stone writer) wants to make Lohse a sympathetic character, her characterization of him clearly shows that she's willing to twist facts to fit her image of what the story should be. Embarrassing from a professional journalist, and does nothing to instill my confidence in her work.
Even to the thesaurus-influenced:
Lohse; Neurotic scumbag with delusions of grandeur.
Participants in the Dartmouth Greek System, their enablers and supporters: Dartmouth's Chapter of The Taliban (with a similar level of concern for human dignity), their moral compass is completely connected to the protection of the interests of their tribe.
For these folks,a crucial part of an Ivy League education is to shed empathic instincts in favor of the sort of self-righteous sociopath that will make them successful in the business world.
Dartmouth's Administration: The ultimate poster children for fecklessness, impuissance and seemingly willful ineffectiveness.
And much, much more! Lohse, who wrote in his op-ed, "Fraternity life is at the core of the college's human and cultural dysfunctions," riled the Greek hornet's nest on Dartmouth's in January, prompting members of his former frat SAE to describe him as "disgruntled" and a "criminal." One SAE alumnus, notes Reitman, went so far as to draft a mock letter to a hiring manager that read, "Dear Hiring Manager, do yourself a favor: Don't hire Andrew Lohse... He will bring disgrace to your institution, just as he did when he embarrassed Dartmouth and SAE." SAE's attorney, however, stuck closest to the line of attack most favored by fraternities across America's collegiate landscape when, in a letter to Rolling Stone, he compared Lohse to the stripper who accused a number of Duke lacrosse players for raping her in 2006 in an effort to illustrate to the editors Lohse's perfidious tales of fraternity hazing horrors.
What kind of horrors? asks that lurid corner of your brain. Well, Lohse claims to have been made to eat the aforementioned "vomlet," which is an omelet made with vomit, drink until booze was overflowing from his esophagus, and wade into a kiddie pool he says was filled with feces, vomit, urine, and semen, and he'd know too because, as a sophomore member of SAE, he put pledges through the very same scatological gauntlet that he'd gone through. It's this last point that critics of Lohse are quick to make, that, if he was so utterly appalled by the hazing at SAE, why did he participate in them? It might have had something to do with all the blow Lohse was doing at the time, which led to a year-long suspension from Dartmouth, during which Lohse presumably had a bit of an awakening. Many of his former frat bros, however, attribute Lohse's journalistic confessional to sour grapes, since Lohse was suspended for drug use while Dartmouth administrators allowed the rest of the frat to torture underclassmen with impunity.
Though Reitman is fair in her treatment of Lohse, he immediately emerges as a less than sympathetic crusader against fraternity hazing culture when he characterizes a young woman he was dating in high school as "this really hot skanky cheerleader." He was, of course, a frat member, and no matter how Reitman tries to characterize Lohse as ever-wary of the more pernicious elements of frat life, he allowed himself and others to be hazed so he could climb the social ladder and gain access to the professional connections that Dartmouth's Greek system is famous for.
Lohse is also working on the cringe-worthy project of penning a memoir or, as he calls it, a "generational tale" in the manner of Bright Lights, Big City, "a one-way ticket to the secret violence at the heart of the baptismal rites of the new elite." Though he's self-aware enough to realize immediately that this is a really "douchey and brash and stupid" thing to say, it doesn't change the fact that the effort to stop rampant hazing on college campuses deserves a better flagship that Andrew Lohse's forthcoming memoir about the time he got kicked out of Dartmouth for doing cocaine.
Dartmouth Students React to Hazing Article [Busines Insider]