At least one frat has gotten the message that making pledges chug alcohol isn't cool, but their alternate hazing ritual had equally disastrous results. 19-year-old University of Virginia student John Paul Boldrick ended up in the intensive care unit earlier this month after downing an entire bottle of soy sauce while pledging Zeta Psi, the Daily Mail reports.
Boldrick allegedly drank 12 to 18 ounces of the condiment as part of an initiation meal that also included dog food, matzo balls, and gefilte fish. He was later found having a seizure and was taken to the hospital by another fraternity member. Doctors say drinking so much sodium caused an electrolyte imbalance. According to Dr. Lawrence Philips of the UVA Department of Neurology, "It can suck water out very acutely depending on how high the sodium level becomes, to the point where the cells are disrupted and may even be killed."
Boldrick was released from the hospital after four days, and police have launched an investigation into the frat's initiation practices. According to Fox News, police suspect one of the brothers read up on sodium overdoses before Boldrick was taken to the hospital.
A University of Virginia spokeswoman said:
While it has not yet been determined whether this incident was related to hazing, hazing is illegal in the state of Virginia and considered a serious criminal offense, as well as a violation of university policy ...If found guilty, students are subject to criminal penalties and also university judiciary processes that impose separate penalties, up to and including expulsion from the university.
As hazing rituals go, drinking soy sauce doesn't seem all that bad, though it's still pretty stupid. The basic aim of initiation rituals is to bring everyone together through shared humiliation, and Zeta Psi's meal must have sounded like nothing more than harmless college shenanigans. It's all fun and games until someone ODs on soy sauce.
Student, 19, In Intensive Care After Drinking Bottle Of Soy Sauce As Part Of Initiation To Join University Society [Daily Mail]
Fraternity Pledge Hospitalized After Eating Dog Food-Soy Sauce Meal [Fox News]
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