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University Of Maryland Sorority Sisters Charged With Hazing & Assault

Illustration for article titled University Of Maryland Sorority Sisters Charged With Hazing  Assault

In another disturbing reminder that hazing isn't limited to idiotic frat guys, seven members of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority at the University of Maryland have been charged with hazing and assault for allegedly beating a pledge during initiation.


According to The Washington Post:

The women are accused of pushing the pledge into a wall, hitting her arms and repeatedly striking her with an oak paddle, according to charging documents. Police say the assaults all occurred off campus and resulted in "severe bruising" on the student's arms and chest.


The student claims that the sisters assaulted her at least three times. After initiation, she withdrew from Zeta Phi Beta and reported the hazing to university officials. The incidents occurred during October; in November the sorority was suspended and the school contacted the police.

NBC Washington reports that before the student pledged, she was told hazing wasn't part of the sorority's initiation process. The local news station visited some of the locations where the attacks allegedly occurred:

Click to view

The victim's claims are similar to those of a San Jose State University student who filed a lawsuit against her ex-sorority sisters in September. Many Greek organizations truly have abandoned hazing rituals (the most nefarious aspect of my own sorority initiation involved collecting rolls of toilet paper), but clearly there are still some groups that consider beatings an important step in the process of becoming "sisters" for life.

7 Sorority Sisters Charged With Hazing [The Washington Post]
Hazing Charges For U.Md. Sorority Sisters [NBC Washington]

Earlier: Abusive Sorority Reminds Everyone That Hazing Isn't Just For Dudes

Image via Divine9Greek.

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I know someone will jump down my throat for saying this, but I'm just putting it out there - For the most part, Panhellenic sororities really do not haze anymore. Even at my school where the fraternities constantly hazed and had "incidents," there was a zero tolerance for hazing on the women's side. I worked in the Greek Life office, and I never understood why the fraternities were not held to the same standard of the sororities. One sorority had their girls do a scavenger hunt on campus and were put on social probation. Fraternities dropped their pledges off in the woods, drunk, and they had to figure out how to get home. Nothing happened. That said, Pan Hellenic or the traditionally black sororities and fraternities are a whole 'nother ball game. I'm never surprised seeing traditionally black sororities in the news for hazing. They are usually much more closed door and secretive, and you never have whistle blowers who are willing to go against an entire sorority.

This is just an observation. Black sororities (and fraternities) have an amazingly tight sisterhood, and it's much harder to join a traditionally black sorority because you have to be on campus, make a name for yourself, and connect with active members. Unfortunately, I think this also contributes to a culture that doesn't easily show cracks such as hazing.