Every time a fraternity is in the news for unsavory behavior, defenders of the institutions are quick to cry out, "Not all frats." Yet somehow stories of rape, racism, hazing, and other monstrous deeds continue to roll out of the Greek-lettered houses with alarming regularity. It's almost as if all fraternities are from the same mold, and the only difference between the ones in trouble and the ones in good standing is how successful they've been in keeping their shit under wraps.
Two NC State fraternities are the latest to be exposed, both suspended for separate incidents. The Pi Kappa Phi chapter has been placed on an interim suspension by its national organization after one of its pledge books was discovered with a number of derogatory comments written inside. The notes include:
- "If she's hot enough, she doesn't need a pulse"
- "That tree is so perfect for lynching"
- "It will be short and painful, just like when I rape you"
- "Be kind to the whales because they'll lead you to the dolphins"
NC State student Katie Perry found the notebook at the restaurant she works at. The university is now in possession of the notebook and is investigating the fraternity. "The contents were horrible," Perry said. "I wanted to make sure everybody knew they this was going on so it could be corrected... Frats are looked up to, but this is what they are doing."
Meanwhile, the Alpha Tau Omega NC State chapter (full disclosure: I was an ATO in college) has been suspended after allegations of sexual assault led to a drug paraphernalia seizure at the fraternity house. A police officer says he found drug paraphernalia, a scale, and white powder in a small bag. The pledge whose room the contraband was found in has been kicked out of the fraternity, according to Wynn Smiley, the fraternity's national chief executive officer. He also made sure to note the pledge had only been involved with the fraternity for less than a month.
What seems more likely? That dude was a rogue pledge whose activity came as a great shock to the fraternity that made great efforts to recruit its potential new members? Or that his shenanigans are indicative of the fraternity as a whole?
The fraternity PR machine will keep acting like all of these incidents are outliers, and we'll keep reading about more just like them.