Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
This is an archived post. Please click here to see the latest entries.
Another Hazing Whistleblower
Today’s D contains another account of hazing, this time from Yesuto Shaw ‘15, a pledge in Alpha Phi Alpha, a fraternity that seems to be composed solely of African-American men. Some excerpts:
Then it got worse. Suddenly, if we didn’t get our facts right, it was no longer only physical exercise for us — they would hit us. At first, the hits were pretty soft in the chest with their fists. Then they took a sturdy, plastic serving spoon, wetted it and smacked us across the chest with it. As if these activities done in the dark weren’t enough, they ordered us to no longer speak to our friends outside of the fraternity. Our only friends would be our pledge brothers. We could talk in class and at our normal activities, but if we saw a friend on the street, we couldn’t so much as wave, or we would face punishments for ourselves, or our pledge brothers, that night.
Yet still, to be honest, I don’t believe that what they did was done with bad intentions. I honestly believe that they were trying somehow to make us stronger and more able to handle struggles in life. But how they did it was wrong. Sure, the welts from the spoon would go away in a day or two, but they never should have been there in the first place…
I didn’t think that I was going to report them originally, as I didn’t want to see their reputations hurt. But after confronting them with my concerns, they chose to ignore them. They assured me that it was “beyond them,” that there was “nothing they could do,” because “that’s the way it’s always been.” I didn’t originally think reporting them was necessary because I was fine. No serious, long-term harm had been done to my pledge brothers or me. But I couldn’t help thinking about the ’16s and the ’17s — the ones who would come after me with high hopes of joining a prestigious organization, only to find themselves degraded and abused. That’s when I decided that I couldn’t keep silent. They had to see that what they were doing was wrong and that it needed to stop. They needed to face consequences so that change might actually come.
I don’t believe for a second that the fraternity that I was joining is the only one ignoring the College’s policies and continuing to haze its pledges.
I wonder how many people will accuse Yesuto of making the whole thing up.
Addendum: A senior member of the faculty writes in:
I read Let the Hazing Begin in The D after reading your blog. It’s one of the best examples of student writing I’ve encountered… ever. I hope I have Yesuto in a class someday.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…