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Lohse Frat Book Out in September

Lohse Book.jpgAndrew Lohse ‘12’s long-awaited memoir will come out on September 16. The 288-page book is already available for pre-order on Amazon. Here is the blurb:

An account of sordidness and redemption by the former Dartmouth Sigma Alpha Epsilon member who blew the whistle on the frat’s inhumane hazing practices in a Rolling Stone profile.

Before attending Dartmouth, the worst thing Andrew Lohse had ever done was skip school to attend a John McCain rally. Growing up in suburban New Jersey, he was the typical American honor student: straight-As, on the lacrosse team, president of the Model U.N. He dreamed of following in his grandfather’s footsteps and graduating from the Ivy League. When he arrived at Dartmouth, however, he found not the prestigious college of years past, but a wasteland of privilege and moral entropy. And when he rushed Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the fraternity that inspired the rival house in Animal House, Lohse’s once-perfect life, as well as his goals, began to crumble around him.

Lured by free booze and friendly brothers, Andrew pledged Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and soon his life became a dangerous cycle of binge drinking and public humiliation. From chugging vinegar to swimming in a pool of human waste, Lohse’s pledge class endured cruelty and psychological coercion in the hopes of obtaining a bid. Although Andrew succeeded in joining the fraternity, the pattern of abuse continued—except over time, he became the abuser.

Told by a contemporary Holden Caulfield, this is a shocking exposé of America’s most exclusive institutions and a cautionary tale for modern times.

Dartblog has learned that the book will not include the real names of Dartmouth students or alumni — only pseudonyms will be used. I bet that more than a few SAE alumni are relieved by that fact.

Addendum: Speaking of SAE, the fraternity’s national has decreed that all pledge activities are to end. Bloomberg News reports:

College leaders, fraternities and their critics called Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s ban on pledging a milestone in the history of efforts to end hazing, saying it could save lives and spur other Greek groups to follow suit.

Yet, across the country, SAE members and other fraternity brothers voiced reservations, saying the ban of pledge pins and other traditions could damage the close-knit brotherhoods. Others warned of pledging — and dangerous hazing — going underground.

On Friday, the national organization overseeing SAE, one of the largest U.S. fraternities, announced what it called a “historic decision” to ban pledging, the months-long induction period for new members. At least 10 deaths since 2006 have been linked to hazing, alcohol or drugs at SAE events, more than at any other fraternity, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The story has been picked up by Inside Higher Education and other publications.

Insiders at Dartmouth’s SAE chapter are uncertain how much the ban on pledge initiations will hurt the fraternity. It seems that national SAE has been keeping a close watch on the activities at SAE’s house for a good while now.

Addendum: Lohse has established himself as the go-to guy for media needing a comment on the Greek system. Here is his quote regarding SAE’s ban on pledge activity on a recent edition of the radio show Marketplace:

“I really think that this pledge ban is semantics and public relations,” says Andrew Lohse, who pledged SAE at Dartmouth in 2009 and is writing a book called Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy. “Before this, this organization said they didn’t allow hazing, and there was a hazing hotline, and all these things… This policy change probably won’t accomplish a lot to actually curb the on-the-ground hazing events.”

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