Frats Won't Pay Up When Members Get Killed, Injured
Bloomberg: National groups insulate themselves from lawsuits
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2013 10:24 AM CDT
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(Newser) – College fraternities are famous for their hard-partying ways, but when the party gets rough, the frats get going. Fifty-seven people have been killed or paralyzed in accidents linked to fraternities since 2005, but many national bodies are refusing to take any responsibility, financial or otherwise, for what happens during hazing and keggers at local college chapters, reports Bloomberg. In fact, frats like Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which has been associated with eight deaths in as many years—including one in which a student was tied up, blindfolded and forced to chug to his demise—are actively working to shield their wealth and assets from lawsuits over such incidents.

And that wealth is considerable. Despite the grisly fate of some of their pledges, membership is up 29% since 2005. Collectively, frats own more than $3 billion in real estate and generate $170 million in annual revenue. But when a student was paralyzed from the neck down at a keg party thrown by one of the largest fraternities in the country, it refused to contribute a cent to his medical costs. “They want to wash their hands of the problem and say it’s their brothers’ fault, it’s their chapters’ fault," says one risk management adviser. "These are million-dollar organizations that sponsor activities that are harmful.” Click for the full Bloomberg report.

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Showing 3 of 25 comments
acegammer5
Apr 1, 2013 7:41 AM CDT
Joined an Frat chapter in college under pressure from friends and family that it would be a great networking/leadership chance. Quit one semester later. All it was, was a place for immature boys to pay to make friends. Drunk, womenizing, asshat friends. It was even a dry house with a live-in house Mom. Makes me sick to this day that I even pledged, and makes me realize just how much BS gets spread about these places. Rumor on campus was that this one of the "Best" dry and moral houses on campus. SOOO many lies. When I quit, 99% of the guys wouldn't even talk to me anymore. Really showed their true colors at that point, and made me glad I quit.
Over the Road Steve
Mar 31, 2013 10:32 AM CDT
Isn't all this hazing, in some sense, consensual behavior? These pledges know what they are getting into when they first rush. I always thought kids joined greek house for career aims. Networking and all. Plus, when I went to school in the '70's, it got you out of the dorms.
flatnosepete
Mar 31, 2013 9:01 AM CDT
Why does frat hazing always include some borderline gay act combined with ridiculous amounts of drinking? They should go back to the old days when hazing was moderate drinking along with a brotherly handjob.