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One of the pleasures of having a vibrant local press is the colorful stories about the community that get missed when focusing on the national and international news. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports today on an agricultural fraternity at the University of Minnesota that has been suspended and may be disbanded for violating the university's ban on hazing. The FarmHouse Fraternity apparently has pushed the Midwestern envelope a little too far -- say, all the way to San Francisco:
Hazing by the suspended FarmHouse Fraternity at the University of Minnesota included hitting members on their backside with a leather strap and taking them to livestock barns for the apparent purpose of having sex with animals, a university report says.
The university suspended the agriculturally oriented fraternity, located on the St. Paul campus, on Wednesday and outlined various requirements for the lifting of the suspension in the fall of 2007. At least 15 of the fraternity's 29 members also are under investigation in the hazing incident and could face individual discipline.
Wow -- sadomasochism and a little animal husbandry (literally) mixed together! Not to worry, Gopher fans; the Aggies eventually defended the honor of their animals:
During the "livestock barns'' hazing, according to the memorandum, members "were taken to the University livestock pens and handed condoms. No explanation was given, but the new members perceived that they were to have sex with the animals. Members were stopped before entering the pens and informed it was a joke."
Yeah, well, that would have been difficult to explain at the State Fair anyway.
The university divided the report into four areas of concern, with the livestock barn being one of those categories. "Strapping" apparently occurred outside of recruitment as a physical punishment for members at any stage of their membership. "Showering" involved hanging the young men upside down from the balcony, clad only in underwear, while dumping "liquid" on them. (The PP does not specify the liquid used, but I'd say beer would be a fair bet.) Some members got showered as many as five times in a single night -- and the practice often resulted in injury when resisted. As odd as it seems, the "pre-initiation" category when hazing would normally occur sounds like the easiest time for students to engage with FarmHouse fratters; all they had to endure was "excessive cleaning", mind games, verbal abuse, and sleep deprivation.
I guess they didn't like to really party with people until they got to know them.
The most unintentionally funny part of the story comes at the end:
While under suspension by the university, the Minnesota chapter will not be able to participate in social and official recruiting events.
Uh-huh. Like these guys could find a date after this kind of publicity. I can just imagine how the young women on campus would find themselves attracted to a group of guys who appeared obsessed with seeing each other in their underwear, engaging in rather odd bonding rituals, and sending members to "date" Bessie in the barn. I don't think the U has to worry about the frat engaging in any social activities in the foreseeable future.
UPDATE: No, this is not an April Fool's Day joke ... unfortunately.Sphere It View blog reactions
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