Hazing News

Local New York fraternity in hot water: NY Daily News says


Sunday, October 14th 2007, 4:00 AM

A raucous fraternity has been suspended following an extreme hazing ritual in which a St. John’s University student allegedly was pressured to carry heavy objects and kneel for hours at a time.

The Sigma Chi Upsilon pledge was hospitalized in September after performing the humiliating tasks near the school’s Staten Island campus, according to a report yesterday.

“He wound up running himself into the ground,” a police source told the Staten Island Advance.

The New Jersey man, whose name has not been released, fainted from dehydration during the bizarre hazing ritual, and may have suffered spleen-related injuries.

Other pledges competing to become members of the Grymes Hill-based fraternity were unable to complete the odd series of tasks and eventually bowed out.

Police are investigating the incident, but no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed.

A spokesman for Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan said the office was aware of the situation, but had not opened an investigation into the incident.

Cops were trying to determine whether fraternity brothers forced the man to perform the grueling tasks.

It was unclear whether alcohol was involved.

The Grymes Hill campus houses seven fraternities and six sororities. About 475 of the campus’ 1,637 undergraduate students counted themselves as members last year.

Sigma Chi Upsilon does not have a national chapter.

A St. John’s spokeswoman did not return calls for comment.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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