Hazing News

South Carolina fraternities under fire; David Corso calls it quits

Moderator: Some history–Barry Ballou died at the University of South Carolina in a hazing case I wrote about at some length in Broken Pledges. The court case is on this law firm’s page.

USC Gamecock story follows:

USC has suspended Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity from all university activities due to a hazing allegation, and its president resigned Tuesday afternoon.

David Corso confirmed his resignation in an interview with The Daily Gamecock but declined further comment. Calls to the fraternity’s national headquarters went unreturned late Tuesday.

The university is currently investigating the complaint and declined to disclose exactly what misdeeds the fraternity has committed. When a hearing will take place on the complaint isn’t known, said Jerry Brewer, USC’s associate vice president for student affairs.

“As far as I know, no one has been physically harmed,” Brewer said. “No one was in danger that we’re aware of.”

Brewer said the university suspends activities anytime there is a “reasonable report” filed alleging hazing. He also said the university has suspended another fraternity but wouldn’t disclose the organization’s identity until given permission to do so by university attorneys. Brewer said the “second organization was not suspended for hazing.”

Sigma Phi Epsilon was recently removed from the university’s list of Homecoming participants. Lambda Chi Alpha was also removed from the list.

When asked specifically if Sigma Phi Epsilon is under suspension, Brewer wouldn’t “confirm or deny.” Sigma Phi Epsilon President Matt Barnhill wouldn’t comment when reached Tuesday, and several attempts for comment to the organization’s national headquarters went unreturned Tuesday.

USC officials suspended all fraternity rush earlier this semester in a move Brewer called unprecedented. University officials say fraternity leaders lied to university officials and provided booze to prospective new members during rush.

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. 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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