On January 25th, 2012, Andrew Lohse spat in the eye of his Dartmouth fraternity’s vow of silence.
In an op-ed for The Dartmouth, the college’s student-run paper, the Ivy League senior shone an unprecedented spotlight on the horrific dark side of the Greek system, which Lohse characterized as “a public health crisis of the utmost importance.” None unfamiliar with the fraternity and sorority systems perched at the top of so many bastions of higher education could have anticipated how graphic his grievances would prove.
“I was a member of a fraternity that asked pledges, in order to become a brother, to swim in a kiddie pool of vomit, urine, fecal matter, semen and rotten food products,” Lohse began, “to eat omelets made of vomit; chug cups of vinegar, which in one case caused a pledge to vomit blood; drink beers poured down fellow pledges’ ass cracks; and vomit on other pledges, among other abuses. Certainly, pledges could have refused these orders. However, under extreme peer pressure, most acquiesced.”