Balls Out: A Look at Hazing

via+Klearchos+Kapoutsis+on+flickr

via Klearchos Kapoutsis on flickr

In light of the semi-recent hazing festivities at Garfield High School that were advocated for by members, both past and present, due to their ability to bring a community together—with mass underage drinking—I decided it would be beneficial to take a look at the innumerable senseless deaths that have taken place throughout time. So that the hazees left living have a strong, sentimental bond.

Really touching stuff. Here are my four picks of some of the worst hazing stories out there.


1. Assault by sharpie

Via mikelao26 on flickr

Although a living being did not pass away due to the following, I think it would suffice to say that this poor kid’s dignity was murdered immediately following his hazing experience. And his prides killer? Nothing less than a Sharpie pen. Back in 2002, a group of football players from Methodist College (emphasize Methodist here—the school is ironically religiously affiliated) thought it would be a fitting welcoming ceremony to restrain and strip a freshman so that they might mark their territory all over his bottom, all the while spanking it. To finish off the already heinous activities, the players teammate forcefully sexually assaulted him with their Sharpie. Those involved were arrested and suspended. Like I said before, dignity, dead.


2. Cup numbers
Via Lies Thru a Lens  on flickr
Via Lies Thru a Lens  on flickr

Fortunately again, in this particular instance, the threats of a certain sorority’s hazing did not mean a fatality for their fellow “sisters.” All that these “sisters” require their pledges to do is lose their tops and bras in a cold room and line up in order of bra size. I would like to point out that I am using the word “sister” only because for some completely unfitting reason these girls label each other with this meaningful term. However, it has been my experience with my own sister–one of my best friends out there–that the goal of our relationship is not in fact to strip each other of any semblance of an ego and impose devastating self-esteem issues on one another. Kudos to the well-endowed though, they earned it, and here’s to heart-warming family traditions.


3. Chug, chug, dead
via Klearchos Kapoutsis on flickr
via Klearchos Kapoutsis on flickr

Psi Epsilon Chi is clearly a group strongly rooted in the care of their “brothers” (again, that familial term), taking the precautions in their hazing rituals to avoid alcohol poisoning in their evidently beloved pledges. That is why the fraternity spawned the grand idea to just drink water. In fact, they were so concerned with one particular pledge’s hydration that they had him consume enough liquid to swell his brain, causing him to die from water intoxication. That is all I have to say about that.


4. Fresh meat
via Conanil on flickr
via Conanil on flickr

Ironically, the fraternity Kappa Sigma discovered a way to destroy lives via liver harm other than ingesting large amounts of alcohol. Keep in mind (next time you are plagued with the idea that society is just now going to the gutter) that this tragedy occurred in 1959. For this hazing ritual, the pledges of Kappa Sigma were given roughly Beanie Babies sized hunks of raw liver to swallow without any sort of mastication. Weirdly enough, one pledge was unable to perform such a feat. Shocking. Richard Swanson attempted the act four times before successfully lodging the liver in his throat. Swanson was retrieved by an ambulance, the attendant of which was never enlightened as to the massive chunk of flesh banked in his larynx. He choked for two hours until he eventually passed away. So, at least next time you see a four year old ripping off the face of a citizen in Vice City of Grand Theft Auto, be aware that at least society has learned to avoid lethal liver swallowing in their hazing practices nowadays.