Before becoming The Sun’s editor in chief on the 137th editorial board, Anu Subramaniam ’20 reported extensively on the Greek community. She shared with the newsletter team on how she approaches the topic — with objectivity, transparency and empathy.
America has a serial killer. Most recently, it has claimed the life of one of our own students at Cornell. 1994. A young man was brutally beaten with a paddle, body-slammed and kicked in the chest repeatedly over the duration of a week. The resulting injuries were broken ribs, a lacerated kidney, a lacerated liver, his chest, neck, back, and arms so badly bruised that the counter coroner advised the family not to look at the body and brain bleeding, from which he ultimately died.
The University placed the Mock Trial team on a temporary suspension for the fall 2019 semester for hazing that occurred during the fall 2018 semester. The investigation found the team had engaged in two events considered hazing, in violation of the Campus Code of Conduct.
The family has taken out three days of full-page advertisements in The Sun publicizing an award for $10,000 and has hired an Ithaca-based private investigator in their search for information for the Cornell first-year who was found dead in an Ithaca gorge.
Hazing can be deadly. On Nov. 2, the Piazza, Gruver and Braham families shared the tragic stories of their sons’ deaths due to fraternity hazing with a full house of students in Bailey Hall. Their presentation “Love, Mom and Dad” was the keynote at the A.D. White Annual Summit for Sorority and Fraternity Life. The stories shared and their grief were an emotional gut punch, reminding me of the tragic death of George Desdunes in 2011 and Cornell’s slow progress rooting out hazing.
In one instance, new members — who were made to spend the night at the house — were woken up at 5 a.m and made to listen to the same song for four hours. They were required to play “air instruments” and make “repeated hand gestures” to the song, according to the report, which classified these behaviors as hazing.
The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life received a report in spring 2019 that the fraternity had engaged in behaviors deemed hazing during the spring and fall semesters of 2018, according to the Cornell’s Hazing Violations website.
The weary Friday sun sets on Libe Slope, and Cornell’s alter ego emerges as the night falls. Slews of students trade in their books for beer, marking the paradigm shift from the intellectual atmosphere of day to the Collegetown mosh pits of night. The pregame, party, hangover cycle starts anew as the academic weekday Jekyll morphs into the partying weekend Hyde. Our campus is many things — from an intellectual community to a research powerhouse (or whatever else the admissions brochures say) — but come nightfall, we must accept our nocturnal reality as a party school. A turn-on for some, a red flag for others, the label exists.
The University has withdrawn its recognition of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity following an investigation that revealed the fraternity engaged in various hazing activities during the spring 2018 semester. Activities were both physical and non-physical, including a presentation on health and nutrition that featured “demeaning images of women,” according to the report.
After the Office of Judicial Affairs found the Big Red Marching Band had instances of incoming section leaders taking shots of barbecue sauce or other condiments, the organization was issued a written reprimand and had to create a transition guide.