Police say that 7 sorority members hazed pledges by blindfolding them, making them east mud, and dousing them with rotten eggs and milk. The Times Union of Albany reported that one of the victims sustained an allergic reaction, and was treated and released from a local hospital.
Police reported that a victim of the alleged hazing told them of being forced on the ground, and made to eat what appeared to be mud. While this was taking place, rotten milk and eggs reportedly were poured on the victim, and mold-covered food and what the victim thought was urine was poured on her face.
What Are “Underground” Sororities and Fraternities, and Why Can They Be Particularly Dangerous?
The women who allegedly committed the actions purportedly were part of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, which is not a recognized sorority at the University at Albany. Fraternities and sororities not recognized by the colleges and universities which their students attend are said to be “underground.”
Because they are not recognized by the college or university, they are not promoted or allowed the same status as “recognized” fraternities and sororities. Additionally, they are also not subject to the same rules, regulations, and oversight as are the recognized fraternities and sororities. Instead, they are free to operate as they choose; however, they are not allowed to engage in activities that violate the law, such as underage drinking and hazing.
As a result, the safeguards imposed upon recognized fraternities and sororities by the college or university can be completely disregarded. Unrecognized Greek houses do not need to be concerned about their charter being revoked by the school for activities such as underage drinking; instead, they only need to be concerned about not being caught and arrested by the police.
This same attitude may exist with respect to hazing. Members and pledges may believe that they are not subject to the anti-hazing rules in place that apply to “recognized” houses, and instead believe that they can engage in whatever hazing they feel is appropriate (without recognizing that such hazing may very well violate the law).
Underground fraternities and sororities that operate out of a house often have one other key difference – unlike recognized Greek houses, they tend not to carry any liability insurance. This can be catastrophic in the case where an injury or death takes place, as the students responsible will usually only have minimal assets from which to satisfy a judgment.
How We Help
At our firm, we represent the victims of hazing, sexual assault, and other injury sustained on college campuses, and seek to hold colleges, universities, Greek organizations, and others fully liable for the damages that they cause. If you have been injured in a college-related incident, please call us for a free consultation to learn how we can help.