Rushing fraternities is a nightmare. One survivor of the rush process at a chapter of the deadliest frat in the U.S., according to Bloomberg News, compared his experience to that of a spy getting tortured for information.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one of the country's oldest and most prestigious frats, has accounted for "nine deaths related to drinking, drugs and hazing since 2006, more than any other Greek organization," according to a new investigation by Bloomberg's John Hechinger and David Glovin. If the fraternity's name rings an alarming bell, it's because SAE hazing rituals were the focus of the Rolling Stone piece that caused such an uproar last year.
Bloomberg spoke to former pledges who rushed SAE at Salisbury University in Maryland, in 2012, a particularly bad year, who reported the frat to school officials. The ensuing investigation, concluded in November 2012, shut down the chapter and banned them from campus until 2014, after which SAE will return with a year-long probationary period.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon is older than the Civil War. Founded in 1856, the frat boasts a number of famous alumni, particularly in finance, including former billionaire T. Boone Pickens, and former President William McKinley. William Faulkner was also a member. But SAE pledges at Salisbury in 2012 had to survive gruesome rituals in order to join the frat's prestigious pipeline to finance and power.