10 Fraternity Pranks Gone Horribly Wrong
By Aydrea Walden
10 Fraternity Pranks Gone Horribly Wrong
Fraternities are notorious for engaging in hazing rituals and pranks. These activities are generally meant to foster feelings of brotherhood and camaraderie among a close group of individuals. Oftentimes, those who bond while in a fraternity, are friends for life – like the guys struggling to join the “real world” after college in the series Bros – proving that these pranks are just good fun and those involved enjoy themselves in the spirit of tradition. However, this isn’t always the case. They can sometimes get out of hand. People get hurt. Reputations get tarnished. Criminal records are born.
Bros – Episode 1
1. The Sigma Alpha Epsilon Chapter at the University of Kentucky was suspended in 2010 when 19-year-old Shaun Dunn wrapped another member in toilet paper… and then set the paper on fire. As the flames reached the TP’d victim’s shoulders, he dropped to the floor and rolled around to try and put the fire out, which caused the fraternity house’s carpet to catch fire as well. The students sustained first degree burns on his hands, two students were arrested, the frat house was found to be in violation of multiple school fire codes, and the school shut the house down until it could be brought up to code.
2. Delta Kappa Epsilon brothers at Yale touched off a viral controversy in October 2010 when they were recorded walking by sorority houses and chanting “No means Yes and Yes means Anal.” That was accompanied by intermittent shouts of “I F— dead women!” Thanks to the event being caught on video and put on YouTube, not just the Yale sorority community got angry. Students and the viral community alike called the event hate speech and insisted that it promoted violence against women.
3. Students at Tulane used their proximity to Creole culture to inspire a particular hazing ritual in 2008. Performing what they called a “Crab Boil,” members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity poured boiling water, cayenne pepper and painful pepper spray onto pledges backs. The ones who screamed first escaped the worst affects. Those who endured the pain went to the hospital with second and third degree burns. The chapter was closed, and the house has since been sold.
4. In 2005, Chico State University student and would-be Chi Tau brother, Matthew Carrington died during his pledge process. Older fraternity members forced Carrington and another pledge to exercise for hours in raw sewage that was leaking from pipes in the frat house’s basement. The two students were also forced to drink a 5-gallon jug of water that was filled and refilled again and again. While doing all of that, they were also interrogated and forced to answer questions while other frat brothers blasted them with icy cold air. The two pledges vomited and urinated on themselves before Carrington passed out. He was not immediately taken to the hospital, and by the time he was, it was too late. His heart had stopped and he could not be revived. The students who led the hazing were both given jail sentences.
5. In 1994, Kappa Alpha Psi pledge Michael Davis died at the hands of his would-be frat brothers. Davis was in the middle of an old tradition at Southeast Missouri State that involved weeks of physical abuse. On Valentine’s Day, there was a special event where frat brothers set up stations where their pledges would be tormented even more. Students ended up beating Davis so badly that they lacerated a kidney, damaged his liver, broke his ribs and caused brain damage that eventually killed him.
6. Frat brothers at MIT used their understanding of science to set up an elaborate prank that injured two unwilling participants. In 2007, members of the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity did what years of frat brothers before them had done–dropped bricks of sodium metal into the Charles River. Sodium metal explodes after it comes into contact with water; so later, two volunteers who were cleaning the river got a big surprise. The volunteers fished an odd white brick out of the water–the sodium metal that the frat brothers dropped there. The metal exploded on the boat and caused severe burns to the two volunteers. The subsequent lawsuit resulted in payment of an unspecified six-figure settlement.
7. On Halloween 1999, an MIT frat brother intended to share some spooky fun. He dressed up like the Grim Reaper and built a machine that was meant to shoot out a puff of smoke for students at a party. Unfortunately, the machine malfunctioned and exploded. Two students were sent to the hospital, another was injured, a bomb squad was called in, and parts of campus were closed for hours.
8. In 2009, a student called the police from a restaurant that was miles from his home. He said he had been abducted. He had been… by fraternity brothers. It was a Chi Phi tradition at the University of Virginia to kidnap older frat members, drop them off somewhere in town and leave them to find their way home. The four students who did the kidnapping served a few days in jail for the prank.
9. University of California – San Diego frat boys were blamed in a viral storm when they posted the invitation to their “Compton Cookout” on Facebook. Guests were encouraged to dress up as negative stereotypes of African Americans, attend in blackface and behave “ghetto.” Though members of Phi Kappa Alpha denied being the organizers of the event, they said members may have attended. The frat took the heat because members of the fraternity were said to have initiated the event.
- “February marks a very important month in American society. No, I’m not referring to Valentines Day or Presidents Day. I’m talking about Black History month. As a time to celebrate, and in hopes of showing respect, the Regents community cordially invites you to its very first Compton Cookout.
For guys: I expect all males to be rockin Jersey’s, stuntin’ up in ya White T (XXXL smallest size acceptable), anything FUBU, Ecko, Rockawear, High/low top Jordans or Dunks, Chains, Jorts, stunner shades, 59 50 hats, Tats, etc.
For girls: For those of you who are unfamiliar with ghetto chicks-Ghetto chicks usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, and wear cheap clothes – they consider Baby Phat to be high class and expensive couture. They also have short, nappy hair, and usually wear cheap weave, usually in bad colors, such as purple or bright red. They look and act similar to Shenaynay, and speak very loudly, while rolling their neck, and waving their finger in your face. Ghetto chicks have a very limited vocabulary, and attempt to make up for it, by forming new words, such as “constipulated,” or simply cursing persistently, or using other types of vulgarities, and making noises, such as “hmmg!” or smacking their lips, and making other angry noises, grunts, and faces. The objective is for all you lovely ladies to look, act, and essentially take on these “respectable” qualities throughout the day.
Several of the regents condos will be teaming up to house this monstrosity, so travel house to house and experience the various elements of life in the ghetto.
We will be serving 40′s, Kegs of Natty, dat Purple Drank- which consists of sugar, water, and the color purple, chicken, coolade, and of course watermelon. So come one and come all, make ya self before we break ya self, keep strapped, get yo shine on, and join us for a day party to be remembered- or not.”
10. In 2004, members of the University of Michigan Theta Chi fraternity were looking at 15-year prison sentences for breaking into a Delta Delta Delta house and stealing some photos. The event was an escalation of a long-standing tradition. Normally, fraternity members would be let into the house by sorority members and while there, they would make off with a photo. This time, however, the frat guys decided to sneak into the house by climbing onto the roof and breaking in through a bathroom window. A neighbor noticed the break in and called the police.
Bros – Episode 2
Bros – Episode 3
Aydrea Walden ten Bosch, a former news reporter, has also written for Nickelodeon, NBC/Universal, Hawaii Film Partners, Highlander Films, the Now Write! Screenwriting book series, Improv Olympic, The Second City Los Angeles and Disney. She regularly performs sketch and improv comedy and runs the satirical blog, The Oreo Experience, about her life and times as a super white black person.