College fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon—"Same Assholes Everywhere," if we remember correctly—was just hit with a $25 million lawsuit over the death of a Cornell first-year, allegedly thanks to a hazing ritual gone wrong.
George Desdunes, a 19-year-old first-generation Haitian-American, was apparently kidnapped by "freshman pledges," tied up with duck tape and zip ties, and given what was apparently a really intense quiz:
The pledges are alleged to have asked him trivia questions about the fraternity. If he answered incorrectly he reportedly had to do exercises such as sit-ups, or consume various foods and drinks including sugar, flavored syrups and vodka.
Desdunes reportedly passed out, but instead of being brought to a hospital he was allegedly taken to the fraternity house while still bound, and left on a couch in the library.
A housekeeper discovered Desdunes and called 911, and Desdunes was later pronounced dead at Cayuga Medical Center.
We don't really know why people join fraternities, and stories like this don't really help us "get it." Desdunes' death is—according to Desdunes' mother's lawyer—the fifth at SAE since 1997. Cornell has withdrawn recognition for the fraternity for five years (why not... forever?), and the national organization released a statement: "Members are expected to adhere to our fraternity policies and to uphold behavior consistent with our creed, 'The True Gentleman.'"