Cornell Hazing: University Has History Of Hazing Problems Including 2011 Student Death

A hazing incident at Cornell University has left their top-ranked lacrosse team sidelined, and it’s not the first time that hazing issues have come up at the Ivy League school.

The university announced the temporary suspension of the team after a new report detailed instances of hazing against underclassmen players.

The report notes:

“The freshmen were expected to perform menial tasks, including chores and other duties that went above and beyond those expected of the general membership. Additionally, they were expected to spend a large amount of time with the other members in both lacrosse-related and social situations planned by upperclass members of the team.”

Drinking was also involved in the Cornell hazing, with freshmen players forced to drink alcohol until many of them vomited.

Previous instances of hazing at Cornell have had even worse outcomes. In February 2011, freshmen at Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity kidnapped a sophomore student and another student as part of a hazing ritual. They were asked trivia questions about the fraternity, and made to drink shots of vodka if they got it wrong.

George Desdunes, the sophomore student, vomited after four or five shots in 20 minutes and was then fed a mixture of hot sauce, chocolate powder, strawberry syrup, and hot sauce. Though the students involved say Desdunes was in on the fun and could have been released any time he asked to, the sophomore eventually passed out and was loaded into the back of a car.

He was found dead the next morning.

The death has led to a lawsuit from Desdunes’ parents and prompted Cornell to crack down on hazing instances. The university now has a page on its website dedicated to hazing prevention, hazing.cornell.edu. On the page Cornell says hazing ” is a hidden and serious problem that undermines the value of [collegiate] experiences for many individuals.”