In a letter to , SAE's lawyer, Harvey Silverglate, labeled some of Lohse's most extreme allegations "demonstrably untrue" and compared Lohse to the stripper who falsely accused a number of Duke lacrosse players of raping her in 2006. a seemingly unstable individual," Silverglate wrote, "with a very poor reputation for truth-telling and a very big axe to grind."This is not the first time that SAE has come under fire for hazing abuses, or the first time the house has closed ranks against an attack: In 2009, a member of the Dartmouth faculty accused the fraternity of making pledges chug milk and vinegar until they threw up.
His late grandfather, Austin Lohse, had played football and lacrosse for Big Green, and both Andrew and his older brother, Jon, a Dartmouth junior, idolized him as the embodiment of the high-achieving, hard-drinking, fraternal ethos of the Dartmouth Man, or what Lohse calls a "true bro." A Dartmouth Man is a specific type of creature, and when I ask Lohse what constitutes true bro-ness, he provides an idealized portrait of white-male privilege: "good-looking, preppy, charismatic, excellent at cocktail parties, masculine, intelligent, wealthy (or soon to become so), a little bit rough around the edges" – not, in other words, a "douchey, superpolished Yalie."A true bro, Lohse adds, can also drink inhuman amounts of beer, vomit profusely and keep on going, and perform a number of other hard-partying feats – Dartmouth provided the real-life inspiration for – that most people, including virtually all of Lohse's high school friends, would find astounding.
This, like the high salaries that Dartmouth graduates command – the sixth-highest in the country, according to the most recent estimates – is a point of pride.
This "culture of silence," as some on campus describe it, is both a product of the Greek system's ethos and the shield that enables it to operate with impunity."The fraternities here have a tremendous sense of entitlement – a different entitlement than you find at Harvard or other Ivy League schools," says Michael Bronski, a Dartmouth professor of women's and gender studies.
"Their members are secure that they have bright futures, and they just don't care.
To criticize Dartmouth's frats, which date back more than 150 years, is tantamount to criticizing Dartmouth itself, the smallest and most insular school in the Ivy League.
Nestled on a picturesque campus in tiny Hanover, New Hampshire, the college has produced a long list of celebrated alumni – among them two Treasury secretaries (Timothy Geithner, '83, and Henry Paulson Jr., '68), a Labor secretary (Robert Reich, '68) and a hefty sampling of the one percent (including the CEOs of GE, e Bay and Freddie Mac, and the former chairman of the Carlyle Group).He also wrote songs; gigged semiprofessionally at restaurants throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut; played drums for a rock band; chased, and conquered, numerous girls; and by his high school graduation, in 2008, had reached the pinnacle of adolescent cool by dating "this really hot skanky cheerleader," as he puts it.That fall, he enrolled at Dartmouth, where he had wanted to go for as long as he could remember.Last spring, Yale became the subject of a federal Title IX investigation after a group of 16 current and former students accused the school of creating a "hostile environment" for women, citing a prank in which the pledges of Delta Kappa Epsilon, the same fraternity that boasted both Bush presidents as members, paraded outside the Yale campus chanting, "No means yes! " Only a few months earlier, in February 2011, a 19-year-old Cornell sophomore died of alcohol poisoning after taking part in an SAE hazing ritual.In response, the boy's mother filed a million lawsuit against SAE, Cornell shuttered its chapter, and the president of the university directed the college's Greek organizations to end the pledging process, effective fall 2012.Alarmed by the skyrocketing rate of binge drinking, which studies show is nearly twice as high among fraternity residents, a growing number of colleges have opted to kick frats off campus or do away with them altogether.