Sigma Gamma Rho Gets Attention for Hazing Scandals

The historically black sorority is under the spotlight for recent incidents involving violent underground hazing.

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Sigma Gamma Rho has been getting national attention lately, but probably not the kind the sorority wants for its organization. In January, six Sigma Gamma Rho members from Rutgers University were arrested after a pledge accused them of striking her 200 times with a wooden paddle, sending her to the hospital. And in August, a former San Jose State University student filed a lawsuit claiming that she was violently beaten with wooden paddles and spoons by Sigma Gamma Rho members in 2008. She says that the university and sorority were negligent in responding to her allegations of hazing. The Rutgers and San Jose State chapters of Sigma Gamma Rho have been suspended for these hazing violations. They're not the only ones -- the University of Texas chapter has also been suspended for similar violations. It should be noted that the sorority's Web site has a very clearly stated anti-hazing policy and is quick to act when these violations occur. But anyone who has been to college knows that violent underground hazing is a lot bigger than a few isolated incidents at a few schools. Far more people seem to be complacent about this, or even accepting about it, than upset about it. What gives?

Read more at The New York Times.

Lauren is a former Deputy Editor of The Root.