Harvard and Cornell universities have joined Yale University and Dartmouth College in cracking down on such out-of-control behaviors as drinking, hazing and sexual harassment, which endanger students and tarnish Ivy League reputations.
Harvard faculty voted last month to require registration of parties and ban drinking games, and Cornell ordered fraternities to have live-in advisers. This fall, Dartmouth began security checks at Greek houses and Princeton University banned freshmen from joining them.
The moves are the latest effort to regulate campus behavior since rules controlling students were abolished in the 1960s. Disobedience crested last year for Ivy League schools. A Dartmouth hazing article detailed rituals involving bodily fluids. A Cornell student died of alcohol poisoning, and Yale was hit with a discrimination complaint after fraternity members chanted what seemed like a pro-rape slogan. “Colleges have been in an arms race to prove to students that they’re cool and give more freedom than the others,” says Lisa Wade, head of the sociology department at Occidental College in Los Angeles. “Now, maybe the pendulum is starting to swing the other way.”
Top schools not immune
Yale, Harvard and Dartmouth are among the worst offenders:
An undergraduate house at Harvard is under fire for an annual hookup party its residents call Incest Fest. The event is so named because only house members are allowed to attend. Two university clubs have also staged pranks ridiculing homeless people in Harvard Square, according to the Crimson, the student newspaper.
At Yale, one of eight private schools in the U.S. Northeast that make up the Ivy League, eight students drank so much at September’s Safety Dance — an annual 1980s-themed party — they had to be hospitalized. That prompted the school to ban the event.
Dartmouth was rocked by a hazing scandal in January when then-senior Andrew Lohse wrote in the school newspaper about eating omelets made from vomit and other degrading rituals at Sigma Alpha Epsilon.