By That Chronicle Reporter
An excerpt from our latest release, The Fake News Issue.
I was five months into my investigation of the hazing allegations levied at Sigma Pi fraternity when I caught wind of something far more sinister. Hofstra students are likely to remember the well publicized and widely clicked-on reporting that brought us the images that are now iconic additions to the Hofstra canon. A man shoved in a cage? That’s pretty stirring. How about two fraternity brothers showering each other in regurgitated dairy? Haven’t forgotten that image, have you? Of course not, because The Chronicle published it and the New York Post republished it, without credit. Well, that was in November, and despite our best efforts to wring as much publicity from this story as possible, the Sigma Pi trail has gone cold. It was at this juncture that the editors of Nonsense Humor Magazine informed me that something far worse was brewing behind Hofstra’s closed doors. Even worse than praying on the insecurities of young men to somehow validate yourself before becoming continuously caught up in a cycle of abuse from which you will never likely escape, worse than hanging out on a regular basis with the people who be-caged you, and worse than me not yet being verified on Twitter. All of these small grievances paled in comparison to the shit storm I was made aware of, in the killing fields that are the HvZ hazing ground. Former members reduced to shambling corpses, foregoing social interaction, hunting down other members, shadows of what they once were… But why? And for what gain?
The trouble within the HvZ organization began when an anonymous source gave Nonsense Humor unfiltered Groupme messages concerning the 2015-2016 school year. References made to players being pushed to attend “rules meetings” or suffer the consequence of not playing in “the Big Game.” Reports indicate that other coercive hazing techniques were employed, including discouraging members from consuming alcohol during meetings, not immediately adding new members to the groupchat and forcing members to engage in public displays of humiliation, such as playing with children’s toys in public.
“It’s just messed up, you know? Not letting club members drink during meetings. I tried to join HvZ my freshman year, and when I pulled out my cans of 4loko, they asked if it could wait until after the meeting,” said the greased up Nonsense underclassman we chased down and asked for comment. “That’s what I love about Nonsense. Hahaha, they get it. One time, Matt told me to race another kid to see who could finish one faster, haha, to see who was coolest. I won. I was the coolest. I just wish people didn’t feel like they have to be hazed in order to feel like they fit in somewhere.”
While these screenshots did not seem to point to the most destructive parts of the organization, it did reveal an even stranger incident. Images of members with Nerf guns, and other foam weaponry as well as an empty cage in the background raised many questions. While Nonsense Humor was not able to confirm what the cage could possibly be for, randomly shouted out suggestions ranged from a new age bookshelf to alien torture device used to indoctrinate new members. We sought an official comment from HvZ, to attempt to clarify the situation, to no avail.
“It’s a filing cabinet, you vultures! It’s a filing cabinet!” cried the President of HvZ when we asked him to explain himself. “Get that microphone out of my face! I saw you take my name plate off of my desk and slip it in your bag I would really like to have it back please. Why are you doing thi–” But it was no use. They would continue to dodge our answers.
The largest grievance of all came from another batch of GroupMe screenshots, this time highlighting a short discussion between several members concerning the critically acclaimed 2015 Hofstra Issue of Nonsense Humor Magazine. The names of students involved in this conversation have purposefully been omitted from this article to better protect the identities of those involved.
“Yeah I just read that new Nonsense Issue?”
“How was it?”
“To be honest, it was kind of eh. I don’t know why they bring us up.”
“Sounds weird, I’ll pass.”
“Do they not like us or something? I’m friends with a couple of them, and they say that everything is fine. It just seems kind of unfair, when they are literally just as insular, weird and–”
The conversation goes on from there, but it only becomes more offensive and shocking, however the focus of the story cannot be on poor tastes and a lack of a keen sense of humor as shown in the previous interaction, but instead on the terrifying treatment of those who cannot handle the rigorous hazing process. Students go from active and outgoing with bright futures to empty shells who live to hunt down the more successful “survivors” of the hazing, seeking to convert them.
When reached out for comment, the school simply regurgitated their anti-hazing policy and promised to send out another email.
Article by Jesse Saunders and Matthew Tanzosh.