March 30, 2013

Fraternities worse than Animal House fail to pay for casualties


Elon's Lambda chapter had a turbulent past. Since 2005, Elon had cited it for breaching school policy at on-campus and off-campus events, placed it on probation and voiced concern about drug use and hazing, court records show.

The chapter's risk manager, a 20-year-old, was responsible for enforcing the rules set by the national fraternity, based in Indianapolis. Those rules state that no chapter may provide unrestricted access to alcohol and that chapter funds may not be used to buy it. Around that time, each chapter member paid annual dues of $400, including $65 to the national organization and $93 to an insurance brokerage that the national co-owned.

Carolyn Whittier, Elon's then director of Greek Life, warned a Lambda national executive in August 2006 that there were problems at the chapter, including drug use.

"It is highly advised that the Grand High Zeta" - the national's board of directors - place the chapter under alumni control, Whittier wrote. Lambda didn't follow her advice. It did send a representative to meet with the Elon chapter that November.

Lambda, which had 2011 revenue of $7.5 million for the national and related foundation, has had three deaths linked to chapter events since 2005. Tad Lichtenauer, a spokesman for Lambda, declined to comment.

On the Friday night of the party, Mynhardt started drinking at friends' apartments, police records show. Then he and some classmates drank at two local bars. At one, Mynhardt met a sophomore, Mary Kelly. They left the pub at 2 a.m., closing time, and joined the crowd at "211."

By then, more than 15 of the Lambda chapter's 23 members had made their way to the keg party, court records show. The next day was Lambda's "wing bowl" - a chicken-eating gala that was the year's top recruiting event - and potential recruits had come by.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • 20110929_bowling.jpg Why fewer people go bowling

    Like other industries facing tough economic times, America's bowling centers are trying to reinvent themselves.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 28, 2014

  • Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website

    Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.

    July 27, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 26, 2014

  • An oncologist uses scorpion venom to locate cancer cells

    Olson, a pediatric oncologist and research scientist in Seattle, has developed a compound he calls Tumor Paint. When injected into a cancer patient, it seems to light up all the malignant cells so surgeons can easily locate and excise them.

    July 25, 2014

  • An alternative diagnosis to ADHD: Schoolchildren need more time to move

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that in recent years, there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 to 11 percent in 2011.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 23, 2014

  • Why it's basically impossible to delete those naked selfies you text

    If you're selling an old Android smartphone on an online auction site, you could be giving away rather more than you intend to, according to a recent investigation by anti-malware company Avast.

    July 21, 2014

  • Why does the Vatican need a bank?

    The Vatican Bank's history reads more like Dan Brown than the financial pages, but its worst -- and weirdest -- days may be behind it.

    July 18, 2014