Six members of the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority at Rutgers-New Brunswick have been arrested and charged with aggravated hazing. According to one local news source (here), the hazing consisted of paddling and restricting pledges’ food intake. According to the New York Post (here), one of the seven alleged victims was hospitalized after being hit 201 times and denied food over an 8-day period.
The sorority’s national organization has issued a statement (here), saying that hazing is “stricly prohibited” and “inconsistent with the principles of the sorority.” The national organization has pledged to cooperation with Rutgers.
Sigma Gamma Rho was established in 1922. Its self-described mission is “to enhance the qualifty of life within the community. Public service, leadership development and education of youth are the hallmark of the organization’s programs and activities.”
The difference strand of feminist legal theory highlights the ways in which men and women are different in their approaches to moral reasoning, among other things. This incident reminds me of how similar men and women are. Women can be violent and cruel, just as men can. Violence and cruelty are inconsistent with the principles of humanity — not just sorority.