Five Ole Miss fraternity brothers were arrested Friday for assault, hazing and larceny in connection with the alleged beating of a rival fraternity member.
The victim, Sigma Pi member Jeremy Boyle, was jumped outside of his fraternity house when he went to check out a noise. According to his grandfather, Boyle suffered a concussion, several broken teeth, a ruptured eardrum, bruised groin and a lung contusion.
“They descended upon him and beat him unmercifully,” Boyle grandfather said in a interview with WMC – NBC affiliate in Memphis, TN. “Beat him within an inch of his life.”
The five members who allegedly attacked Boyle are from the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house, and their chapter president, Gunther Kenudston, would only say that those were the actions of individuals, and the actions were not connected to fraternity business.
However, despite the severity of the beating, many of the friends and family members of the five frat brothers say the attack was actually a prank gone wrong. According to an unidentified family member, the students were trying to take a donkey from the rival house as a joke and things got out of hand when Boyle unexpectedly interrupted the alleged prank.
“It is a very sad situation, but I heard about it. I was just like ‘How? What made them think this is OK?’,” said one Ole Miss student. “I mean, like what’s going on in the fraternities here that, you know, people are willing to beat up somebody?”
In a 2014 Time Magazine report, there have been over 60 fraternity-related deaths since 2005. Many of the victims were freshman pledges and the fraternity members most vulnerable to peer pressure.
Fraternities are quickly becoming a hot-bed of discussion as more cases of assault, hazing, and sexual assault involving frat members are increasing to epidemic levels nationwide.
According to The Guardian, numerous studies have found the men who join fraternities are three times more likely to commit a sexual assault, and women who are in sororities are 74% more likely to experience a form of rape than other college women.
To combat the rise in campus assaults, states are slowly starting to incorporate laws that punish fraternities who engage in hazing. Universities are increasingly disbanding fraternities whose members repeatedly commit acts of violence, sexual or otherwise.
However, many of the victims of sexual assault believe that college administrators are not doing enough to stop rape and for not tackling the culture of fraternities which promotes violence.
“There’s that big ego part where it’s like, yeah, you gotta go out and get laid tonight,” said one frat member. “And everyone’s like yeah, get laid, get lucky, have a good time, and a lot of members take that the wrong way.”
[Gawker] Featured image via WMC/Oxford Police Department