• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Photo: Headshot of Rich Barlow, an older white man with dark grey hair and wearing a grey shirt and grey-blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 11 comments on Students Involved in Alleged Hazing Appear in Court

    1. It’s interesting, Rolling Stone published a disturbingly revealing look inside fraternity culture both in itself and as it is perceived by the academic institutions they belong to. It’s disappointing that both Boston University and our legal system fails to punish these students. It simply sends a horrible, perpetuating message. I advise everyone to read this article, including Dean Elmore.


      1. I’m sorry but even the article says that the frat culture at Dartmouth is unique compared to other schools. At my frat and the others I hang out at I have not heard of hazing at all. Not once have I or any pledges in my memory been forced to do anything that could harm us. While at times drinking beer quickly was strongly encouraged simply saying no thanks tended to be the end of it. I’d say that the most annoying thing we do to pledges is require them to, at all times, carry around a brick with special symbols painted on it.

        My experience in fraternity culture has been that it gives students an alternative place to live and make close bonds with other men. The fact that we go through a pledging process gives it structure and order; parties are always followed with every member of the fraternity cleaning up, which I doubt would ever happen with a group of 40 housemates. We help eachother where and when we can. The idea that fraternity’s are filled with predators is ridiculous.

    2. I’m sorry, but please tell me which university doesn’t have students who get drunk on weekends? I agree that they should have been punished more (not necessarily expelled) but it’s just ridiculous to accuse BU of being a school that doesn’t do anything about drunk students… let’s be honest, there are police everywhere on campus regulating drinking. It’s important to understand that this situation is the exception on campus and not the norm. Maybe you should give Boston University a little more respect for the way it’s been handling all the things happening on campus this past year as opposed to accusing it and its community of being a majority of disrespectful people…

  1. Keep in mind that these are students with no previous criminal records and that these five pledges have not pressed charges. Granted, this is no excuse for hazing, but understand these kids are part of a misled culture of Greek society which has been surrounded in hazing, violence, and generally poor decisions for decades. Can we reasonably send students to prison or shove huge fines down their throats when they are caught up in this huge mess of peer pressure, history, and already accepted customs? I have to think there are more civil ways of resolving Greek society without destroying young adult lives.

    Yet maybe that is simply wishful thinking. With the string of Greek-related crimes that have been occurring within Boston University this year, maybe even tighter measures have to made by BUPD and Boston University as a whole.

    I fear there is a misconception that Boston University has developed a reputation as a school with terrible and violent Greek life. Keep in mind, any current Boston University student will tell you BU has some of the strictest policies against underage drinking, hazing, and poor behavior in the country. BUPD is also incredibly active throughout the community – you will see them from friday-sunday in Allston (where the activity usually takes place and my place of residence). Boston University is utterly transparent with its policing activities and that, to a certain extent, is why we have drawn so much attention from the public eye.

    Take a look at Florida and even Cornell where deaths have occurred from hazing. None of these colleges have publicized them the way BU has. We have BU Today, a university-wide publication that is sent to students every morning. We know exactly whats going immediately when it happens. The awareness BU is building is a great first step to preventing further problems and protecting its students.

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