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Ragging issue dogs US nominee for World Bank post

world Updated: Apr 01, 2012 23:34 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times
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As Jim Yong Kim tours the world seeking support for his bid to lead the World Bank, Dartmouth College, which he heads, has come under scrutiny for ritualised hazing (ragging) abuses.

A Dartmouth student has gone public with shocking details of hazing as it happens at the college’s many traditional fraternities (roughly the equivalent of societies).

Rolling Stone magazine followed up with an investigative article that found the authorities unwilling to act against hazing despite being informed of it by the whistleblower. The college didn’t respond to emails sent on Thursday.

Kim, a physician who heads Dartmouth, was named as the US nominee for the job of World Bank head last week.

In an article in the college newspaper The Dartmouth, a sophomore (second year) student, Andrew Lohse, went public with hazing at the fraternities. “I was a member of a fraternity that asked pledges (freshers), in order to become a brother, to: swim in a kiddie pool full of vomit, urine, fecal matter, semen and rotten food products; eat omelettes made of vomit; chug cups of vinegar, which in one case caused a pledge to vomit blood; and vomit on other pledges.”

A student can escape all this by choosing not to join a fraternity. But once he applies, he has to go through whatever is thrown at him, if he wants to belong, become a “brother”.

The Rolling Stone magazine said Kim believes in fraternities and told a group of Dartmouth alums after taking over that he doesn’t intend to overhaul them. A month after Lohse’s article, the college decided to punish the whistleblower himself, charging him with hazing, which he did as a senior in the fraternity, a brother.

On March 22, Kim announced setting up a committee to “identify the most effective ways of tackling the problems of hazing, in an evidence-based approach”.