Students report experiencing “mental cruelty,” hazing by WIU sorority

Credit: Google

By NEWS3 Staff

MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) – After the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority at Western Illinois University closed in early April due to reported anti-hazing policy violations, new details about the violations are revealed.

Two female students that were pledging to join the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority came forward to WIU’s Office of Public Safety on March 4 and March 5. This was after experiencing “mental cruelty” during pledge week Oct. 26-30, 2020, at the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority house at 1 Pollock Drive in Macomb. 

Members were reportedly holding candles and singing, which got increasingly louder, then suddenly the room went pitch black. Members shouted at the pledges according to the report, then told pledges to not contact anyone other than members for the rest of the week.

One report said the sorority members “just wanted to tire the pledges out.” According to the report, the next night was a mandatory “wine night.” Pledges said it was more than wine – one of the students told detectives they were “peer pressured” to drink alcohol, despite that they were underage. The report said one pledge drank water provided by a sorority member and felt drugged later, and had slurred speech and felt unsteady.

The two pledges told police that nearly all the pledges were later “messed up” and drunk, despite not having much alcohol to drink. According to one of the pledges, the mental cruelty aspect continued, as pledges were told to reveal secrets about themselves, which sorority members reportedly later were “making fun” of in a skit performed in front of a large group.

The reports also stated that pledges were repeatedly yelled at and locked in a cupboard, and that sorority members refused to let pledges out of the cupboard. One student told police they felt “hurt and betrayed” by the sorority. No injuries were reported. The two students also chose to leave the sorority after the reported incident. 

No criminal charges have been filed. A judicial review is currently underway by WIU. The sorority’s presidents, that were in office at the time of the charter revocation and at the time of the incident, both declined to comment.