Gaylord, MI—Sources confirmed Wednesday that a weekend of “utter debauchery” involving a University fraternity has led to more than $50,000 in damages to the entire third floor of the Treetops Resort in northern Michigan, as well as the trust funds of the winter ’15 pledge class.
“On behalf of Sigma Alpha Mu brothers around the world, I’d like to seriously apologize for any harm we’ve brought upon our pledges’ trust funds,” said Chapter President Jonathan Quinn. “In the heat of the moment, we lost track of the repercussions our actions could have for the ancestral wealth our pledges are entitled to.”
“Not to mention the compound interest they’ll be missing out on once they pay out those fifty G’s,” Quinn added. “A lot of us took an accounting class in Ross last semester, so the interest thing definitely isn’t lost on us.”
The outcome of their long weekend of drugs, drinking and black diamond alpine skiing has garnered vocal criticism from both the University’s Interfraternity Council and national fraternity leadership.
“The actions of these young men demonstrate an astonishing lack of consideration for their pledges’ financial entitlements,” said IFC chairman Marcus Lorr. “The recklessness, the disrespect, the total disregard of the wealth they worked so hard to inherit… These are not the values that we want to portray as members of University of Michigan Greek Life.”
“I just feel betrayed, you know?” said one winter ’15 Sigma Alpha Mu pledge, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “We trusted these people with our families’ hard-won private assets, and they completely violated that trust.”
“I sort of expected some hazing, but I thought it would just be physical or emotional abuse,” continued the anonymous pledge. “But financial abuse? That’s just cruel.”
Mike Chumbler, the resort’s general manager, said he was “confused and disappointed” by the fraternities’ failure to consider the impact their actions could have on their pledges’ future access to capital.
“Windows, ceiling tiles, floorboards, critical support beams… all that stuff can be repaired in time,” Chumbler said. “But the tax penalty these kids are going to face from an early trust withdrawal? That doesn’t just go away.”
Members of the winter ’15 pledge class were last seen on the phone with their parents to talk them into setting up an emergency fund for future threats to their inherited assets, likely in response to the fraternity’s recently announced spring break trip to the Bahamas.
Originally published January 2015.