The New Data Center Stack

first_imgOne of the many benefits of working at Dell Technologies is simultaneously having access to the brightest minds in compute, storage and networking. Even better, we get to put these big brains together to think about IT in terms of end-to-end infrastructure, not discrete silos. The breadth of our portfolio provides us with the opportunity to think about how to solve our customers’ problems rather than how to protect our own technology silos.Why is this important?  Because, as Michael Dell rightly points out, you can’t lead digital transformation by thinking in silos. Certainly we still need distinct focus on server, storage and networking, but we also need to think and operate more broadly. The industry wants to see the toolchains and solutions as consistent, general-purpose and reusable. The industry wants digital transformation, and you can’t lead the digital transformation by thinking in silos.If I look across Dell Technologies right now, I see transformation happening. The Server group  working on hyperconverged systems (largely a Storage product), the Networking group leading our Virtual Edge Platform (arguably an x86 server for the network domain), the Server and Networking teams partnering to deliver PowerEdge MX, our software-defined network manageability driven by the team that unlocked IT manageability, VMware, and Pivotal leading how the workloads themselves are transformed.Every one of these groups is thinking and discussing 5G – a new network paradigm woven into the fabric of everything that Dell Technologies has invested into. That’s why it’s important for Dell Technologies to be focused on the best solutions and delivering more agility to our customers, not on protecting silos.Looking specifically at the networking space, even as SDN and Open Networking drive towards composable building blocks, it’s increasingly obvious that the companies being disrupted, the ones who have long embraced a model that locks customer into a proprietary networking infrastructure (I’m looking at you, Cisco), are attempting to rebuild the vertical, proprietary stack. It may look different, sit at a higher layer, above the network stack itself, but it’s vertical and proprietary nonetheless. The new stack around software-defined is built on controllers, automation, analytics, security, programmability, and eventually, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). This stack can’t be proprietary or we risk rebuilding the closed, locked in, and inflexible stacks of the past, except with more business-critical impact.What have we accomplished so far?Taken complex network functions off of proprietary ASIC and moved them to x86Forced generalized network workloads to move from proprietary ASIC to merchant siliconTaken control plane from that merchant silicon platform and moved it to x86Driven a multitude of open source communities around undifferentiated control and data plane capabilities, and developed standard mechanisms to interface between the twoIn other words, the world approached the network through the lens of IT and saw that the network, like IT, doesn’t need to be built on proprietary building blocks.What are we doing now?Moving the data/user plane of those complex network functions off of the x86 in the server back onto FPGA SmartNIC to improve efficiencyAbstracting the merchant silicon to be as easy to consume as x86Enabling the control plane and data/user plane to be further apart (logically and geographically)Using IT toolchains to automate the historically CLI-driven capabilitiesRearchitecting both IT apps and network functions to be truly independent of the underlying compute paradigmIn other words, the world is seeing that the network can be managed, automated and programmed like IT infrastructure.What are we going to do next?Move workloads freely to their ideal computing architecture – from x86 to FPGA-based SmartNIC to merchant siliconSlice the end to end network (physical, virtual) into servicesEliminate the two-backplane paradigm (backplane intra-server, network fabric inter-server)Use closed-loop ML-based Automation to drive the decision logic of the aboveModel all Infrastructure as a set of capabilities that any application can take advantage ofIn other words, the world will see that infrastructure is a composable set of functions and capabilities made available to any workload—there is no network or IT or switch or router or server. No silos, just infrastructureDigital transformation is a journey that transcends silos, and we’re on the way. We want to take you on that journey with us.last_img read more

Student government looks to combat discrimination

first_imgOver the summer, student government worked as hard as its administrative counterpart to continue improving Notre Dame for its students. Student body president Brett Rocheleau said the office accomplished its goal of installing a hydration station in every dorm on campus. “Previously only four dorms had [a hydration station],” he said. “Now every one has at least one. We’re continuing to work on academic buildings, DeBartolo [Hall] mainly, but we’re trying to expand into others like [O’Shaughnessy Hall] and Jordan [Hall of Science].” Rocheleau said he hopes these buildings, as well as the campus fitness centers, will have hydration stations by the end of the school year. Student government also made several reforms to the sexual assault section of Resident Assistant training over the past few months, student body vice president Katie Rose said. “We shifted it so it focuses a lot more on immediate response,” Rose said. “The RAs are supposed to be the first point of contact, so now it’s a little less policy-focused and more immediate skills and things they need to know.” Rose said the new training program also requires at least one RA from each dorm to attend a more intensive training, teaching them technical aspects of the medical and legal procedures of a sexual assault. With classes back in session, Rocheleau said student government has met with area police chiefs to discuss the interactions between students and area law enforcement. “The relationship has been going great,” Rocheleau said. “We’re in constant communication, and everything we’ve heard from the South Bend Police [Department] and St. Joseph’s County has been good news.” For the first time this year, Rocheleau said the Indiana Excise Police are including Notre Dame in their Intensified College Enforcement (ICE) program. In the past Excise had only targeted other schools in Indiana with this initiative to end underage purchase and consumption of alcohol. “A few parties have been called up on, but they just got warnings,” Rocheleau said. “They’re doing more if you’re underage in a liquor store or underage at a tavern. If you’re underage you can’t even be in a car with alcohol … Basically, if you’re underage, don’t be around any alcohol at all.” Rocheleau said he plans to send students a safety reminder e-mail, similar to the one sent prior to last weekend, before the first home football game. “The police are focusing on disruptive behavior [at tailgates],” he said. “They’re not going around checking everyone’s ID, but disruptive behavior is the main thing they’re looking out for.” Rocheleau and Rose will also continue to work on two initiatives that became very popular issues at the end of last semester: the debate over a gay-straight alliance (GSA) and the call to action against racial discrimination. Student advocates of a GSA kept last year’s momentum going over the summer, Rocheleau said. The group researched the backgrounds of alliances of several other universities to help in their mission to install a GSA at Notre Dame. “Now that students are back they’re doing more focus groups and testing to talk to different students about it,” he said. “We’ll be involved in that process with Student Affairs, trying to work toward something that makes all LGBTQ students feel included.” Rocheleau said his administration also plans to continue last semester’s Call to Action against racial discrimination. The Call to Action began after fried chicken parts were placed in the mailboxes of the Black Students Association and African Student Association last February. “Student Affairs did some review over the summer and started working on new policies to make sure that event doesn’t occur again,” he said. Student government held a town hall meeting last semester to address instances of racial discrimination on campus, and Rocheleau said he plans to hold another. In addition to its inclusion efforts, the office will also be working on the ongoing initiative to allow the usage of Domer Dollars in off-campus establishments. Rose said the administration is in the midst of dealing with contracts with potential vendors. “We’re going to start with about five vendors and do a test, then we’ll evaluate in a few months,” she said. Rose and Rocheleau hope the proposal will finally be approved after years of effort toward it, Rose said. Contact Mel Flanagan at [email protected]last_img read more

When you get to a fork in the road…take it!

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The title of this week’s post comes from a quote from the dearly departed baseball legend Lawrence “Yogi” Berra.  Apparently, Yogi spun that gem of a line when giving a friend directions to his house in New Jersey.  However, those “directions” might as well have come from the Fed last week.  The Fed’s mixed messages on their view of the U.S. economy, the state of other nations’ financial markets, and their intentions for monetary policy for the remainder of 2015 have left investors and traders as confused as Yogi’s friend must have been.While it is true that events such as Volkswagen’s emission scandal, the continued meltdown in Brazil now spilling over into other emerging markets, and further weakness in commodities have all led to sharp increases in volatility and weaker risk markets across the board, the uncertainty and outright confusion over what the Federal Reserve is going to do or say next dominates the investment landscape.An appropriate analogy to what investors are going through now with monetary policy uncertainty is what business owners went through while they waited for the details of Obamacare. It was tough to create a budget and commit capital to a business without knowing the details or cost of the upcoming health care legislation. This sort of paralysis is what appears to be taking hold in the business of capital markets now. continue reading »last_img read more

Common problems of loan portfolio analysis

first_img 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Loan portfolio analysis gets better and better. That is fact and it is computer driven. Smarter software enables much better loan portfolio analysis which, in turn, should yield a keener understanding of credit risks and portfolio concentration issues.And yet there remain persistent problems and bottlenecks that combine to produce lesser results than we might wish in portfolio analysis. A step towards eradicating these issues is to fully understand them. In knowledge there is the power to streamline the analytical process in ways that produce better results for the credit union.A root issue that produces bad results: Bad data. A lot of what went wrong in the mortgage meltdown of the prior decade is just that loans were issued on the basis of bad data—facts that just weren’t facts.  You can’t issue a loan intelligently without knowing the real facts. That mess is behind us but bad data is a perennial.  The corrective step is to do a lot of validation and verification.  That’s becoming standard operating procedure at many, many institutions and it is a good step in a right direction. continue reading »last_img read more

PREMIUMWithout Jokowi’s favor, PAN sits on the fence ahead of regional polls

first_imgLOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Topics : Forgot Password ? Linkedin After a raucous congress last week, Zulkifli Hasan has secured his second term as National Mandate Party (PAN) chairman. But the shift in political landscape caused by the general election and formation of a new government coalition may bring a new journey for the party that had been part of the government during the first term of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.Zulkifli, who has become the first chairman to serve two periods in the party, said PAN would neither become part of the government coalition nor the opposition.“I did not support Pak Jokowi [in the 2019 election], so we cannot join [the government], let us be,” he said on Wednesday while closing the congress in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi as quoted by Antara.He said the party would become “a critical partner” that would provide solutions for the country’s p… Log in with your social account Google Facebook PAN Zulkifli-Hasan 2020-regional-elections Jokowi-second-term Joko-Widodo amien-raislast_img read more

Coronavirus lockdown drives jump in vodka and whisky sales in Russia

first_img“People are grabbing everything they can – vodka, cognac and beer,” said one employee at a budget supermarket in the Moscow region who was restocking shelves with vodka. “People mostly buy whatever is cheapest.”Sultan Khamzaev, head of Sober Russia which campaigns to reduce alcohol consumption, said the spike in sales was driven by long holidays, stress, fears that alcohol would run out, and a belief among many Russians that alcohol offers some protection against the new coronavirus.Heavy drinking has long been considered a serious health hazard in Russia, especially among men, but alcohol consumption has fallen sharply over the last decade.Authorities have called on Russians to refrain from self-medicating with alcohol and said drinking can neither cure COVID-19 or prevent someone catching it.”Attempting to treat everything with alcohol and delaying medical treatment definitely worsens the situation when a patient arrives [at a hospital], when it is already impossible to save him,” Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on television this week.Yet the Ministry of Industry and Trade has called on regions not to set restrictions on the sale of alcohol, citing potential for “serious social tension” if curbs were imposed. Russian retailers have seen a sharp spike in alcohol sales in recent weeks, with consumers rushing to buy vodka, whisky and beer at a time when Moscow and other regions have imposed partial lockdowns to stem the spread of the coronavirus.In the last week of March, vodka sales across Russia’s largest retail chains jumped 31% in year-on-year terms, while whisky and beer purchases increased 47% and 25% respectively, Nielsen, a market research firm, found.President Vladimir Putin last week prolonged until April 30 a paid non-working period across Russia, which has so far reported 10,131 cases of the novel coronavirus. Many Russian companies have asked employees to work at home, some have told them to take unpaid leave, while others have cut salaries or fired people. In Moscow, residents are only allowed to go out to buy food or medicine at a nearby store, get urgent medical help, walk the dog, or take out the trash.Magnit, one of Russia’s largest food retail chains, said it had seen double-digit growth in alcohol sales since partial lockdowns were introduced across the country.Lenta and O’Key said alcohol sales had increased by a third.The manager of a major alcohol supplier said sales of inexpensive imported alcohol had doubled in annual terms since the measures came into force.center_img Topics :last_img read more

3 ‘ninja cops’ in Pampanga raid dismissed

first_img The three dismissed officials were among the 13 former members of the Pampanga police under the watch of former PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde. They were accused in 2013 of pilfering some 160 kilos of shabu from an operation against a Chinese drug lord. Gramaje managed to escape but Roque, Vital and Guerrero followed him home and allegedly carted away P30,000 and several gadgets. “We have already dismissed 3 of the 13 cops involved in the Pampanga raid for another grave offense in Antipolo,” Gamboa said in a Camp Crame press briefing on Monday. PNP officer-in-charge Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa said that he ordered the dismissal of police Master Sergeants Donald Roque and Rommel Vital, including Corporal Romeo Guerrero Jr. Gamboa also ordered the PNP-Internal Affairs Service to review its recommendation for sanction on Lt. Joven De Guzman, who was only recommended for suspension for 59 days for a lesser offense. De Guzman was linked to the operations in Pampanga and Antipolo City.center_img MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has dismissed three so-called “ninja cops” from the anomalous 2013 Pampanga buy-bust operation. However, the dismissal of the three were not related to the said Pampanga raid six years ago and instead in an operation last May where they allegedly fired at the vehicle of a certain Arnold Gramaje Jr. after he refused their order to alight. “Yung demand ko he will be charged again but this time for a graver offense and sa nakikita ko sa records, there is enough and substantial evidence then I think he will also be dismissed from the service,” said Gamboa./PNlast_img read more

Rodgers wants reaction from players

first_imgLiverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes his side must record back-to-back victories over Norwich and West Ham to stay in touch with their Champions League ambitions. Press Association Things started well with a 4-0 defeat of the Cottagers before a 3-3 draw in the Merseyside derby and the surprise defeat at the KC Stadium. With Norwich and West Ham each enduring difficult seasons and both games at home, successive wins are certainly a possibility for Liverpool and Rodgers wants nothing less. “When we went into the Fulham game we had targets for the number of points we wanted from the next five games. If we get two victories in the next two games that will put us on course for the bigger picture of two points a game,” said Rodgers. “That is the points total that should get us where we want to arrive. “If we were going to lose a game in that run of five I wouldn’t have expected it to be at Hull. That’s no disrespect to them but this was a game where we should come and do much better. We didn’t play well enough and there were too many individual mistakes. “It hurts us all because we were nowhere near our level, but it’s the bigger picture we need to reflect on, because we haven’t had too many days like this. It’s now a massive game against Norwich in Wednesday and we must focus to get the points in that game. “Anfield has been a really good place for us this calendar year so we need to get over this and get three points on Wednesday.” Hull have little time to enjoy one of the finest results in their history – and arugably the biggest home scalp in the top flight – with a trip to table-topping Arsenal on Wednesday. Manager Steve Bruce can at least head to the Emirates in the knowledge that his side can take on the division’s heavyweights and succeed. “It gives you a little bit of belief,” he said. “It’s always hard when you bring a team out of the Championship. Some of these lads haven’t really played in the Premier League, certainly they haven’t played enough. “This gives them that little bit of self belief that they can play here, but every week we have got to be at our best. “It doesn’t give me any more delight that it’s Liverpool, it’s that we’ve got 17 points by December 1st. “We’ve got five wins and we need another five to stay up I think. If we get another five…10, 11 wins is usually enough in my opinion. “Other teams at the bottom have got a lot to do in terms of winning 10 games if they’ve only won one or two so far.” Bruce, meanwhile, appealed for the assistance of reporters to credit his side’s final goal to Tom Huddlestone. The former Tottenham midfielder has been growing his hair for over a year and has pledged not to cut it until he scores. He celebrated as though he had done so on Sunday afternoon but his shot appeared to be going wide until Martin Skrtel headed it past his own goalkeeper and it seems destined to be chalked down as an own-goal. “I need you lot to give us a hand here,” said Bruce. “Tom thinks the back spin was coming back in (to the goal). It means he’s half a stone lighter if he gets the barnet cut off…you have to give it Tom. Help me, then he can get his flaming hair cut.” The Reds suffered a major setback on Sunday with a 3-1 defeat at Hull – a result Rodgers had not accounted for – and only two wins this week will do for the Northern Irishman. He set his team a goal of 10 points from a five-match block that started against Fulham on November 9 and ends with the Hammers’ trip to Anfield on Saturday. last_img read more

Lagos Country Club’s Tennis Festival Begins

first_img“Presently, we have the highest number of talents in the 12&under category in Nigeria. Some of these junior players went for international tournaments ahead of this event and we are expecting an exciting and competitive tournament.“At the senior level, interestingly, a few players have graduated from Group B and are looking forward to cause upsets in the Group A which is the elite class. The determination to excel can be seen in members that have steadied their training in recent weeks all because of the tournament,” statedAluko disclosed that the club intend to use the tournament to discover and nurtured more junior players for Nigeria.Matt Holmes defeated Kola Sofola to win the top prize last year.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The 2017 Lagos Country Club Tennis Festival has served off with over 100 participants vying for honours at the event which will end on September 16.According to section captain, Segun Aluko, the all-clay tournament which is partnered by 9Mobile, will see members feature in Men’s Singles A and B, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Veterans’ Doubles. The junior players are not left out as they will go through four days of clinic before the tussle for supremacy.last_img read more

As USC works to raise its national profile, fraternities are on the chopping block

first_imgJonathon Xue/Daily Trojan Heavy drinking, in particular, has proven to be one of the most dangerous forms of pledging at USC. For many fraternity members, the exact process USC undertakes to investigate Greek organizations is unclear. This came to a head in October when FSLD instructed Sammy and Phi Sigma Kappa to cancel their social activities while they were placed on interim suspension, according to a previous Daily Trojan report. According to the suit, USC provided no opportunity for Theta Xi to cross examine the witness, who was described by fellow members in the suit as “being very disrespectful towards women” and as having allegedly said “women exist on the planet so [he] can have sex with them.” “During the course of the meeting, which lasted two hours, I was asked many leading questions … I was given no time to give any clarification or tell my side of the story,” the suit read. “It felt as if [Turner] had already made her mind up of what she believed and was only set on forcing the answers that she wanted out of me … I wasn’t offered any water or breaks … the mental and emotional stress that this situation brought on me has caused me to lose sleep, suffer … and seek out on-campus counseling.” In DPS reports obtained by Daily Trojan, officers responded to incidents on Greek Row 216 times in 2018. Most responses resulted in the individuals complying with officers’ requests. However, a dozen of those requests resulted in either a full party shutdown or reports sent to Student Affairs. Carry said the most concerning reports the University has received involve students alleging that substances were slipped into their drinks at fraternity parties. As part of the effort to investigate these claims, the Office of Student Affairs has enlisted the help of SJACS, the Office of Professionalism and Ethics and DPS, according to Carry. All four offices work together to interview members of the organizations and key witnesses. Now, as Carry prepares to leave USC in April, fraternities who have reportedly hazed their members are on the chopping block.   Ackerman said he regretted the implication in the comments and that he did not condone hazing, the Daily Trojan previously reported. Sammy’s suspension was lifted a week later, but the organization was suspended again on Jan. 17. That suspension was lifted on March 12. Even though today it is a crime in 44 states, including California, 73 percent of people in college Greek life are hazed, according to Robbins. Hechinger believes, however, that social media and cell phone videos are able to capture so much more of what happens behind closed doors, that “it’s really in your face, so it’s really hard to deny.” CURRENT ALLEGATIONS Despite the criticism over SJACS’ response to hazing allegations, Carry explained that the administration’s policy values safety over social activities. This means that fraternities are watched more closely than they may like, and the administration will continue to closely monitor their social activities. Tucker Judkins/Daily Trojan “The alumni association of fraternities are big donors,” Hechinger said. “They often put pressure on administrators if they crack down, so unless there’s a lot of public pressure or something really horrific happens, the easiest course is to kind of look the other way.” “Any time we receive an allegation for inappropriate behavior by a fraternity, we take action, we will interim suspend,” Carry said. “It has always been our approach and it has always been our practice.” In the past academic year, Sigma Alpha Mu — widely known as “Sammy” — was placed on interim suspension twice for hazing allegations, according to FSLD. “There would be a few nights here and there where the main two guys who were doing their thing were like, ‘We’re going to let some other people take over, and they’ll do the more conventional hazing,’” he said. “Dark robes, loud music, there’s drinking, that sort of thing.” Carry said when he meets with students individually regarding these allegations, they say the situation is common on campus. The former member, who wished to remain anonymous, said the “hazing” he experienced at Sammy consisted mainly of heavy workouts and philosophical discussions — unusual for many fraternities, which tend to include heavy drinking in their hazing processes. During the pledge process, he said most others in his pledge class did not want to participate in these character development activities and instead wanted the “conventional” hazing experience. It’s pitch black in the basement of a house on 28th Street, where approximately 25 freshman boys stand tightly packed. Amid complete silence, the door slams open and loud music pours in. Two men, silhouettes against the yellow light from the doorway, hold enough alcohol to supply a party. They order the pledges to drink up for the long night ahead. The story made national headlines after reports revealed that Piazza’s fraternity brothers did not transport Piazza to the hospital until 12 hours later, where he was pronounced dead the morning after the party. After fraternities are placed on interim suspension, the University’s next step is to investigate the nature of the allegations, Carry said. “After [he] resigned from Theta Xi, he tried to have Theta Xi removed from USC fraternity row and simultaneously threatened several of the members living in the … fraternity house,” the complaint read. His mother filed a lawsuit against the University claiming that Phi Kappa Psi members forced her son to drink so much that he fell off of a platform and injured his head at a party in October 2016, causing him emotional duress in the months that followed. “Beginning in 2018, the chapter implemented a revamped candidate education program that was reviewed and approved by both the International Headquarters and USC’s [FSLD] Office,” Huston wrote. “We are continuing to cooperate fully with the University and are committed to taking additional actions that help ensure all of our members are supporting a healthy and safe environment.” During the incident, Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs Monique Allard sent both fraternities a memo citing violations of health and safety codes and hazing regulations. Phi Sigma Kappa released a statement following the incident announcing its plans to potentially sue the University over a lack of transparency. “We are disappointed about the misconduct from Fall 2017 involving our chapter at USC,” Huston wrote. “Since [the Las Vegas incident], we have made substantial changes at the Mu Theta chapter, including completely new chapter leadership.” “I am concerned about the number of random, loosely connected reports that we receive about students having something slipped into their drinks or being roofied at a party or an event,” Carry said. “We will get one report, then we won’t hear anything else in a long time. Then we will get another report.” Hazing at USC fraternities ranges in intensity, encompassing everything from making pledges do menial tasks for active members to forcing them to drink alcohol until they black out. “As long as [fraternities] have a pledge process, inevitably one year or another, it’s going to get out of control, or something terrible is going to happen,” Hechinger said. John Hechinger, a senior editor at Bloomberg News and author of “True Gentlemen: The Broken Pledge of America’s Fraternities,” says, however, that universities traditionally aren’t in any rush to get fraternities in trouble due to the rock-solid alumni ties they often institute. Fraternities codified this system for their pledge programs, and ever since then, hazing has been a way to distinguish the men who are not committed or “weak,” according to Hechinger. The former member was placed on social probation and eventually resigned from the organization after reports that he engaged in sexual misconduct and racist behavior, the suit read. The former member attempted to join another fraternity but was dismissed from that fraternity due to similar sexual misconduct allegations.   “Hazing can be viewed as a means of group survival,” she writes. “People generally want to believe that they are decent citizens who make good decisions. So when they do something stupid or cruel, they feel uncomfortable afterward when they try to reconcile their behavior with their image of themselves.” “The Mu Theta chapter does not condone the events from Fall 2017,” the USC chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu said in a statement to the Daily Trojan. “The current leadership was elected based on an anti-hazing platform.” THE CULTURE OF HAZING Huston confirmed that the leaders involved in the incident are no longer affiliated with the fraternity. That culture is now starting to change, a Daily Trojan investigation has found. Following multiple reports of hazing from different USC fraternities, the University is cracking down on misconduct among Greek organizations. In the past year, five fraternities were investigated for hazing violations, misconduct or drug abuse, according to USC’s Office of Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development. Three ultimately lost University recognition. “Unfortunately, the University’s standard operating procedure has been to ‘suspend first, provide information later,’” the statement read. “We believe that procedure runs counter to the law, due process and fundamental fairness.” Hechinger explains that many fraternities who claim they have eliminated hazing still have a “pledge program,” which is essentially a cover for continuing the same activities. Another screenshot sent anonymously to the Daily Trojan shows a Las Vegas scavenger hunt list from October 2017 that allegedly instructed Sammy pledges to film an “active shooter conspiracy video” inside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, where the largest mass shooting in recent U.S. history had taken place just three weeks prior. SJACS did not confirm whether it investigated this incident. Carry explained that organizations are notified of their conduct violations and are given an opportunity to state their case afterward. When the University comes to a decision, organizations are invited to  make an appeal. “There have been at least six organizations that have been suspended over the past three years, and it’s a five-to-six-year suspension,” Carry said. “What has changed is that more students are reporting these incidents now.” Phi Sigma Kappa was taken off of interim suspension after the University failed to find conclusive evidence for allegations of misconduct in November 2018. “Theta Xi was never provided official notice outlining the specific factual allegations or policies allegedly violated and was only told there were ‘reports of alleged behaviors that may have endangered the University community, including hazing,’” the lawsuit read. Sabrina Chen/Daily Trojan The case echoes the 2017 death of Penn State University student Timothy Piazza, who participated in a pledging ritual called “The Gauntlet” at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. After drinking heavily, Piazza was so inebriated that he fell down a flight of stairs and was knocked unconscious. “We will continue to cooperate with the University administration as they investigate concerns,” Sammy said in a statement to Daily Trojan. “[We are] committed to creating a safe and positive fraternity experience at USC. We will continue our cooperation with SJACS on this matter and hope that a resolution can be reached quickly.” These incidents are the culmination of more than a century of pledging tradition. Hazing, specifically by men, in American higher education dates back to just after the end of the Civil War, when soldiers who had experienced hazing in the military brought it with them to academic institutions. Hazing has become such an integral part of the fraternity experience that college freshmen come to campus with expectations already in place. In an interview with the Daily Trojan, an inactive member of Sammy who joined in Fall 2015 and spent three years as a member of the fraternity said hazing continues because pledges expect and want to be hazed. The suit alleges Theta Xi was placed on interim suspension as a result of the filed complaint, and the organization was never provided with an official notice outlining the allegations. Pledges are told by pledge masters not to discuss hazing outside of the fraternity, according to the former Sammy member. “It’s not a CSI investigation,” Carry said. “People are not in [the fraternity houses] with blue lights and scanning for fingerprints.” Carry said that by having the fraternities suspend social activities and events, the University can ensure that no further harm occurs, if the allegations are proven to be true. Andy Huston, executive director of Sammy’s national chapter, wrote in a statement to the Daily Trojan that the USC chapter has changed its policies since the hazing incidents and is committed to enforcing member safety. Last month, nine brothers from Delta Kappa Epsilon at Louisiana State University were arrested for hazing-related crimes. They allegedly forced pledges to lie in mounds of broken glass while the active members kicked them with steel-toed boots and urinated on them, according to the New York Post.   Carry explained that the University aims to notify the accused party of a decision no more than 15 days after first notifying them of their violations. However, it took approximately 21 days for Phi Sigma Kappa and Sammy to be notified of their decisions. Carry attributes the extended turnaround time to the fact that many fraternity members and pledges do not show up for interviews, which are part of the investigation. JUSTICE AND DUE PROCESS Jordan Carmona, a judicial officer from SJACS, said conclusions to the investigations are not made public. Instead, when an investigation on a house is concluded, the final decision is given to the chapter president, who decides what to do with the information. The first suspension began in October 2018 while the University investigated alleged hazing violations. In addition to the allegations against Sammy, the USC chapter of Theta Xi filed a lawsuit against SJACS Director Donna Budar-Turner and Carry in 2018 after losing University recognition due to a hazing allegation that the fraternity claims is false. The screenshots, which were also sent anonymously to the Daily Trojan, show Ackerman and others supporting a post that encouraged pledges to have sex in a casket during “hell week” — the final, most intense week of pledging for new fraternity members before initiation. According to the suit, a former member of Theta Xi reported concerns of organizational misconduct to SJACS in January 2018. Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards declined to comment on past investigations, though Sammy confirmed it was being investigated by SJACS. According to Vice President for Student Affairs Ainsley Carry, this number is unprecedented. Carry said he believes this increase is due to the University receiving more reports of concerning behavior than ever before through Department of Public Safety calls, the LiveSafe app and anonymous tips. Turner found the complaint against Theta Xi was substantiated and sanctioned the immediate loss of recognition for the fraternity. Lillian Zeng/Daily Trojan The FSLD website lists five Greek organizations that were investigated over the past year: Sigma Alpha Mu, Pi Kappa Phi, Phi Sigma Kappa, Phi Kappa Psi and Theta Xi. For decades, scenes like this one — conveyed to the Daily Trojan by a former fraternity member — have felt familiar to students who go through the process of joining, or “pledging,” a fraternity. To prove their dedication, new fraternity members typically go through an initiation period that lasts several weeks or months, which can involve hazing — harassment or abuse from older members of the house. According to previous Daily Trojan reporting, the members allegedly pressured him not to seek immediate medical attention out of fear that they would get in trouble with the University, even though he exhibited concussion-like symptoms such as vomiting, dizziness and headaches. His mother claims in the lawsuit that fraternity members gave her son cocaine and Adderall so that he could resume his pledge duties. A month later, the Undergraduate Student Government received screenshots from a private Sammy member Facebook group showing pro-hazing comments made in Fall 2017 by current members, including outgoing USG Vice President Blake Ackerman, the Daily Trojan previously reported. “When we receive the reports that we received, out of … taking care of the community, I would prefer to stop a group, then receive a continuation of hazing reports,” Carry said. “If a kid dies, we won’t be having a conversation about why you didn’t let them throw a party.” In her 2019 book “Fraternity: An Inside Look at a Year of College Boys Becoming Men,” investigative journalist Alexandra Robbins writes that fraternity hazing in the United States increased in the late 1800s as a way for upperclassmen to intimidate younger members. These investigations come on the heels of a turbulent year for Greek life on campus. The University deferred the rush process — which traditionally takes place in the first week of fall classes — until the spring for students who do not have a USC GPA, most of whom are incoming freshmen and transfer students. Carry championed this initiative as essential for mental health and academic performance. Carry said the increase in suspensions this year is not because the University’s commitment to ensuring safety has changed but because of the amount of reports and tips that the University has received. Carry said, however, that he urges anyone with information regarding substance abuse, hazing or general concerns to report it, even if the reports are anonymous. In terms of due process, however, Carry said judicial processes for individuals are different than due process for organizations. “But we are not getting these reports of this happening all the time,” Carry said. “We need those reports because those reports eventually give us a pattern. I know people think, ‘Oh, this happened to me and two of my friends, it’s not a big deal, I don’t want to report it or make a big deal out of it’ … We need those reports to identify these patterns.” In April 2017, Alasdair Russell, who was pledging Phi Kappa Psi, died by suicide after withdrawing from USC that January. “What’s missing in that notification is more specifics,” Carry said. “Sometimes, those specific details jeopardize the reporting party.” Pi Kappa Phi, Phi Kappa Psi and Theta Xi officially lost University recognition after investigations found evidence of hazing. The suit also includes a report from Theta Xi’s president detailing his experience with Turner during SJACS’ investigation of the fraternity while it was on interim suspension. “Everyone knows hazing is happening, and if you make it into specifics, then it’s a liability,” the former member said. “While we review this allegation, we pause [the fraternities’] activities so that we can [have a] thorough investigation,” Carry said. “During an interim suspension, we’re doing our homework. We interview … and gather information.” “But it often gets into really ugly stuff,” Hechinger said. “Humiliation, and the worst is forced drinking that has killed so many students.” The former member described how pledges would be placed in a room and told to drink a set amount of alcohol — on weeknights or before chapter meetings. last_img read more