Greek life is a fact of life for students at pretty much every large university, and beyond single-handedly supporting the sale of Hamm’s beer and cheap cocaine, frats and sororities are largely a negative influence on college towns. From violence, to property damage, to tree theft, Madison fraternities are a particularly destructive set. One frat in particular, Kappa Upsilon Mu, has been in hot water recently for actions and remarks made over all of the group's existence. “Yeah uhhh, apparently our founder, like said some race stuff and donated a bunch of money to the uhhh Ku Kubs Kan? I don’t know what that is, my history class was an 8:50, so I legit did not go” said the current group president, Thad.
The trouble with the group started with the slogan used over an 80 year period by every group’s president. According to an investigation by a local Madison student org, the slogan included “slurs that had not been in widespread use since the turn of the 20th century” one investigator added, “I’ve seen plenty of racist shit from frats, but the anti-Italian bigotry in this chant was a little odd to see”. There was also the problem of the “Irish need not apply” sign that hung in the KUM house’s entryway until 2007. This pattern of racism really never went away, although a big step in the right direction was made in the 90s when Italian members were finally allowed to join.
Beyond the long history of occasionally very strange discrimination, there is also the issue of the fraternities yearly hazing tradition of “beat the shit out of a pledge until he’s unconscious” which fraternity vice president Brad says is, “really our strongest test of brotherhood, and like we give those guys enough vodka where they probably can’t even feel it anyway”. This violence is only the tip of the iceberg, as in 2014 the group was caught dumping old computers into Lake Mendota, although they claim this was just to make an artificial reef.
Calls for the ban of KUM from campus have intensified over the years thanks partially to massive parties during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, much to the surprise of fraternity brothers. “Yeah I just don’t get why everyone’s so mad, we have the best darties on campus and there are like, consistently mostly 8s and above at functions. People just need to stop being such snowflakes.” When asked for comment, a UW representative looked around frantically before sprinting away.