Above the frigid flow of the Minnesota River at Tau Mu Tau sorority at Gustavus College, singing has been a been tradition for years.
None of the "TMs," as they're sometimes called, know the origin or exactly when it started. But they know the words to the tune they sing in unison during the school year.
"We must, we must, we must increase our bust," begins a song. That line comes from Judy Blume's "Are You There God? It's Me Margaret."
The next line the sorority sings does not appear in Blume's young adult classic: "I have to admit, I'm obsessed with tits."
The song (known to sorority sisters by the name "Big Titties") isn't meant "in any negative way," says sorority member Caroline Probst. "This is just a song that has been passed down for years."
Not for the next three, it won't be.
The sorority is one of four Greek life organizations that have been suspended by the college as of late November. The harshest sentence, three years, went to the TMs. Fraternities Phi Alpha and Omega Kappa and the Delta Phi Omega sorority were all hit with one-year suspensions and two years on probation.
According to officials at the private college that enrolls about 2,300 students, the punishments come after a Gustavus investigation into hazing and harassment allegations.
"The suspended organizations were investigated this fall after the Gustavus Dean of Students Office received several first-hand reports of alleged policy violations," the college's statement read.
Members from the suspended Greek groups contend it's more like the administration wanting to show it's tough in light of recent events at the school. And whom better to go after than frat houses and sororities?
"This is because the school believes that our 'traditions' are too grounded into our sorority," Probst explains.
The college's findings into its Greek organizations has not been made public. Various media have reported another of the specific violations involved a "kidnapping" incident, in which the president of Omega Kappa fraternity was taken out by other members for a night of partying.
According to the college, the singing and kidnapping episodes constituted violations of its hazing policy, which prohibits, in part, students to "create or use explicit songs" or activities that "take place… without the consent of the hazed."
JJ Akin, Gustavus' director of media relations, had no further comment beyond the college's written statement.
The suspensions affect some of Gustavus' largest Greek life organizations. They can no longer participate in campus activities and can't recruit new members. The four groups were removed from the Greek life list on the college's website last week.
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