'Animal House' frat accused of branding members.

AuthorRamer, Holly

Byline: Holly Ramer

CONCORD, N.H. -- A Dartmouth College fraternity that partly inspired the 1978 movie ''Animal House'' has been accused of branding new members while under suspension last fall, but the group's lawyer denies that anyone was hazed or hurt.

Alpha Delta, which has a recent history of hazing and other disciplinary violations, was suspended in October for breaking alcohol rules during one party and hosting another without registering it with the college. Officials are now extending that suspension over new allegations, first reported Tuesday by the website Gawker, that members were branded last fall.

Attorney George Ostler said Wednesday that the fraternity acknowledges that a small group of members voluntarily chose to get body brands, but said the practice was never a condition of membership and has since stopped.

''This was viewed as a form of self-expression, similar to body piercing or tattooing,'' he said. ''The facts are that no hazing occurred, under either New Hampshire law or under Dartmouth College's standards. Contrary to other reports, no one has been injured by this activity.''

College spokesman Justin Anderson declined to discuss details of the allegations, including how many students may have been branded or what they may have been branded with, but the college has described the fraternity's previous behavior.

After being on probation for most of the previous three years, the fraternity was suspended in October for hosting an unregistered party for about 70 people in August and for a March 2014 party that featured rum, whiskey and other liquor without having a designated server or someone checking IDs.

That suspension was supposed to end March 29, but Anderson said Dartmouth is extending...

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