In their zeal to join a fraternity at Towson University, Brad Notaro and his fellow pledges submitted to a battery of humiliation and abuse.
At the direction of students they hoped would make them brothers at Pi Lambda Phi, they ran and performed jumping jacks for hours on end, crouched under a cold shower holding a bag of ice, ate raw flour and drank a bitter concoction that made them vomit.
Now it was Hell Week — the culmination of the pledge process — and Notaro, 18, was nearing a breaking point. For three days, he said, the brothers forbade him from sleeping and forced him to drink alcohol.
To cope with the stress, Notaro said in a recent...