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If Not For His Brother's Advice, Andrew Lohse May Never Have Made Hazing Claims

08/26/2014 03:33 pm ET | Updated Aug 27, 2014

Andrew Lohse still drinks, but he usually avoids beer now.

"I was never really a big beer fan," Lohse said in an interview. "I just drank so much of it for a period of time -- it's not that it brings up memories, but it's just something I'm not interested in."

Such a revelation wouldn't necessarily be noteworthy coming from any former Dartmouth College student, but Lohse gained notoriety in 2012 for speaking out about the hazing he said took place in his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Central to the hazing, Lohse said, was plenty of beer chugging -- and then vomiting of said brewskies so more could be consumed. In "Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy," his new memoir released Tuesday, Lohse further details the hazing and life after it. He also describes how he got into cocaine, which ultimately led to his being arrested twice and taking a leave of absence from Dartmouth.

After he wrote an op-ed in Dartmouth's student newspaper in January 2012 on hazing at SAE, Lohse was derided on campus. The school says it investigated his claims when he came forward in 2010 and again in 2012, leading to probation for SAE.

In 2013, Lohse joined a group of student activists filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education alleging underreporting of crime on campus, prompting two ongoing federal investigations. And now, he has returned with a book about his allegations.

But Lohse says might never have gone public with his accusations if not for the advice of his brother, Jon, and his brother's boyfriend.

Lohse writes about losing his first serious girlfriend in college after he visited her following a night of heavy drinking at the frat house and urinated on her bathroom floor. His next relationship was with an older student, and the two of them snorted coke together frequently; they were arrested for it in spring 2010, leading to a one-year suspension from Dartmouth. Lohse's parents divorced around the same time.

During his suspension, Lohse writes, it was Jon and Jon's boyfriend who frequently counseled him to go public: Shame the university and go to the media, they said. Lohse was resistant, as was his girlfriend. But he ultimately decided to follow his brother's advice after breaking up with his reluctant girlfriend and returning to campus in 2011.

Lohse found himself less enthused about fraternity life, he writes, and often uninterested in participating in SAE activities, meetings and events. The excitement of being at Dartmouth "deflates rather quickly," Lohse told The Huffington Post.

"It was hard for me to process it," Lohse said. "I couldn't see it the way I once had. It wasn't funny anymore."

But Lohse didn't go public until after he had taken part in hazing the 2011 pledge class and had been arrested for disorderly conduct. His actions have provided plenty of ammo for his critics to this day.

The school seems eager to move past his allegations, with a college spokesman noting Dartmouth's ongoing campus culture reform effort. The fraternity officially maintains there's no evidence that his hazing allegations were true.

Several people mentioned under pseudonyms in the book declined to speak on the record when reached by The Huffington Post.

One former fraternity brother did confirm some aspects of the hazing mentioned, like the pressure for each pledge to drink 10 cups of beer before the end of Wednesday night meetings. Some of it, the former brother said, was unique to Lohse's pledge class and partly due to the uniquely "sadistic" ideas that year's pledge trainers had. But he notes any hazing was more due to social pressure and not a strict requirement, and that some pledges stayed dry through his pledge term without consequence.

But even Lohse's allies, like 2011 Dartmouth graduate Jordan Osserman, who criticized the fraternities alongside him, concede Lohse is divisive at the Ivy League school.

"He was just this very scandalous figure," Osserman said. "People found it easy to dismiss him because of who he was anyway."

Lohse is fine with that, on the surface at least.

"It's an unvarnished portrait," Lohse said of the book. "I was a college student, I was a drunk frat boy. People are free to come their own opinions. It's a book about context. I don't see being honest about personal failings would take away the honesty about other items in the book."

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