Sorority Member's Story Calls Hazing 'Weirdly Worth It,' College Investigates Claims

PHOTO: The outside of the Sigma Delta Tau sorority house at Union College in New York is seen here. Courtesy Concordiensis
The outside of the Sigma Delta Tau sorority house at Union College in New York.

A New York college has put a sorority's pledging on hold while it looks into hazing claims made by a recent graduate in a Cosmopolitan magazine article about the "trauma" of sorority hazing and why it was "weirdly worth it."

Tess Koman, a 2013 graduate of Union College in Schenectady, described the experience of sorority pledging as "at once one of the best and worst decisions I've ever made," but ultimately decided that "the benefits outweigh the hazing."

She detailed a number of alleged hazing situations, including being "forced to dance for all the fraternities on campus to absurdly sexual songs" and "lineups" during which pledges were expected to rush to the sorority house wearing all-white and no makeup.

"We'd have to line up in alphabetical order and take turns stepping into one spotlight in the middle of the house basement," she wrote. "All of the sisters sat in the dark. We couldn't see anything, but they could see all of us and our every imperfection."

The sorority sisters would ask "ridiculous and mean" questions, force the pledges to dance and make them cry, Koman said.

She also described being locked in the sorority house's basement and crying over having to share one toilet with 42 girls.

Koman said she sometimes felt "ashamed and a little gross" and questioned why she was putting herself through the pledging but ultimately knew this was what she had to endure to be accepted into the sisterhood.

"There's a flip side to the trauma, though: Like all the happy tears when I nailed my 'sound-off' (a routine each pledge had to perform whenever asked) and earned plenty of snaps (exactly what they sound like -- just like in 'Legally Blonde')."

Koman wrote that after she finally became a sister, she "adored bossing around incoming pledges" and putting them through the same pain that she went through.

"I could hear and see myself being mean and I hated it, but I also wanted these girls to love the sisterhood the way I did when they were done pledging," she wrote. "Hazing felt, in a twisted way, like some kind of service."

"Pledging and getting hazed is horrible. But there's a reason it's not going anywhere any time soon," Koman concluded.

Union College is investigating the hazing claims made in the Cosmopolitan story.

"We don't tolerate hazing at Union," the college said in a statement. "The column references incidents that allegedly took place three years ago and we are working with the national chapter of Sigma Delta Tau to review the claims. In the meantime, we have asked the current leadership of the sorority to put on hold pledging activity until the review is complete."

The school's handbook says that New York State law and Union College policy prohibit hazing "in all its forms."

"Individuals, organizations and athletic teams engaging in hazing may be subject to criminal prosecution according to the laws of the State of New York," the policy says. "The college will pursue all allegations of hazing and may impose severe disciplinary action up to and including loss of recognition by the organization or club, suspension of the team's season, and expulsion of individuals from the college."

Sigma Delta Tau did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.