Cornell Suspends Fraternity Parties After Allegations of Sexual Assault, Druggings

Cornell University's Interfraternity Council made the move as police and university officials investigate alleged crimes that occurred at fraternity-affiliated residences off campus.
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  • University police reported they received multiple reports of druggings and a sexual assault allegation between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3 at off-campus locations.
  • The Interfraternity Council executive board and chapter presidents voluntarily suspended all social activities to work on a plan to address safety concerns.
  • The student leaders also pointed to the bravery of those who came forward.

Student leaders from Cornell University's Interfraternity Council (IFC) last week voluntarily suspended all social fraternity events, following recent allegations of a sexual assault and druggings.

On Nov. 3, the Cornell University Police Department crime log reported that on multiple instances between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3, officers were dispatched to an off-campus location affiliated with registered fraternities, where students reported drinking little to no alcohol but became incapacitated.

According to The Cornell Daily Sun, at least four drugging incidents reportedly took place. The students reported being exposed to Rohypnol, better known as "roofies" or "date-rape drugs," at the parties.

In the early hours of Nov. 6, another student reported being sexually assaulted at an off-campus location, also affiliated with a registered fraternity, according to a statement from Cornell President Martha Pollack and Ryan Lombardi, vice president of Student and Campus Life.

That evening, the IFC executive board and current IFC chapter presidents held an emergency meeting with university staff, where they temporarily suspended all fraternity parties and social events, according to the student newspaper. Cornell's IFC governs over 30 registered fraternities,

On Nov. 7, Pollack and Lombardi issued their shared statement condemning those found responsible and supporting the IFC's "necessary pause."

"Fraternity leaders will take this time to implement stronger health and safety plans. No IFC-affiliated social events will resume until student leaders and Cornell staff are confident activities can take place responsibly and safely," the statement said.

"We strongly condemn the actions of all individuals responsible for these criminal violations. Police and Cornell administrative investigations are underway. All found responsible will be held accountable."

In a letter to the Sun, IFC leaders said they are taking these reports seriously and investigating their current practices to ensure a safer community.

"Student and Campus Life is working alongside the IFC to review the current culture and identify areas for growth that will result in positive change for the whole community," the IFC executive board wrote to the student newspaper.

"Furthermore, we affirm the bravery of those individuals in our campus community who made the important choice to come forward," they said.