Northwestern fraternity drugging allegations prompt calls to end Greek life

Alleged victim claims poor treatment at Evanston hospital
EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) -- After an announcement was made that some fraternity activities at Northwestern University were canceled Sunday after reports of alleged drugging incidents, many students said it's almost not surprising.

Some Northwestern fraternity activities have been suspended, effective immediately, after reports of alleged drugging incidents without consent at gatherings on campus, the university announced Sunday.

The school has launched a full investigation into these allegations after students said they were drugged at two frat houses.

"I think that the university needs to act more forcefully and it's definitely not a new problem," said Jon Pierce, a past international president of Alpha Epsilon Pi International.

Many students heading to class Monday morning said they're tired of hearing the same stories on repeat about fraternities in hot water.

"They get in trouble, and then you think that they learn their lesson, but like clearly this isn't the case," student Jill Girardi said.

RELATED: Northwestern investigates reports of drugging, sex assault at 2 fraternities

The latest allegations add fuel to the already simmering debate about whether Greek life should continue to have a presence on campus.

This Instagram page, "Abolish NU Greek Life" was launched last summer. Among the posts are anonymous narratives of discriminatory behavior and sexual assault.

"Overall, it's a system that definitely needs reforms and it's our burden as students to either disconnect from it or remove it from our campus life," said Northwestern student, Cat Jacob.

"For the ones who follow the rules, I think it's a pretty nice environment for them and they seem to enjoy it, but maybe there should be more restrictions," added fellow student, Ethan Nourbash.

The university said they received a report on Saturday that an individual was allegedly drugged without consent at a gathering in the 2300-block of Sheridan Road in Evanston.

School officials said they are investigating the report, as well as separate but similar reports received on Friday from a gathering in the 500-block of Lincoln Street.

"I don't know; it's almost not surprising anymore, but it's kind of sad that it gets to be commonplace," student Nathan Ryan said.

In response to the recent claims, school officials said they are halting all social activities, including recruitment events, until at least Oct. 17 while they investigate the incidents.

"I mean they put a ban on social gatherings for like two weeks, and I just think it shows that it goes deeper than that, and we can't keep putting Band-Aids over this," student Zosia Alarr said.

Police and Northwestern are not naming the fraternities in their campus alerts, but the addresses match the Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Alpha Epsilon Pi houses.

"SAE should never have been able to come back to campus. They've done similar things before," said student, Imani Harris.

About four years ago, the university investigated the SAE house, which also has its national headquarters on campus.

It was a similar narrative -- two separate reports of women drugged and possibly sexually assaulted.

RELATED: Loyola University Chicago student protest claims school is ignoring sexual assault allegations

Northwestern opted not to pursue disciplinary action. Then, months later, the university suspended the chapter from campus for hosting a social event with alcohol while on probation for a previous code of conduct incident.

But the fraternity remains part of Greek life, as some protestors call for fraternities to be abolished on campus.

"Especially because it has its roots in racism and keeping us segregated, I just don't think it has a place on our campus," Alarr said.

Protests erupted Sunday in front of the two fraternity houses at the center of the criminal investigation.

"I know that people like Greek life, but I think it just fosters a lot of issues that are hard to root out without sort of changing a lot of it," Ryan said.

Alleged victim claims poor treatment at Evanston hospital



One of the women who said she was drugged is now slamming the Evanston Hospital she went to for treatment.

In an op-ed in the campus newspaper, the woman said workers at the hospital refused to do a full drug test.

She claims they also listed the reason for her hospital visit as "alcohol intoxication," even though the woman said she only had two drinks in a three hour time period.

The woman released a statement that said:

"I wrote my Op-Ed with the purpose of bringing to light the horrific treatment of me by the medical staff at the NorthShore University HealthSystem branch in Evanston, which is the hospital tasked with caring for Northwestern students in emergency situations. I want to make sure that what happened to me in that emergency room does not happen to any of my fellow students. The events of the past few days have been incredibly overwhelming, but I am optimistic that those who drugged me, the hospital workers and administration, and the institutions that failed me and many of my peers will be held accountable for their actions."

NorthShore University HealthSystem officials also released a statement that read:

"We take these matters very seriously and prioritize health and safety across our organization. Out of respect for patient privacy, we are unable to provide further comment."

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One of the women who says she was drugged is now slamming the Evanston Hospital she went to for treatment.



Both fraternities have issued statements about the recent incidents



A spokesman for Alpha Epsilon Pi said:

"Alpha Epsilon Pi is horrified by these stories and our members are cooperating fully with the University's investigation in order to find the responsible individuals. If proven guilty, those perpetrators should be punished to the fullest extent of the law."

"Our members are cooperating fully with the University's investigation in order to find the responsible individuals. If proven guilty, those perpetrators should be punished to the fullest extent of the law," Pierce added.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon also said in part:

"These allegations do not represent the Fraternity's values as defined by our creed, The True Gentlemen. Our priority is the safety and well-being of our members, guests, and their respective communities."

SAE released another statement later Monday that read:

"The Fraternity Service Center of Sigma Alpha Epsilon has issued a cease-and-desist on its chapter at Northwestern University to continue reviewing recent allegations against the chapter and learn more about the claims. This order temporarily restricts chapter activities, including social, philanthropic, service, initiation, and recruitment events. As referenced in our previous statement, these allegations do not represent the Fraternity's values as defined by our creed, The True Gentleman. Our priority remains the safety and well-being of our members, guests, and their respective communities."

Anyone with information regarding the reports is asked to call Northwestern University Police at (847) 491-3456.

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