EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern University has temporarily suspended all fraternity-related activities in the Interfraternity Council following reports that people were drugged without consent at on-campus housing.
The news prompted reactions from Northwestern students, most of whom were critical of Greek life. About 2,000 people protested outside on-campus fraternity houses Sunday night, demanding the university abolish Greek life altogether.
“Hey ho, hey ho, greek life has got to go,” the crowd shouted.
On Monday, Northwestern student Jordan Checkoff told WGN that the allegations were not new.
“I think I was, unfortunately, not surprised,” Checkoff said. “It was definitely a shock and made me really sad to see. It’s one of those things you get used to hearing about.”
According to a crime alert issued by the university, the college received a report that an individual was drugged without consent at a gathering Saturday night at Sigma Alpha Epsilon party in the 2300 block of Sheridan Road. The fraternity recently returned after a year-long suspension following drugging allegations involving four women at a party in 2017.
The university adds that authorities continue to investigate separate incidents related to drugging allegations, which they received on Friday, Sept. 24. Individuals alleged they were drugged without consent while attending a gathering in the 500 block of Lincoln St.
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“I think the problems that occurred are pretty persistent across Greek life, so I think it’s a good move to do what they can to prevent more people from being unsafe or being hurt,” said Northwestern University student Julia Lucas.
University student Kevin Beck agreed with Northwestern’s decision to suspend some fraternity-related activities.
“I think the school absolutely did the right thing, temporarily,” Beck said. “Obviously, something has to change. Whether or not the school suspends all the fraternities forever, that’s a different question.”
An email sent to students from university officials said that attendees’ health, safety, and well-being are a “top priority.” Northwestern said they take the drugging allegations very seriously.
WGN reached out to university officials for additional comments on Monday. Communications and Public Relations manager Jonny Sao, manager of communication and public relations, issued the following:
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.
Student Nathan Jeremie said he hopes action taken by the university has longstanding effects.
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“Unfortunately, no, this isn’t the first time something like this has happened,” Jeremie said. “Unless the school takes meaningful action, it won’t be the last.”