Drugging, Sexual Assault Reports Prompt Cornell to Pause Fraternity Parties

At least four students have been drugged over the past several weeks at fraternity parties, and the sexual assault happened last weekend.

Drugging, Sexual Assault Reports Prompt Cornell to Pause Fraternity Parties

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Ithaca, New York – Cornell University on Monday temporarily suspended all fraternity parties and social events following recent reports of a sexual assault and women being drugged.

According to Cornell Police, at least four students have been drugged over the past several weeks, and the sexual assault happened last weekend.

It’s not clear if the druggings and sexual assault are related, reports the Ithaca Voice. The drugging incidents happened between September 24 and November 3, and police believe the victims were given Rohypnol, also known as “roofies.” Very often, the drug is used by perpetrators to facilitate date rape.

All of the incidents happened at off campus residences affiliated with fraternities registered with Cornell University, reports CBS News.

According to University President Martha Pollack, the Interfraternity Council at Cornell (IFC) voluntarily made the decision on Sunday evening in an emergency meeting.

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

In its November 4 crime alert, Cornell Police said it had been made aware of at least four incidents “in which students reported to have consumed little to no alcohol at an off-campus location but became incapacitated while attending parties.”

Members of the campus community are urged to go to the hospital and contact Cornell Police if they suspect they’ve consumed an altered substance.

Cornell Police can be contacted at (607) 255-1111 and by the school’s RAVE Guardian app. The Ithaca Police Department can be reached at (607) 272-9973.

Cornell University is far from being the first school to suspend its fraternities’ social activities. In the fall of 2021, the University of Southern California (USC) shut down all Greek life social events in response to allegations of sexual assault and reports of drugs being placed in women’s drinks. In September of that same year, Northwestern University (NU) suspended all fraternity-related activities as police investigated multiple allegations that people were drugged at on-campus fraternity houses.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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