The University of Southern California (USC) has suspended social fraternity activities after a sexual assault investigation began in connection with the Sigma Nu fraternity house.
The USC Interfraternity Council announced the suspension after allegations of sexual abuse and drugs being slipped into drinks during fraternity parties.
“The Interfraternity Council is disturbed and angered by the reported incidents of drugging and sexual violence by members of the Sigma Nu chapter at the University of Southern California,” The IFC said in a written statement. We are disgusted this violence took place in our community. There is no place for this abhorrent misconduct nor a culture that supports it in the Interfraternity Council community at the University of Southern California or anywhere.”
The USC Dept. of Public Safety put out a “Timely Warning-Crime Alert” about the allegations on Oct. 20 and encouraged students to report any further relating information to the university or LAPD.
Multiple reports followed the alert and the Dept. of Public safety said it would increase security.
LAPD has confirmed Sigma Nu USC Chapter President Ryan Schiffilea as a suspect in the investigation, but no arrests have been made.
“One of the matters currently under investigation involves an allegation of sexual assault against an individual student member,” Sigma Nu Fraternity said in a statement. “That individual’s fraternity membership was suspended immediately by our chapter and by the National fraternity, pending the completion of applicable investigations and procedures.”
USC campus police incident report list at least five incidents of drugs being slipped into drink at parties, dating back to Sept. 27, according to the Daily News.
“Such behaviors are deeply disturbing,” USC President Carol Folt said in a statement. “They hurt people and go against everything we stand for as a community.”
Hundreds of protesters gathered at USC’s “Fraternity Row” on Monday, posting signs outside the Sigma Nu house that read, “Rape House,” and “Abolish Greek Life.”
Despite a moratorium on fraternity activities, the IFC is investigating possible violations over the weekend, according to the USC campus newspaper, the Daily Trojan.
The Daily Trojan editorial board also called for the Intrafraternity Council to be “abolished,” saying:
“Fraternities are dangerous institutions that reinforce harmful behavior toward women, nonbinary individuals and people of color. These institutions are places where racism, sexism, homophobia and classism flourish.”