Frat parties at Cornell suspended after reported druggings

Northeast

Cornell University buildings viewed from McGraw Tower.

(NewsNation) — All fraternity parties and social events at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, have been temporarily suspended after the drugging of at least four students and the sexual assault of another.

In a statement, Cornell’s president, Martha E. Pollack, and Ryan Lombardi, the vice president of student and campus life, said they were “outraged and saddened” by what happened.

“We strongly condemn the actions of all individuals responsible for these criminal violations,” they said.

The incidents allegedly happened at off-campus residences affiliated with registered fraternities, the statement said. No students or individual fraternities were named in the statement.

On Friday, the Cornell University Police Department issued a crime alert saying it was made aware of at least four incidents between Sept. 24 and Nov. 3 where students reported consuming little to no alcohol but still becoming incapacitated while attending parties.

The individuals reported they were exposed to Rohypnol, or “roofies.” According to the Department of Justice, Rohypnol is a central nervous system depressant that is not manufactured or approved for sale in the U.S. It has been used in the commission of sexual assaults, and is typically administered to victims by slipping it into a drink, according to the Justice Department.

Another crime alert, sent Nov.6, stated that another individual reported that they were sexually assaulted between 2:30 and 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

During an emergency meeting Sunday evening, student leaders of the Interfraternity Council, which governs some of the fraternities at Cornell, decided to pause IFC-affiliated social events until they can “take place responsibly and safely.”

“We reiterate that Cornell must be a caring community where all students feel respected and safe,” Pollack and Lombardi said. “We must all remain firm in our conviction that this behavior must be eradicated from our community, whether or not we — or our organizations — were directly involved.”

Police and Cornell administrators are investigating. Those with information about the reported crimes can reach out to the Cornell University Police Department at 607-255-1111 or the Ithaca Police Department at 607-272-3245.

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