ITHACA, N.Y. (WETM) – Cornell University has suspended all fraternity parties and social events following police reports of students being drugged and one being sexually assaulted at the school.
Cornel President Martha Pollack and VP of Student and Campus Life Ryan Lombardi issued a statement on Nov. 7 in response to the reports. The statement said that, effective immediately, the Interfraternity Council (IFC) has suspended all fraternity parties and social events at the Ivy League school. Student leaders of IFC made the decision independently, according to the statement.
“We strongly condemn the actions of all individuals responsible for these criminal violations,” the statement read. The university and Cornell Police are investigating the incidents. Ithaca Police are also investigating the reports.
Cornell Police announced on Nov. 4 that the department received four reports of student druggings between Sept. 23 and Nov. 3, saying the students consumed “little to no alcohol at an off-campus location but became incapacitated while attending parties”. Police alleged the students were “roofied” and exposed to the drug Rohypnol.
Cornell Police also said that early in the morning on November 6, it received a report of a sexual assault of a student while at an event in the City of Ithaca.
“Cornell Police firmly believes that crime is never the fault of the victim,” the department said regarding both reports, a sentiment the University’s statement echoed.
“The university is providing support services to the victims and others impacted by these violations,” the Cornell statement read. “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.”
Pollack’s and Lombardi’s full statement can be read here. Anyone with information on the reported incidents is encouraged to call CUPD at 607-255-1111 or through the RAVE Guardian app, IPD at 607-272-3245, the IPD tip line at 607-330-0000, or the Silent Witness Program
Both Cornell Police and IPD offered tips to keep yourself and those around you safe:
- If possible, watch how your drink is made. Cover your drink and never leave it unattended.
- Use the buddy system and attend events with friends.
- If you don’t feel comfortable or safe, take steps to remove yourself from the situation.
- If you suspect you may have ingested an altered substance, call 9-1-1 and go to the hospital immediately to ask for an exam.
- Reporting to law enforcement is encouraged by calling 9-1-1 or through the Rave Guardian app.
- When in doubt, do not let someone who seems intoxicated go off with another person.
- Insist on accompanying the intoxicated person safely home. This can be hard if you do not know the person and is best done with another person to assist.
- Trust your instincts.
- If you begin to feel sick or weak, or in any way not normal, and can seek help, do so.
- Look out for friends and strangers.
- Talk with friends and partners about Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault, and how to help protect each other.
- Be cautious with your surroundings and what you ingest, also knowing that the only way to truly prevent DFSA is for perpetrators to stop perpetrating!