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Northwestern U. Says It Will Not Punish Fraternity Over Sex Assault Allegations

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Mar 31, 2017 9:23PM

Northwestern Unviersity, via Wikimedia Commons

Almost two months after several accusations of sexual assault at a Northwestern University fraternity came out, the university says it will not be punishing the fraternity involved.

The February report alleged that four women were given a date rape drug at a Northwestern frat, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and two were sexually assaulted there. After the allegations were made in February, the Northwestern student government called on the school to suspend the fraternity during the investigation, and to remove the frat from campus if fraternity members are found guilty. The frat's national chapter ordered the local chapter to suspend its daily operations during the investigation as well, according to ABC7.

In a statement to Northwestern community members Thursday afternoon, Student Affairs Vice President Patricia Telles-Irvin said that an investigation was conducted and "no disciplinary action or further investigative action related to the reports of sexual misconduct will be taken at this time."

The school's statement said it followed procedures and concluded its investigation after determining that it did not see a cause for disciplinary action or further investigations. The statement also noted that the school would provide "additional outreach and training to fraternities and sororities on preventing sexual assault in the coming months."

Using established procedures, the Sexual Harassment Prevention Office (SHPO) investigated the reports in a prompt and thorough manner. SHPO and Student Affairs engaged in extensive outreach to members of the Northwestern community, asking persons with knowledge of the events or related actions to come forward in order to gather additional information. The University also offered all students support and resources, including information on how to contact local police.

After gathering and assessing all additional information and carefully considering the wishes of those who spoke with SHPO staff, and the applicable Title IX guidance, the University has concluded its review related to the alleged sexual misconduct. No disciplinary action or further investigative action related to the reports of sexual misconduct will be taken at this time.