Fraternity responds to drugging claims

EMBED </>More Videos

Allegations continue to grow against University of Missouri fraternity. (KTRK)

University of Missouri officials have at least two open investigations into the potential use of "date rape" drugs at Delta Upsilon fraternity.

ABC 17 News first reported Wednesday through an open records request the series of incidents that led to a temporary suspension of Delta Upsilon in late September. The fraternity was given disciplinary probation just a day before a racially-charged incident with students in the Legion of Black Collegians ended up in DU front lawn on September 27. The national organization placed its Columbia chapter on emergency suspension the next day, and the school's Office of Student Conduct continues to investigate that issue.

DU received probation after several issues arose from parties on August 27 and September 10. A 20-year-old woman was taken by ambulance for an alcohol overdose, a man was pushed down a flight of steps during a fight and an 18-year-old girl tripped and hit her head after drinking too much at DU during the September incident. The fraternity had been given two warnings prior to that by the school for underage drinking and "failing to comply" with University police during a theft investigation.

ABC 17 News uncovered a letter from the Title IX Office informing the fraternity of a possible investigation into use of "date rape" drugs. The letter, dated September 13, said the office received numerous contacts from students, along with social media posts that claim "active members of Delta Upsilon fraternity allegedly provided each new member with three pills and instructed them to drug women for the purpose of incapacitating them prior to engaging in sexual activity."

The letter from Title IX Administrator Ellen Eardley goes on to say, "Should my office receive any information indicating that there is any veracity to the allegations that Delta Upsilon promoted sexual misconduct and hazing, an investigation will begin immediately."

MU spokesman Christian Basi told ABC 17 News Thursday he could not comment on the status of that particular matter.

An MUPD police report details a medical call on Sept. 16 for an 18-year-old student acting strangely in Johnston Hall. The woman was naked from the waist down, the officer wrote, and had "smeared feces" on the walls of the hall. She eventually went to the hospital with a friend and the police, telling them she had been drinking at several places, including DU. She did not see how made her drinks at that fraternity, according to the report. At University Hospital, officers took samples of her urine to test for drug intoxication that night. She also told officers she did not remember whether or not she had sex that night.

Officer Bryanne Gawlik also wrote that the woman did not see who made her drinks that day.

Major Brian Weimer confirmed that investigation is still open.

Ashley Martin, DU national director of communications, told ABC 17 News the fraternity has "worked tirelessly and collaboratively" with the school to investigate these reports, some of which they had just learned about. Martin pointed to an "internal membership review" at Mizzou two years ago that led to the removal of 90 of its 123 members.They also reorganized chapter policy, including alcohol and guest rules.

"We will not condone or tolerate the type of behavior alleged in these incidents, and the chapter remains on a temporary suspension as our investigation continues," Martin said in an email. "We are committed to holding all members to our code of conduct, and our investigation will help us determine whether our Missouri Chapter can positively contribute to a safe, enriching and inclusive campus environment."

While individual students could face expulsion for any violations of student conduct, Basi said the fraternity as a whole could see "withdrawal of recognition" by the university. That means the fraternity could not use school spaces for anything, and it would be unable to participate in events like Homecoming. A group that receives such a punishment could either appeal, or reapply for recognition, depending on the punishment laid out by the Office of Student Conduct.

Related Topics:
(Copyright ©2017 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments