Sigma Nu Fraternity Suspends USC Chapter President as Students Protest Alleged Sexual Assaults

Yet another scandal has swept the USC campus.

A University of Southern California fraternity has suspended its chapter president after six students told the University that their drinks were spiked at a party last month, and at least one student alleged she was sexually assaulted.

via People:

On Friday, USC’s Epsilon Omicron chapter of the Sigma Nu fraternity announced in a statement on Instagram that the individual is no longer a member of the fraternity pending a full investigation. He was suspended by both the Sigma Nu chapter at USC and by the national fraternity after being questioned by police, who have identified him as a suspect in the sexual assault, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The former fraternity member has been identified as Ryan Schiffilea, per CBS Los Angeles and KTLA, which both cited the Los Angeles Police Department. A representative for the LAPD did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Schiffilea was the president of the chapter, according to CBS Los Angeles, and has not been arrested or charged, the Times reported.

According to a statement from USC’s Department of Public Safety, the school also received reports from five students who alleged that drugs were placed into their drinks during a party at the Sigma Nu fraternity house in September, leading “to possible drug-facilitated sexual assaults.”

KTLA, which was able to gain access to the incident log from USC’s Department of Public Safety, reported that an unnamed student alleged that she was sexually assaulted after someone drugged her while she was attending a party at the frat house on Sept. 27.

The incident log, per the outlet, reportedly shows that five women reported being drugged at the frat house that same night. A sixth woman allegedly reported a drugging that same night as well, per KTLA, but did not note the location where it happened.

In response, the Sigma Nu fraternity chapter was then “put on interim suspension” and is currently not allowed to “host any activities” at their location, according to USC’s Department of Public Safety’s statement.

In its social media statement, USC’s Sigma Nu fraternity said members were “deeply concerned” by the allegations related to their chapter and said they “stand in absolute solidarity with all victims of sexual abuse (and victims of all abuse) and in no way condone any acts of violence or sexual abuse by anyone- especially members of this Sigma Nu Fraternity.”

The group also noted that they are working with USC, alumni volunteers, and the national fraternity leaders to address the matter. “We take all of this information very seriously and we remain committed to direct opposition to abuse, harassment, and assault in any form,” the fraternity said.

Sigma Nu’s national headquarters also released a statement after it received notice about the alleged crimes.

“The Fraternity is concerned by these serious allegations and will seek to work with University officials to investigate the matter,” the statement read. “The Fraternity will determine its further actions based upon the investigation. Sigma Nu Fraternity remains committed to responding appropriately to all matters of confirmed misconduct.”

According to CBS Los Angeles, USC students protested outside of the fraternity house on Friday evening following the accusations. There, the Times reported messages hung across the building, with one reading, “You are all complicit,” as another said, “What if it was your sister?”

The USC Interfraternity Council, a student-led organization that looks over 15 chapters, wrote in a statement that it is “disturbed and angered” by the allegations against the Sigma Nu fraternity.

“We are deeply apologetic for the trauma caused and impact on victims. We are disgusted this violence took place in our community,” the organization said. “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.”

When contacted, USC directed PEOPLE to a statement from the college’s President Carol Folt about the alleged incident. “Such behaviors are deeply disturbing, they hurt people and go against everything we stand for as a community,” she said in her statement. “We are sorry for the pain and anguish this is causing.”

Individuals who may have information related to the alleged crimes at the Sigma Nu fraternity house should call the USC Department of Public Safety at (213) 740-6000 or (213) 485-6571 for the LAPD Southwest Division.

We applaud everyone who spoke out on what’s been happening. Silence is complicity.

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