Investigations are underway into a party held by a Western fraternity, Zeta Psi, that occurred in January where several women allege they were drugged and taken to hospital.

Investigations by London Police, Zeta Psi and Panhellenic Council are currently ongoing after an unknown number of reports that several women were drugged during a party held by Zeta Psi in January.

According to a report from CBC News, one of the women who attended the party had “four or five drinks” and was taken to the hospital after the inexplicable effects of those drinks, which was something she had never experienced before when consuming alcohol.

CBC did not identify the woman or whether she was a Western student. Western could not confirm if they are investigating the incident, though say they "absolutely investigate any complaints we receive."

The woman said she believes a drug was slipped into her drink and she later received a drug test from Western student health services. The results showed the presence of an opioid that she did not take, according to the report.

Many other party goers, especially women, were possibly drugged as well that January after a doctor’s remark that others had arrived at University Hospital experiencing similar effects, leaving them incoherent and confused.

London Police Services has confirmed the incident report to the Gazette and that an investigation is in progress. LPS declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

The incident occured just four months after reports of drugging and sexual violence during Western’s Orientation Week. The report led to a police investigation, a student-led sexual and gender-based violence walkout, the implementation of mandatory sexual violence training for students in residence and an external investigation into the reports.

In a statement to the Gazette, Western’s interim associate vice-president of student experience Chris Alleyne said the university would use the “full force” of Western’s gender-based and sexual violence policies and student code of conduct to address incidents like the one described by the woman.

“Western does not formally recognize fraternities or sororities and has no formal affiliation with them, but the fact remains that they are our students and we want to ensure all our students are safe and supported wherever they are,” said Alleyne.

The University Student Council also moved to cut ties with Western’s Greek scene after reports of sexual violence in campus residences came to light in September. The council voted to end Greek Life special privileges in October.

USC president Zamir Fakirani said he was heartbroken to hear about the incident and expressed his disappointment in the lack of action taken by the Greek life community.

“I'm so appreciative and inspired by the survivor who came forward and the various other folks who came forward as well,” said Fakirani. “But … I was disappointed at the lack of meaningful and transparent action to address gender-based violence which is quite pervasive in the Greek life system.”

According to CBC News, the Panhellenic Council, which oversees sororities at Western, is also investigating the incident. The council met with all sorority presidents and moved to cancel all events with the Zeta Psi fraternity.

“All sorority presidents have met regarding this issue  and have collectively decided to cancel all events with Zeta [Psi], indefinitely, and are discouraging members from attending any events at their house,” an internal communication obtained by CBC reportedly said.

The Gazette reached out to the Theta Phi Chapter of Zeta Psi’s fraternity, the Interfraternity council and the Panhellenic council at Western University. There has been no response in time for publication.

Tyler Boisvert, executive director of Zeta Psi Fraternity International, wrote in an email to CBC News that “Zeta Psi is aware of serious allegations and there is an ongoing investigation,” the email said.“The alleged actions are antithetical to the values of Zeta Psi Fraternity, Inc. Zeta Psi policy is to not provide information regarding an investigation.”

Fakirani urges all members of Greek Life to “do a better job of listening to women and listening to queer folk when it comes to gender-based violence work.”

“I would say that sororities as an institution have a role to play in not just keeping their membership safe, but keeping the broader campus that engages with their organizations safe, and I can't say that I am seeing that to the degree that I'm wanting,” Fakirani said.

Fakirani hopes to see accountability mechanisms at the university, like implementing various training modules for Greek Life members, pathways for survivors to come forward and improved harm reduction strategies.

Alleyne expressed that everyone in the community must play a part in addressing gender-based violence.

“We encourage any student who experiences this type of violence – regardless of where it takes place – to seek both on- and off-campus supports and, if they are willing and able, to file a complaint under our gender-based and sexual violence policy and with the London Police Service.”

Correction (April 29, 2022, 2:35): This article has been corrected to reflect that Western cannot confirm if they are investigating the reports. 

0
3
0
4
11

Load comments