ECU issues 30-day suspension to Theta Chi Fraternity after allegations of drink tampering, sexual assault

Greenville

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — East Carolina University’s News Services reports that school Chancellor Philip G. Rogers has suspended the Theta Chi Fraternity House for 30 days due to allegations of drink tampering and sexual assault.

In a notice Tuesday evening, Phillips wrote:

In compliance with requirements under the Clery Act, on Nov. 9, 2021, ECU issued a timely warning related to allegations of drink tampering and sexual assault. The alleged incident was reported to have taken place on Oct. 29, 2021, at the Theta Chi Fraternity House.

The allegations reported to campus officials remain under review by the University, and Theta Chi Fraternity has expressed a desire to cooperate fully with the investigation. If additional information becomes available, it will also be properly reviewed. However, I want to provide an update as we continue to follow our policies and processes.

Out of respect for any individual brave enough to come forward and my fervent desire to ensure processes move forward without compromising the integrity of the review, this update does not disclose any related facts. The rights of all students involved in an incident like this one must be respected.

It is important to respect the due process rights of the complainant(s) and respondent(s) while at the same time taking actions under the university’s purview. The actions taken to date include issuing a timely warning, providing complainant(s) information regarding the complaint process, ensuring awareness of available support services to all those impacted, launching an administrative review, and issuing a cease-and-desist order to the organization pending the outcome of our internal processes.

University imposed cease-and-desist orders suspend a student organization’s activities for a minimum of 30 days but can continue to be reissued if needed during administrative reviews. If the cease-and-desist order is violated, we will take further action on the organization and/or individual.

If it is determined, through our campus processes, that an individual and/or student organization violated the Student Code of Conduct, then the individual and/or organization will be held accountable and sanctioned in accordance with university policy and procedures.

While it is important to be clear about the authority to review under our policies and act on any findings, it is also important to be clear about the limits on such authority. It is not within the university’s purview to remove an organization permanently without due process. If a student is sanctioned, please remember that the action may never be a matter of public record based on FERPA laws. Also, any related criminal investigations and outcomes by local agencies are outside ECU’s authority.

As this process unfolds and we move forward together, I urge members of our university community to comply with the expectations of personal and professional conduct described in the ECU Creed and hold themselves to the highest standards of the law. No place in our society, including our campus, should tolerate these types of behaviors. We must continue to work together to make our campus a welcoming, safe, inclusive environment for all.

It is the responsibility of our university to protect and keep our students, faculty, and staff safe, and the entire campus community plays a vital role in that effort. Any member of our community who experiences or is witness to a crime, act of violence, or assault should report it immediately. The institution has multiple reporting mechanisms through the Dean of Students OfficeECU PoliceOffice of Student Rights & ResponsibilitiesOffice for Equity and Diversity, and the Center for Counseling & Student Development. Each of these offices has an email, a website, and even the LiveSafe App that allow campus community members to immediately report incidents. And for employees, ComPsych is also available.

Below is a list of university resources and policies:

Information and support are available through the Dean of Students Office at 252-328-9297 or dos@ecu.edu. A guide to campus and community resources can be found here.

Thank you for your attention to this important update and for your continued commitment to a safe university community.

— Chancellor Philip G. Rogers

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