University News

Parties with alcohol service barred in residence halls

Phi Kappa Psi and Sigma Chi face stiff penalties after reports of sexual misconduct related to unregistered events last semester

By
University News Editor
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
The University cracked down on alcohol service in residential buildings after one incident involving date-rape drugs and 
another involving “inappropriate sexual contact” at two unregistered fraternity parties in October.

The University cracked down on alcohol service in residential buildings after one incident involving date-rape drugs and another involving “inappropriate sexual contact” at two unregistered fraternity parties in October.

Updated January 21, 2015 at 1:50 a.m.

Registered events with alcohol will be banned in residential areas, including Greek and program houses, while the Division of Campus Life and Student Services reviews the University’s alcohol policies this semester, wrote Margaret Klawunn, vice president for campus life and student services, and Russell Carey ’91 MA’06, executive vice president for planning and policy, in a community-wide email Monday afternoon.

Student organizations that have not committed any infractions may still host University-sponsored parties that include alcohol service to those of legal drinking age, Carey and Klawunn wrote. These events must be supervised and take place in campus spaces designated for parties, such as Sayles Hall and the Kasper Multipurpose Room, Klawunn told The Herald.

Organizations that violate the new policies will face an administration prepared to issue sanctions comparable to those incurred by Phi Kappa Psi and Sigma Chi.

“We’re making information available so that it’s known what kind of sanction could follow,” Klawunn said.
The review this spring will assess “alcohol policy and social event regulations to promote a safer environment on campus,” the administrators wrote in the email.

Though the University commissioned an external review to assess campus alcohol use and policies last May, this review will differ, as it will focus “very specifically on how we manage social events on campus,” Klawunn said.
The email signals a shift in policy that will shake up campus life, but its effects may be most immediately apparent on Wriston Quad.

Following separate sexual misconduct reports filed by students who attended unregistered parties with alcohol service at Phi Kappa Psi and Sigma Chi, both fraternities have received sanctions that will restrict their presence on campus.

Though no member of either fraternity has been “charged with sexual misconduct” in the reported incidents, both have been held culpable “for creating an environment that facilitated sexual misconduct through improperly monitored spaces and inadequate safeguards surrounding the service of alcohol,” Carey and Klawunn wrote.

“We recognize that, in the instances discussed in this letter, not all students within the organizations were individually responsible for the events that occurred. It is imperative, however, that all students take full responsibility for the behaviors of their organizations,” they added.

The University levied the harshest punishment against Phi Kappa Psi, where two students were given drinks with GHB, a date-rape drug, at an unregistered party with alcohol service held in October. One student reported that she was sexually assaulted later that evening as a result of being drugged at the party, though the assault did not take place at the fraternity.

A conduct board — composed of an administrator, a faculty member and a student — held the organization liable for several violations, including “actions that can result in harm; illegal possession or use of drugs; illegal provision, sale, or possession with intent to sell/provide drugs; and violation of operational rules,” Carey and Klawunn wrote.

The conduct board stripped Phi Kappa Psi of University recognition, which includes the right to program housing, for the next four years.

The sanctions against Phi Kappa Psi will take immediate effect due to the gravity of the most recent offenses and the fraternity’s history of infractions, Carey and Klawunn wrote.

These immediate measures will manifest themselves most clearly in the physical dispersion of the fraternity’s members. The University has already moved many members out of Sears House, where their fraternity was previously housed, offering them off-campus housing or dormitory rooms elsewhere on campus similar to those they had last semester, Klawunn told The Herald.

“As many students as we can, we’re moving for the spring,” she said.

The email announced that Sigma Chi was also placed under sanctions for hosting an unregistered party Oct. 3 where alcohol was served in its basement. The Department of Public Safety shut down the party, and, as students left the room, one student was allegedly touched in “a sexual nature” without her consent, Carey and Klawunn wrote.

Following a student organization hearing Oct. 31, Sigma Chi was put on probation and suspended until fall 2016. Until the termination of that suspension, the fraternity is forbidden from recruiting new members and from holding rush and initiation events.

Rooms of current Sigma Chi members graduating in 2015 and 2016 will be filled with independents in the coming years, Klawunn said.

Fraternity members will also be obligated to participate in programs that teach them about alcohol, sexual assault and the preservation of a safe environment, according to the email.

Both Sigma Chi and Phi Kappa Psi appealed their decisions to no avail.

“Phi Kappa Psi does not condone the illegal possession, use or sale of drugs and supports the University’s efforts to ensure that students are not put at risk,” the fraternity wrote in a letter to the editor Tuesday afternoon. But they added, “Very serious questions arising from emerging scientific evidence remain about whether or not either of the women ingested GHB, and for these reasons, Phi Kappa Psi continues to believe that no member served a spiked drink to either of the young women.”

In another letter to the editor sent to The Herald Monday evening, Greek Council wrote that it “supports the University’s efforts to promote a safer environment on Brown’s campus” and is “committed to working with the administration and the greater Brown community to address the serious issues that we as a community are facing.”

Carey, President Christina Paxson P’19 and Associate Director for Off Campus Living and Programs Kate Tompkins were not available for comment by press time Tuesday evening, and several fraternity and sorority leaders declined to comment.


  • Guest

    Complete rubbish from the administration and this report. There is actually no proof that a drink with ghb was served at Phi Kappa Psi. Only one of the two women had a test turn out positive for the drug. The other woman was tested and the result was NEGATIVE. This actually makes it next to impossible for Phi Psi to be the location of the ghb drugging as the two women, by their own accounts and others, only had one drink at Phi Psi which was shared. Therefore, the one unfortunate victim of the sexual assault, which was already proven not to be by a Phi Psi, very likely received the ghb dosage elsewhere.

    The fraternity has been railroaded by an administration wanting to be seen to take action. The hearing took opinions over facts. A suspension was definitely due given that the fraternity hosted a non registered event. But a four year sentence is simply the university administration reacting defensively to past accusations of misconduct in relation to sexual assault cases, rather than being honest or fair with Phi Kappa Psi.

    Brown will change because of this, and not for the better.

    Shame on Dean Kalwunn and Dean Carey!

    * Note – I am not a Phi Psi nor am I friends with anyone in the house, but I know of this case and the whole thing stinks.

    • Jonathan Jensen

      Have no fear. Paxson, Carey, and Klawunn will not do as they said they would. All the tough talks are for political consumption. They do not care about anything. They will end up not doing anything. They have no spine. Just watch.

    • Guest2

      what’s the source on the “shared one and only drink” thing.

      • Guest

        The sources include (1) the women themselves based on their own testimony, and (2) numerous eyewitnesses that were at the Phi Psi bar. This was all documented and agreed at the hearings.

        • Guest2

          Cool where can I read what was presented at the hearings?

  • Student ’15

    “We recognize that, in the instances discussed in this letter, not all
    students within the organizations were individually responsible for the
    events that occurred. It is imperative, however, that all students take
    full responsibility for the behaviors of their organizations”

    By this logic, shouldn’t Brown be disbanded? This occurred at Brown, no?

    • Robert Riversong

      Guilt by association is the necessary next step after “guilty until proven innocent”.

    • teacher 15

      That is logical. It occurred at Brown. Brown should be disbanded, and then reconstituted without these criminals, or those who aid and abet them, like Paxson, Carey, and Klawunn.

  • Bizarre justice

    Wow, this almost reads like an Onion article. What bizarre logic and extreme actions from Margaret Klawunn. Does 10 students having beers in a social area of the building qualify as an “unregistered party”? They’re basically killing 2 social organizations with no proof of wrongdoing.

  • ’15

    More freshmen will get fake IDs, more parties will move off campus, Paxson’s approval rating will decline but the number of sexual assaults won’t. Great job, everybody!

    • ’16

      Sexual assault numbers are very much linked with the “party scene” and “nightlife” at Brown. In my experience, many of the assaults I’ve heard of have been tied with alcohol consumption and ILLEGAL UNDERAGE DRINKING. I, for one, am glad that the administration is finally stepping up and doing something about it. Brown SHOULD NOT BE A BUBBLE where students can get away with criminal activity that anywhere else would be punishable by fines or imprisonment.

      The “problem” of sexual assault will never go away unless our university starts to help students prioritize respect, love, self-compassion, and interpersonal communication rather than sexual activity.

      So thank you, Brown, for FINALLY making a statement that lets students know that they should be held accountable for their actions.

      • Greek alum

        Yep. Brown is holding lots of people responsible except the dude who actually drugged and raped this chick.

      • ’17

        Don’t force your lifestyle on others my friend. Drinking happens and it’s time to stopped pretending it doesn’t. The right thing to do isn’t to say “fuck it, who cares about those 85% (as of the last BDH stats I saw) of the student body that drinks” and actually try to make this campus safe for ALL of it’s students, irrespective of the lifestyle they choose to live.

      • ’12

        In my experience, many of the assaults I’ve heard of have been tied to sex and acts of a sexual nature. Why doesn’t the administration just go all the way and ban sex on campus? Clearly the suffering of those who are “inappropriately touched” outweighs the desire of the greater campus to engage in sexual relations.

        • ’09

          Would that even be enough though? Maybe we should just ban more than one person being in the same room. Can’t be raped if you’re the only one in the room!

  • Guest

    The saddest part of this is that the university is claiming that these measures are to prevent sexual assault, when all they really care about is reducing REPORTS of sexual assault, since those make them look bad. Will forcing parties off campus into sketcher territory really achieve the first goal? Almost certainly not, but it will probably result in fewer reports. Hell, they might even ignore reports on the basis that they didn’t occur on campus property.

    • ’16

      You know what? I’m super tired of hearing that the university is forcing parties to be off campus.

      NO ONE IS FORCING ANYBODY TO HAVE PARTIES OR GO TO THEM, PERIOD. NO ONE IS FORCING STUDENTS TO DRINK, EITHER.

      Though it would be ideal to do whatever I wanted to do and not have to worry about bad things happening to me, getting sick, or getting lost, that’s simply not the reality right now. AND IT NEVER WILL BE. The world isn’t safe. So I have to make sacrifices. My personal safety comes first.

      • PATRIOT ACT

        I too love sacrificing in the name of safety.

  • Jorge

    It sounds in the case of Sigma, while everyone was leaving a crowded room some girl got her derriere smacked or something similarly trivial, and it led to full blown accusations. They get in trouble for “creating an unsafe space”, while the butt grabber lives on.

  • Dan

    no place to rage quite like the kasper multipurpose room.

    —-

    Though no member of either fraternity has been “charged with sexual misconduct” in the reported incidents, both have been held culpable “for creating an environment that facilitated sexual misconduct through improperly monitored spaces and inadequate safeguards surrounding the service of alcohol,” Carey and Klawunn wrote (emphasis added).

    The email announced that Sigma Chi was also placed under sanctions for hosting an unregistered party Oct. 3 where alcohol was served in its basement. The Department of Public Safety shut down the party, and, as students left the room, one student was allegedly touched in “a sexual nature” without her consent, Carey and Klawunn wrote (emphasis added).

  • Reader

    BDH – what a controversial cartoon for your story. The objective evidence actually proves that the two young women who attended the Phi Kappa Psi party most likely were not drugged there:

    1) The two women shared one and only one drink by their and all accounts – they did not have separate drinks
    2) One of the women tested negative for GHB, thus showing she did not ingest that drug during the night in question
    3) Therefore it is basically impossible for the GHB to have come from the one drink they shared together at the fraternity

    Your graphic, with its position right by the sub headline regarding the two fraternities, suggests that there was a spiked drink from one of the houses. I understand your confusion since the university admin has incorrectly (and potentially with libel) stated that a spiked drink was served at Phi Psi in one of their community emails, when documented, lab tested physical proof shows otherwise. And because of the BDH history of directly or indirectly making accusations with no proof, or in this case when facts are contrary to the story you seem to want to tell, I guess you are par for the course.

    Can you please improve journalistic standards?

    • Dumb alum

      And here I thought that was a ping pong ball next to the cup…

    • Guest

      And the byline below the cartoon says:

      “The University cracked down on alcohol service in residential buildings after one incident involving date-rape drugs and
      another involving “inappropriate sexual contact” at two unregistered fraternity parties in October.”

      Yet it seems the evidence shows that there was NOT an incident involving date-rape drugs (at an) unregistered fraternity party, but rather an incident that occurred afterwards involving drugs given afterwards.

      Fix the sentence below the improper drawing, or better yet remove both BDH!

  • Robert Riversong

    As renowned Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz said about similarly draconian measures: “Harvard’s policy was written by people who think sexual assault is so heinous a crime that even innocence is not a defense.”

    • Yor Douchewit

      Dershowitz is your hero. I see.

      • Robert Riversong

        Straw man idiocies are your modus operandi, I see.

  • Robert Riversong

    For an in-depth expose of the evolution of universities from institutions of higher learning into witch-hunt tribunals for the “rape culture” advocates, see: New Puritanism – New Paternalism

    The deprivation of basic constitutional rights for men and their attempts to fight back are addressed in: The Pendulum Reverses – Again: The Betrayal of Liberty on America’s Campuses & Men Strike Back against Title IX Tribunals

    Nancy Gertner, feminist lawyer, retired federal judge and Harvard Law professor, addresses Sexual Assault and Justice: Can we reconcile the belated attention to rape on campus with due process?

  • Euro Kidd

    ()

  • James

    Its pretty simple logic moving parties off of Brown owned building = Not our responsibility/fault for ant shifts the press

  • Quickly: where have I heard this before?
    Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
    Section 2. The Congress and the several states shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
    Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several states, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the states by the Congress.

  • McCormick

    This might be an obvious point, but has anyone bothered to read real newspapers? The topic of rape, sexual assault, is pretty much ubiquitous at this point. Bill Cosby, UVa frats, Harvard law professors discussing the issue, Columbia students, Lena Sclove, an incident at Northwestern, the actor who was the father in 7th heaven… the list goes on… It is not as though this topic is somehow merely restricted to Brown’s campus.

    I mention this because some of the article make it seem as though the writers are unaware that there is a world outside of college hill where similar stories are being reported as well.

  • hehehe

    So much attention has been pulled away from the original stories that generated this line of discussion… Freshman esp. won’t know about the incidents last year: Sclove, the PC student who was raped by Brown students…. etc.

  • krosa

    Brown’s administration is almost entirely female.
    Funny how the physics department the faculty is almost entirely male lol.
    Academia and government appoint women in charge of figurehead and bureaucracies with little real responsibility. That’s why theres so many female university presidents but the top scientists who bring in the grant money are overwhelmingly male. What a joke.
    Just like Teresa Sullivan, they’ll probably take away student freedoms