USC investigation: 6 fraternities cut ties with university over crackdown on parties

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Six fraternities have chosen to disaffiliate from USC in a push back against strict rules enacted after multiple accusations of sexual assault at frat parties last year.

Kappa Alpha Order, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Alpha Mu, Sigma Chi, Tau Kappa Epsilon and Zeta Beta Tau — six of the 15 fraternities in USC’s Interfraternity Council — severed their relationship with USC, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

The school had given fraternities a Friday deadline to decide, The Times reported. The fall semester is set to begin Aug. 22.

“We are disappointed that some USC fraternities are following an unfortunate national trend by disaffiliating from the university — against our strong recommendations,” USC said in a statement posted on Instagram Friday night. “This decision seems to be driven by the desire to eliminate university oversight of their operations. The members are chafing at procedures and protocols designed to prevent sexual assault and drug abuse and deal with issues of mental health and underage drinking. They also object to not being able to rush freshmen in the fall — a practice that has been repeatedly shown to be unsafe for new students. In addition, they are pushing back at the time it takes to investigate serious issues like sexual assault. These investigations and their length are regulated by the state and federal government,” the statement continued.

“Like members of all unaffiliated organizations, their members will still be held to the same high standards of behavior as the rest of our students, but they will no longer receive the privileges afforded to university-sanctioned groups … While disaffiliation of these fraternities affects a very small percentage of our student population, we care deeply about the well-being of our students.

“This decision is detrimental and goes against 130 years of tradition. We strongly urge students not to join these unaffiliated organizations or attend their events, and we will continue to uphold our high expectations for behavior in our neighboring communities.”

The six fraternities that cut ties with USC did not offer a comment to The Times.

USC President Carol Folt acknowledged last fall that the university waited too long to notify the campus community of allegations of drugging and possible sexual assaults at fraternity parties.

The allegations caused the Interfraternity Council to call a halt to all social activities at campus fraternities after the Department of Public Safety announced the allegations.

The new rules announced in January include posting security guards at stairs or hallways leading to bedrooms during parties and required sexual violence prevention training for all fraternity members.

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