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Northwestern University Warns Of Multiple Reports Of People Being Drugged At Off-Campus Parties

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Northwestern University is warning students about multiple reports of people claiming they were drugged without their consent at recent off-campus parties, just weeks after the school suspended all social events for fraternities over the same problem.

In a campus alert on Friday, the university said it had received multiple aggravated assault reports from people who said they were drugged without their consent while attending gatherings at off-campus locations in Evanston. At least one of the gatherings apparently was organized by Northwestern students.

"If you have any information regarding these reports or other incidents, please promptly contact the Northwestern University Police at 847-491-3456. In an emergency, please dial 911," the alert said.

The university's alert comes after officials last month suspended social events and recruitment activities for fraternities over reports of people being drugged without their consent at fraternity houses.

On Sept. 27, Northwestern said it had received a report from someone claiming they were drugged without consent at a fraternity house, at 2325 Sheridan Rd. in Evanston. The university reported it is also investigating separate, similar reports at on-campus frat houses.

The university did not name the fraternities, but a Daily Northwestern report identified them as the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the Sheridan Road address, and the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity at 584 Lincoln St. Students fear there could be even more incidents than the ones reported.

"I definitely think that it's happening, and I think there's a lot of voices that aren't being heard also," one student said.

The university noted that its on-campus fraternity and sorority houses are alcohol-free by policy, and there are concerns about community health and safety. Thus, Northwestern has decided effective immediately, there will be no more social events or chapter-sponsored recruitment activities at Northwestern fraternities in the Intrafraternity Council until at least Oct. 17 - the Sunday after the university's homecoming week events.

This order applies to non-fraternity members and alumni. Anyone who violates the orders will be referred to the university's Office of Community Standards, the university said.

The university reported it has also been in communication with Intrafraternity Council leadership, which on Saturday passed a resolution concurring with the ban on social activities.

But that was not enough for some students demanding the abolition of Greek life altogether.

It comes after past accusations at the ΣAE house – involving women who claimed to be drugged at a party in 2017.

The fraternity was suspended around the same time until 2018, after probation over what school administrators said were members serving alcohol to minors.

Frustrated students are hoping this time, change can happen after what they called issues with Greek life across the county.

"We need to abolish them. It starts with Northwestern, but it doesn't end there," a student said. "There are colleges and universities across the country that have systems in place like this, and it's causing a lot of harm – unnecessary harm."

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