Two fraternities at North Carolina State University were suspended this month, pending the results of two separate investigations into reports of misconduct.
One fraternity — Alpha Tau Omega — was previously in the news when a student said she was assaulted at the house in early March. Now, WTVD reports, it’s also being investigated over allegations that at least one of the fraternity’s members was dealing drugs. Those allegations come from the same student who reported the assault.
The student told campus police that she witnessed one individual living in the fraternity house selling cocaine, ecstasy and LSD. And, she saw that same individual taking some of the substances in his room in the house, WRAL reported, citing a campus police search warrant and an affidavit. The student also witnessed “several” fights at the house and a defenestration.
Everything, including the alleged assault, reportedly occurred during a single party at the house over the course of an evening.
Campus police have since searched the fraternity’s house.
There’s no indication whether the individual accused of selling drugs at the house is a suspect in the sexual assault investigation. National fraternity chief executive Wynn Smiley told WTVD that the drug paraphernalia belonged to a pledge. “We kicked the kid out who’s the focus of the police, and we’re working with the university now through their investigation process,” he said.
Smiley also accused the alleged victim in the investigation of lying:
“What she claims was happening in the chapter house was not happening. This woman’s claims to police that she saw all kind of drug activity going on in the house, we believe that to be at best wildly exaggerated and in many cases, fabricated. Her credibility throughout this whole process has been certainly in question.”
No one has been arrested or charged in connection to the Alpha Tau Omega investigation or pertaining to another investigation on campus.
In a separate case, the university’s Tau Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi is under interim suspension while the school investigates racially and sexually charged comments found in a book on campus that has been linked to the fraternity. The book was found at a restaurant near campus, WRAL reported. It looks like a pledge book, they said, and contains some names that are identical to those listed as members of the fraternity on their Web site.
Since local reports went up on the book overnight, it appears that Pi Kappa Phi has deleted its Twitter and Facebook pages. The fraternity brothers’ names also no longer appear on the site.
WRAL, which has images of the book’s contents, reported that its pages contain derogatory comments toward women and children, along with references to lynching and rape. “That tree is so perfect for lynching,” reads one comment. Another: “It will be short and painful, just like when I rape you.”
The fraternity’s national site confirmed the suspension in a statement on its Web site. “The written comments and quotes reported earlier this evening are offensive and unacceptable,” said Pi Kappa Phi chief executive Mark E. Timmes. “These statements are inconsistent with the values of Pi Kappa Phi and will not be tolerated.” Timmes said that he has instructed the fraternity’s members to cooperate with the investigation. The school’s statement adds that the national fraternity has “clear policies that prohibit discrimination, as well as abusive and sexist conduct.”
The suspensions come at a time when many are paying increased attention to fraternity behavior across the country. This month, some members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at Oklahoma University were caught on video participating in a racist chant. The school banned the fraternity from campus and expelled two of its members in response.