USC fraternity president is suspended after five women said their drinks were spiked at a party, and another alleged she was sexually assaulted
- President of USC’s Sigma Nu fraternity was suspended amid the allegations
- LAPD officials named the chapter president as student Ryan Schiffilea
- National fraternity said on Friday that he is no longer a member
- Five women said their drinks were spiked at a party at the frat last month
- Another report of sexual assault last weekend is under police investigation
- The Sigma Nu fraternity chapter at USC was put on interim suspension
The chapter president of a fraternity at the University of Southern California has been suspended following allegations that women were drugged and sexually assaulted at the group’s frat house.
LAPD officials identified Ryan Schiffilea as the suspended president of the Epsilon Omicron Chapter of Sigma Nu Fraternity at the center of the explosive allegations, according to KCBS-TV.
The allegations cover two separate incidents: one from a party last month in which five women reported that their drinks were spiked with drugs, and another from last weekend in which a sexual assault was reported, which is under police investigation.
In a crime alert issued Thursday, the USC Department of Public Safety said campus officials received ‘a report of sexual assault’ over the weekend at the Sigma Nu fraternity house located at 660 West 28th Street.
Protesters gather Friday afternoon at the Sigma Nu fraternity house near the USC campus following allegations that women were drugged and sexually assaulted at the fraternity house
In a crime alert issued Thursday, the USC Department of Public Safety said campus officials received ‘a report of sexual assault’ at the Sigma Nu fraternity house
In a statement released on Friday, the chapter acknowledged that they had a ‘lack of communication’ about the allegations
‘The university also has received reports of drugs being placed into drinks during a party at the same fraternity house, leading to possible drug-facilitated sexual assaults,’ according to the alert.
According to an incident log, at least five women reported being drugged at a Sigma Nu party in September.
USC officials have placed the Sigma Nu fraternity chapter on interim suspension following the allegations, meaning the group cannot host any activities at the fraternity house.
In a statement released on Friday, the chapter acknowledged that they had a ‘lack of communication’ about the allegations, but said it was because they are ‘going through the legal process.’
‘We take all of this information very seriously and we remain committed to direct opposition to abuse, harassment, and assault in any form,’ the chapter said.
‘We are also committed to taking appropriate accountability and disciplinary action in response to any confirmed occurrence of member wrongdoing,’ the group added.
USC officials have placed the Sigma Nu fraternity chapter on interim suspension following the allegations, meaning the group cannot host any activities
USC junior student Bianca Ventola attaches a sign to the Sigma Nu fraternity house near the USC campus. USC officials have placed the Sigma Nu fraternity chapter on interim suspension
The prior allegations of spiked drinks are under investigation by the university’s Title IX office, which handles reports of sex discrimination and violence.
The sexual assault allegations that led to Schiffilea’s suspension from the chapter and the national fraternity are under investigation by both the university and law enforcement.
The Sigma Nu chapter pledged to fully cooperate with the investigation. Schiffilea could not be reached for comment. He has not been arrested or charged.
The shocking allegations have drawn a strong response from the university community, and protests have been held outside the Sigma Nu frat house.
Hundreds of notes condemning the fraternity have been posted on the walls of the frat house, including such statements as ‘abolish Greek life’ and ‘rapists live here.’
On Thursday, a group of USC students held a protest outside the fraternity house, demanding that members of Sigma Nu be held accountable for their actions.
‘Guys in this house knew about it,’ sophomore Sophie Beitel told KTLA of the alleged drug-fueled assaults. ‘Guys who weren’t participating knew about this. This had to be a thing that so many men were complicit in and said nothing about.’
Standing outside the frat house, Beitel added: ‘the question should not be, “What can girls do to be avoiding this?” Girls are already terrified. Girls already do everything they can. What can guys be doing?’
USC officials have declined to comment on the specific allegations, citing student privacy laws, but said the school ‘takes reports of sexual assault extremely seriously and has a coordinated response team designed to promptly respond.’