Wesleyan fraternity on probation after sexual assault reports

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MIDDLETOWN–A fraternity at Wesleyan University is on probation after reports of sexual assaults.

The Psi Upsilon fraternity house is barred from holding social events until the end of 2015, according to an email sent to students.

Any violation of school regulations during the probationary period will result in the closure of the Psi U house.

On Monday, the house was dark and quiet. Psi U brothers leaving did not want to comment on the disciplinary action.

Sophomore A.J. Abrams, who is not a member of the fraternity, said he was unaware of all the details concerning the accusations against Psi U, but trusts the judgement of school administrators. “I think that’s fair. I think it proved to be not a safe place if there’s two sexual assaults, multiple and I think that’s a fair action,” Abrams told Fox CT.

Sophomore Tori Gruber said the Psi U probation will be tough on Wesleyan’s social scene, but she added that she’s thankful it’s bringing the topic of sexual assault front and center on campus.

“I think students are talking and it’s not longer a conversation where people are as sensitive about it. I think students want to have conversation, even this week, there’s going to be tons of conversation about sexual assault and gender equality because students want these conversations to be happening non stop all the time because this is something that we really care about,” Gruber said.

According to a press release from the school, one “assailant” was “dismissed” from the university after a student reported a sexual assault took place after an unregistered pledge event. The incident occurred in 2011 at the Psi U fraternity, but the student only recently reported the assault.

Another student was “dismissed” from the school after being found responsible for another sexual assault at a Psi U event in 2013. This incident was investigated and dealt with before the first one because the student reported the incident earlier.

“Although this latest reported incident took place three years ago, when most current residents of the fraternity house were not yet associated with the organization, some sanction of the fraternity is appropriate,” Michael Roth, the president of the university, said in a statement.

The sanctions being taken against Psi U include a provisional (probationary) program housing status until the end of 2015, and the frat won’t be allowed to hold any social events during that period. If any members of the frat, or the frat itself violates any school regulations while on probation, the program housing status will be lost and the house will become off-limits to students.

In addition, besides the offending fraternity being disciplined, any campus organization that has sponsored events that create a high-risk environment for violence–including sexual assault–will be held accountable.

“This action is consistent with our policies to support survivors, punish assailants and change the culture so as to eliminate elements that lead to sexual assault,” the statement said.

The school also reiterated its support of the Greek system as a whole, saying: “We continue to believe that coeducational Greek life can contribute value to the University and look forward to receiving plans for coeducation from our residential fraternities before the end of the semester.”

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