LOS ANGELES. The president of the University of Southern California said there was a “disturbing delay” in warning the campus community of allegations of drug use and sexual assault by the fraternity more than three weeks after they were received.
The university’s confidential reporting program received between five and seven reports of drugs being placed in drinks, leading to possible sexual harassment in the Sigma Nu fraternity in late September, but the university did not widely disseminate this information until October 21, President Carol Foult wrote. in a message to the campus community on Friday night.
During this period, another student reported that she was sexually assaulted by the fraternity on October 16, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“We now know that there has been an alarming delay in the processing of this information, especially in evaluating it for community notification,” Foult wrote. “It has highlighted a gray area for me in our processes where reports (reporting program) come in, and the problem of marrying a very confidential support service that can have limited details, with the need to inform and alert the community.”
“As we learn more, some things can be done quickly and others will take longer. It’s too important not to be wrong, ”she added.
Since then, the university has suspended the fraternity.
The accusations sparked protests from numerous groups on the campus and are the latest in a series of recent scandals that have tarnished USC’s elite image.
USC was one of the universities embroiled in an admissions scandal in which wealthy parents tried to enroll their kids in college by falsely portraying them as star athletes. Dozens of parents and athletic coaches across the country have been charged with an investigation that authorities have dubbed “Operation University Blues.” Other parents were accused of paying large bribes to force them to cheat their children in the entrance exams.
Earlier this year, USC negotiated a record $ 1.1 billion settlement with hundreds of women who accused a college campus gynecologist of sexual assault.