Northwestern’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) executive board issued a statement on Wednesday responding to allegations of sexual assault at two fraternities on campus. The statement apologized for anyone negatively affected by NU’s fraternities and said IFC’s primary concern moving forward is to support survivors of sexual violence and drugging.
“For anyone who does feel that they were excluded from or hurt by our community, we have failed you, and we are sorry,” the statement read. “We confess that our community is not perfect; there are still many aspects of the IFC culture that can use plenty of growth.”
IFC issued this statement after Northwestern’s head of security sent out a security alert earlier this week, detailing the allegations against both Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) and another unnamed fraternity. According to the email, four female students were allegedly drugged, and three were allegedly assaulted. All reports were made anonymously.
The IFC executive board and chapter presidents have decided to suspend all social events indefinitely in response to the allegations, according to The Daily Northwestern.
In its statement, IFC acknowledged some of the systemic issues of exclusivity, heterocentrism, sexism and discrimination Northwestern fraternities still face. In light of the recent sexual assault allegations, IFC said it will be hosting open forums in the upcoming weeks to “have open and honest discussions about the many values and shortcomings of IFC.”
The council will also be forming a task force to evaluate all fraternities on issues ranging from sexual assault to risk management. It will request that members of various student groups and members from the administration join in order to fully assess the state of Greek life on campus. Additionally, it will be revising the IFC constitution to make policies clearer and more enforceable.
“The voices of the Northwestern community must remain the loudest,” the statement read. “We hope that the Northwestern community continues to hold us accountable and responsible for our actions. We hope to one day build an IFC of which all of the Northwestern community can be proud, and a place where anyone can feel safe entering our homes.”
In the meantime, ASG has released a statement calling for "the immediate suspension Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and other fraternities involved in these reported cases, during the course of the investigation, followed by idefinite removal from campus if the completed investigation affirms these organizations' responsbility."
"We believe the University must remove individuals from campus who are found responsible for sexual assault, as well as organizations that do not foster a safe, healthy environment free of misconduct," the statement reads. "Responsibility is not limited to the perpetrators of sexual assault, but also lies within organizations and cultures that enable environments where sexual assault can, and does, occur.
This story has been updated to include information regarding the suspension of all IFC social events and to include a statement from ASG. These changes were made at 8:50 p.m., Feb. 8.