UCLA fraternities ban alcohol at frat house events
LOS ANGELES (AP) — UCLA fraternities have banned alcohol at frat house events indefinitely in the wake of an alleged sexual assault, it was announced Wednesday.
Leaders of the UCLA Interfraternity Council, representing 22 Bruin fraternities, passed a rule on Tuesday prohibiting events involving booze that take place in fraternity chapter facilities.
The ban aims to provide “an environment where UCLA’s True Bruin Values are upheld” and ensure the “safety and well-being of those present” at fraternity activities, a council statement said Wednesday.
UCLA called the self-imposed ban “a step in the right direction.”
The council statement did not indicate whether the move was linked to any specific event but it follows the Sunday arrest of a former fraternity president on suspicion of assault with intent to commit rape and oral copulation.
Benjamin Orr, 21, was arrested on Sunday after a woman reported that she was sexually assaulted at an off-campus party, according to campus police.
Orr is free on $100,000 bond. It wasn’t clear whether he had an attorney and an email seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned Thursday.
Orr was 2016-2017 president of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity.
Overall, UCLA police received reports of 31 rapes and 11 other sexual assaults in and around campus in 2016, the last year for which statistics are available. About half of the rapes occurred off campus and most of the rest took place in on-campus student housing. The number of rapes more than doubled from 2015.
There was no breakdown on how many involved fraternity properties, events or members.
Fraternities in recent years have begun to address their reputations for alcohol-fueled and sometimes deadly misbehavior.
On Wednesday, nine Florida State University fraternity members were charged with hazing in the death of a 20-year-old pledge. Andrew Coffey drank a lethal amount of bourbon and malt liquor at an off-campus party, authorities said.
Also on Wednesday, Sigma Chi International announced new policies aimed at dealing with booze and hazing. They include banning alcohol at social events during pledge and recruitment periods as of Aug. 1.
Twenty-six people were charged last year in the hazing death of a 19-year-old fraternity pledge at Penn State. Tim Piazza had 18 drinks in under 90 minutes at a pledge party, then fell head-first down basement stairs, authorities said.