A woman who reported a sexual assault that took place at a fraternity party on Halloween night is working with Sheriff’s Office investigators to provide information about the incident.
The woman told a Cal Poly university housing representative that she was sexually assaulted at the party held by the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity off campus, at a residence on the outskirts of San Luis Obispo.
The university is also investigating the alleged incident, and the chapter has been placed on suspension until the investigation is complete.
A suspended chapter must have all activities — including social events, meetings and campus involvement — approved by the university’s Dean of Students office and the chapter’s headquarters, according to Greek Life policies published on the Dean of Students website.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tony Cipolla said Monday that the Sheriff’s Office is conducting a criminal investigation.
Cipolla said the woman was interviewed by Sheriff’s Office detectives on Sunday at the San Luis Obispo Police Department. The residence where the alleged assault occurred lies within the Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction.
No charges have been filed and no suspects have been named in the case, Cipolla said. He did not release any further details, but he said the investigation remained ongoing Monday afternoon.
University police were called to a residence hall on Saturday, where a housing representative said the Cal Poly student had possibly been drugged and sexually assaulted. Pi Kappa Alpha has had a history of disciplinary problems over the past couple of years.
Those include a social suspension from Aug. 1, 2012, through Jan. 1, 2013, for a series of YouTube videos that surfaced in May 2012 implicating fraternity members in possible drug use, serving alcohol to minors, sponsoring a large unruly gathering and demonstrating misogynistic behaviors, according to Cal Poly spokesman Matt Lazier.
The fraternity chapter also received social probation during the fall quarter of this year for hosting three unregistered events in the spring quarter of 2014; that probation was lifted Oct. 20.
And before its suspension that started Saturday, Pi Kappa Alpha was on restricted status, which allowed for one registered event with alcohol per week until the end of fall quarter 2014.
As well, Pi Kappa Alpha’s national organization had placed the Cal Poly chapter on an administrative suspension beginning Monday, according to Lazier.
“(The suspension by the national fraternity headquarters) will remain in effect for no more than 30 days, at which time a decision will be made regarding the permanent status of the chapter’s charter,” Lazier emailed The Tribune in response to a question.
Cal Poly regularly conducts training and education programs for students, faculty and staff targeting sexual assault and alcohol awareness issues.
According to Lazier, the university trained more than 12,000 people in the campus community on sexual assault prevention and support, including all new students.
Cal Poly also has counseling and reporting resources, such as the Sexual Assault Free Environmental Resource program, to help spread awareness and provide a place for victims of sexual assault to go.
“Cal Poly is focused on creating a ‘culture of care’ at the university, with many education and prevention programs designed to build awareness and help students make good choices,” Lazier wrote.
In September, Pi Kappa Alpha was one of eight national fraternities to announce its participation in the Fraternal Health and Safety Initiative, an organized effort to train members in combating sexual misconduct, hazing and binge drinking.