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Cornell frat parties suspended after students reported sex assault, druggings

University officials said one student reported being sexually assaulted and at least four were reportedly drugged.

Frat parties were suspended at Cornell University after at least four students reported being drugged and one described being sexually assaulted at fraternity-affiliated off-campus houses, officials said Monday.

The school's Intrafraternity Council voluntarily made the decision Sunday after an emergency meeting, university President Martha Pollock and Ryan Lombardi, the vice president for student and campus life, said in a joint statement.

Barnes Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA
The Cornell University campus in Ithaca, N.Y.Universal Images Group via Getty Images file

The announcement came three days after the school's police department said in a statement that it had been notified of four incidents from Sept. 24 to Nov. 3, when students reported drinking little to no alcohol during parties but became "incapacitated."

An apparent victim described being "roofied," or given Rohypnol, the police department said. The sedative, which can be dissolved in liquid, is illegal in the U.S.

It warned people to watch how their drinks are made and to never leave them unattended.

No fraternities or suspects were named in the statement. The university police department and authorities in the city of Ithaca, where the Ivy League school of nearly 23,000 students is located, are investigating, the statement said.

Rebecca Valli, a media relations spokesperson with Cornell University, declined to provide further information on exactly when the four incidents occurred.

An Ithaca police official did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The school statement said the alleged crimes reportedly occurred off-campus at buildings affiliated with registered fraternities. The school officials did not name the fraternities.

The officials condemned the incidents and said they fully supported the "necessary pause" in fraternity social events.

"Fraternity leaders will take this time to implement stronger health and safety plans," the officials said.

The statement added that there will be no parties until school staff members and student leaders are confident they can occur safely.