UCSB Frat Faces Rape Allegations
University’s Police Department Issues ‘Timely Warning’ to Campus Community
Social media posts among UCSB students have been warning of rapes at fraternity parties, just a month into the fall quarter. But only one rape was formally reported to the university police department, according to UCSB spokesperson Andrea Estrada, who said it was anonymously made on October 27. No sexual assaults have been reported to the Sheriff’s Office since UCSB’s quarter started on September 22, spokesperson Raquel Zick said.
The UCSB Police Department sent a “Timely Warning” to the campus community the next day, stating the rape occurred at Sigma Pi, one of the fraternity houses in Isla Vista. According to UCSB’s Daily Nexus, two sexual assault victims earlier in the month also named the frat house. The student-run newspaper reported that the alleged assailant had been fired from the fraternity.
UCSB-PD’s Timely Warning — a requirement of the federal Clery Act — reported the victim was assaulted on the evening of October 26 and described the assailant as a 22-year-old, brown-haired, brown-eyed male about 5’10” tall. Estrada explained that the Clery Act — which requires institutions receiving federal dollars to disclose threats to students and staff — necessitated the university to report incidents on campus and within its “Clery geography,” as well as those reported to UCSB-PD. (“Clery geography” for UCSB includes recognized organizations like fraternities, even off campus.)
An earlier Timely Warning had gone out on October 17 that warned of a “pattern of crimes” at fraternity events and two “incidents” involving date-rape drugs. The frat was not named, however. Estrada explained the threat in that case was the date-rape drug and that the reports had been made confidentially. Why the Clery Coordinator didn’t name the fraternity or events was not clear.
The rapes reported in the student paper, however, alarmed I.V.’s governing body. The Community Services District (IVCSD) condemned “two incidents of sexual assault … reported at Sigma Pi Fraternity along with additional incidents at an unidentified fraternity involving date rape drugs” in an email sent October 25. IVCSD Director Kristie Nguyen wrote, “As a woman in the Greek Community, I am mortified [over] the incidents that have happened in the past few weeks,” adding that she was a survivor herself. “No one should feel afraid in this community.”
Clarification: This story was changed on Nov. 3 to state the incidents the Clery Coordinator reported were made confidentially, not that the information was confidential. Also, Estrada later said the university could not determine with certainty where the incidents occurred, and Sigma Pi was not mentioned in the reports.