VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – There is no evidence so far that there were druggings at any UBC fraternity houses.
That’s the latest from University RCMP more than a month after a tweet claimed six women had been drugged at the fraternities on campus during the last weekend of September, sparking a police investigation.
While Mounties stress their investigation is ongoing, at this point they don’t believe there were six victims drugged.
“The UBC detachment is confident that there were not six victims as initially reported online. However, because there are still potential witnesses and potential victims that they have reached out to, they are still waiting for them to respond and the investigation continues,” says Corporal Chris Manseau.
“There’s also no evidence to say that there were any druggings at any fraternity houses on the UBC campus, but again the investigation is continuing.”
The tweet that set off the investigation and debate about safety at fraternities came from a UBC professor who said one of her students had been drugged at a Vancouver bar on Friday, Sept. 27 and hospitalized with six women, who had allegedly been drugged at fraternities.
One of my students spent the weekend in the hospital after being drugged in a Vancouver bar on Friday night. On Saturday morning there were six (6!!) women with her who had been drugged in the fraternities on UBC campus.
And people ask me why I am opposed to the frat houses?
— Dr. Marina Adshade (@MarinaAdshade) October 1, 2019
The tweet quickly went viral, triggering concern among students and parents and prompting UBC to ask University RCMP to open an investigation into the matter. The Interfraternity Council, the official governing body for the 10 fraternities at UBC, also suspended all social events indefinitely.
At the time, Vancouver Coastal Health said it couldn’t verify the cases with its emergency departments.
Manseau says as part of their investigation, officers have reached out to the people they think were involved and adds many have not come forward.
“Through their investigation, some people have been identified, they’ve reached out to those people and those people have not responded back to the detachment,” he says.
“So for whatever reason, if you were spoken to by the University detachment or they’ve reached out to you, please contact them, even if you weren’t involved, they do still want to speak with you.”
If you may have been a victim, was a witness, or have any information to any events related to this incident, call the University Detachment at (604) 224-1322.
UBC professor stands by tweet, not surprised by RCMP findings so far
Dr. Marina Adshade, the UBC professor who made the tweet that suggested students had been drugged says she isn’t surprised by what the RCMP has found so far.
“A lot of the people who are involved in situations like this, where they’ve been drugged or they’ve been sexually assaulted don’t want to go to the RCMP,” she tells NEWS 1130. “Instantly because the RCMP launch an investigation doesn’t mean that people are necessarily going to change their minds and come forward.”
She echoes concerns from the school’s Sexual Assault Support Centre that the University even asked the RCMP to open an investigation without consulting survivors.
“[AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre] condemned the fact that the University responded by saying they were surprised by the allegations because, of course, nobody on campus is particularly surprised by the allegations, they’re common. I speak to students on a regular basis who had similar experiences and of course since going public with this, I’ve spoken to many more people,” she adds.
“But the willingness of the RCMP to investigate at the request of the RCMP is really surprising, considering there were no victims and it’s almost as if an investigation was launched to protect the reputation of the frat houses.”
Adshade stands by her tweet and doesn’t regret starting a conversation about systems at school, like fraternities, that she says threaten the safety of students.
UBC student union takes club status away from Interfraternity Council
Meantime, the UBC Alma Mater Society (AMS), the school’s student union, voted this week to remove the club status of the Interfraternity Council (IFC).
It came after council asked the operations committee to review their relationship with IFC, following the drugging allegation.
“We identified that the IFC would be unable to change their governing documents surrounding various things from their judicial board to having an open membership,” says AMS President Chris Hakim.