KU Chancellor responds to sexual assault protests at Phi Kappa Psi

KU Students gather outside the Phi Kappa Psi Tuesday night to protest the alleged rape by one...
KU Students gather outside the Phi Kappa Psi Tuesday night to protest the alleged rape by one of the fraternity members over the weekend.(WIBW)
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 11:35 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - In an email sent to all staff, faculty, affiliates and students, KU Chancellor Douglas A. Girod addressed the recent protests outside the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house.

Protest have occurred Monday and Tuesday evenings, however, Girod’s message shows a time stamp of 5:14 p.m. Tuesday.

It reads: “Last night, many of you gathered in response to a reported instance of sexual assault within our community.

First, we want to say we appreciate that so many members of our community were moved to gather in support of combatting sexual assault. Sadly, sexual assault continues to be pervasive in our society, and we are heartened to know that so many of you feel compelled to engage on this topic. Additionally, we want to express our support for survivors of sexual violence and acknowledge the trauma they have endured.

Reports of sexual assault require extreme care to ensure the health, welfare and rights of all individuals involved. In this particular instance, we can confirm that the university and local law enforcement are aware of a reported sexual assault at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house off campus, and we have initiated our investigatory process. Fraternity leaders have been cooperative.

The university takes seriously all reports of sexual assault and is unwaveringly committed to the health and safety of our students. In accordance with federal law, KU has robust processes to investigate reported instances of sexual assault and to hold accountable those individuals and organizations that are in violation of KU policies. We encourage anyone with information about such instances to contact our Office of Civil Rights & Title IX, or local law enforcement.

Our university has a number of resources to assist survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence. Individuals are encouraged to contact our CARE Coordinator, or to access other campus resources, depending on their specific needs.

Additionally, KU continues its commitment to programming that seeks to educate students and change the culture around sexual assault prevention and bystander intervention. Much of that programming is coordinated through our Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center, which has been lauded nationally within the higher education community.

Finally, we want to express our appreciation for all of you who are helping to address sexual assault in the community. This topic is deeply important to us, as it clearly is to so many of you.”

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Bichelmeyer and Vice Provost for Student Affairs Tammara Durham were also listed as authors of the remarks.

Phi Kappa Psi said in its statement Monday that they’re aware of the allegations and are fully cooperating with authorities in the investigation.

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