On February 13th, the University's police chief sent an e-mail to students, notifying them that two students had allegedly been drugged while attending on-campus parties.
It encouraged students not to take an open container from someone they don't know, never leave a drink for any reason, and to put their hand over it.
Protests started Wednesday night on fraternity row, they continued Thursday at the Brown Symposium and then Friday at a University-sponsored "Respect and Civility" forum in response to the situation.
Protestors wrote a list of demands on mattresses -- like the administration admitting the problem and implementing a quote "real zero tolerance policy."
Senior Melina Cantu is not among the protestors and didn't attend the forum. She says she has always felt safe at Southwestern. She respects the protestors' cause but doesn't believe targeting the fraternities is the answer.
"Some of those guys are amazing guys. Some of those guys have even helped me in situations where something could have happened and they defended me straight up," Cantu said.
In response, protestor Chelsea Allen said "To say that we are blaming fraternities is false and we definitely don't want the conversation to be focused on fraternities. We want it to be focused on rapists.'
Friday's edition of the school's newspaper The Megaphone, featured a letter from the president of Pi Kappa Alpha, Ryan Fees, saying in part:
"All we can say is this: We do not drug drinks and we do not rape women. It goes against everything we stand for both as a chapter and as human beings. If you know something contrary to that, please report whatever you know to the proper authorities."
Saturday afternoon, Southwestern President Edward Burger wrote on the school's Facebook page that he's asked Southwestern's Title 9 Compliance Committee to meet on Monday and consider what steps to take moving forward regarding sexual assault.
He says the committee will update students on Tuesday. Here's the full statement:
"Over the past week, our community has been actively engaged in
conversations and activities about the critical issue of sexual
misconduct. Simply put, Southwestern University will not tolerate
sexual assault, rape, or sexual harassment.
The safety and well-being of our students is always a top priority for
Southwestern. The University wants every student to be confident that Southwestern treats sexual misconduct with the utmost seriousness. We will continue to work to enhance our responses to sexual misconduct through re-dedicating ourselves to ensuring that students get the care and support they need, and that our policies, procedures, and educational prevention programs reflect best practices.
I have asked Southwestern's Title IX Compliance Committee to meet on Monday, March 2, 2015 to consider what steps we can take as a community moving forward-both in the very short term and continuing into the future. This team has primary responsibility for not only coordinating Southwestern's efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX, but also equally important to assist us in bringing about positive change in our community. This Committee will send a message to the Southwestern community on Tuesday with an update and next steps.
Conversations about sexual assault and misconduct can be very
difficult, but are very important. I ask that we continue to come
together as a caring and engaged community-students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends-as we create positive change. Thank you.