The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Sexual assault reported at off-campus fraternity house

The University of Iowa Housing and Dining staff had received a second report in November of a sexual assault at the UI.

A report from a student stated on Nov. 9, she was sexually assaulted at an off-campus fraternity house.

The UI reported the assault to students Monday afternoon.

The student said she knew the assailant prior to coming to the UI. On Nov. 9, she reported, they went downtown, and the assailant agreed to walk her home but instead took her to the off-campus fraternity house, where she was sexually assaulted.

As of Monday evening, the reporting party had decided not to report the incident to law enforcement.

Karen Siler, assistant director of the Iowa City Rape Victim Advocacy Program, said the program has worked in-depth with Greek life, such as giving lectures and holding events throughout the year to raise awareness of domestic violence and domestic assault.

“There certainty hasn’t been a decline [in people attending the informational events],” Siler said. “I would say some events are more attended than others. We do have partnerships with some sororities and fraternities to help give information and prevention.”

Siler said the sexual assaults — the third reported at the UI this semester — is not an issue in only the Greek system.

“We educate the entire campus, not just the Greek system or the non-Greek system,” she said. “We have so many assaults, we never hear the problems on the sexual assault on campus. One that is reported in a fraternity house, that’s a problem — but it doesn’t mean all fraternities do that, and not all their members are committing sexual assaults. Sexual assaults happen in the dorms, and sexual assaults happen off-campus.

Greek life officials said the reported incident is worrisome, given how much both fraternities and sororities focus on educating members about the topics.

“This is an extremely unfortunate circumstance and even more so troubling, given the time the community spends educating our members on this and related topics,” Brad Bleeker, the president of the Interfraternity Council, and Paulina Kennedy, the president of the Panhellenic Council, said in a statement.

Monique DiCarlo, the UI sexual-misconduct coordinator, said representatives from Greek life serve on the UI Antiviolence Coalition among other on campus groups.

DiCarlo said while there have been three sexual assaults reported this semester, it is difficult to tell if this indicates a rise in the number of sexual assaults, because many go unreported.

She said she hopes any victims will come forward to her office or to UI officials and get the help they need.

“We all need to see this as our responsibility,” she said, and she hopes there is a climate on campus that encourages people to come forward to officials trained to respond to their questions instead of just telling a family member or friend.

UI spokesman Tom Moore said it is too early to tell if the fraternity would be disciplined along with the individual. However, if an investigation finds “something occurred within the business of the fraternity,” then the fraternity involved could also face discipline.

DI Metro Editor Lauren Coffey contributed to this story.

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