Wisconsin university fraternity investigated amid date-rape drug allegations

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A Wisconsin university fraternity is under investigation amid suspicions that members put a date rape drug in the drinks of female party guests.

Three women and one man were hospitalized after the party earlier this month at the Tau Kappa Epsilon house at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, an incident that is now drawing national media attention.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel offers details from a search warrant for the fraternity house, which include evidence that suggests the women may have had spiked drinks. One of the female students who was hospitalized told police she had a "weird feeling and sensation prior to blacking out."

The warrant notes that one of the female guests who went to the hospital said the fraternity had a reputation for putting "roofies" in women's drinks but "she thought it was all in the past," CNN reports.

The 28-year-old president of the fraternity was charged Friday with misdemeanor possession of a prescription drug without a valid prescription, the Journal- Sentinel reports in a story update. But the newspaper notes that the criminal complaint does not accuse him of spiking drinks with drugs, and that the date-rape drug investigation is ongoing.

Newsweek reports that police broke up the Sept. 12 party at about 1:20 a.m. and found 42 people, all under the legal drinking age, in the house's basement with either red or black X's on their hands. The fraternity would not comment on what the marks signified.

The national Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity on Friday temporarily suspended the UWM chapter after the allegations became public.

In response to the allegations, Alex Baker of the Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity said the alleged actions "do not align with our values of love, charity and esteem."

He also noted that the fraternity was cooperating with university officials and local authorities as they investigate.

National spotlight

The issue of sexual assault on campus has become a high-profile issue this year as President Barack Obama, among others, has thrown a spotlight on the issue and called for change on college campuses.

In April, the White House issued a report on steps that should be taken to prevent assaults on campus. On Friday, Obama unveiled a high-profile new "It's On Us" campaign.

The TKE fraternity last week posted on its website an Associated Press story about the "It's On Us" campaign.

The story notes that this week Tau Kappa Epsilon's Chief Executive Officer Donald E. Aldrich is expected to make a formal statement about TKE's mission to end sexual assault on college campuses.

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