A fraternity on the campus of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee is on suspension pending the results of an investigation into allegations that they spiked women’s drinks with “roofie,” a substance also known as the date rape drug or Rohypnol. The inquiry was launched after one man and three women who attended a frat party at Tau Kappa Epsilon on Sept. 12 were found to be severely incapacitated and rushed to a hospital.
CNN reports that one of the women who was taken to the hospital felt “a weird feeling and sensation” before losing consciousness. Another attendee who blacked out recalls that the fraternity was selling unlimited drink passes for $8, but that only “hot” women were able to purchase them. In addition, only women who knew a frat brother were admitted to the party.
According to a search warrant, the third woman who was hospitalized reported that a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fixed her a drink by hiding “the cup under the bar out of sight.” He then gave the woman the cup. The woman believes that it was 30 to 45 minutes after drinking the concoction that she lost consciousness. Other people who attended the party reported to authorities that the drinks being served looked to be “cloudy.”
Investigators believe the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee was mixing drinks containing Rohypnol, or “roofie.” The odorless, tasteless drug is a sedative which can cause memory loss and disorientation.
For approximately an hour and a half beginning at midnight on Saturday, police responded to the Sandburg Residence Hall to investigate reports of students who were unable to walk or stand. All the students in question bore an “X” on their hand.
When police arrived at approximately 1:20 a.m. to break up the party at the frat house, 42 partygoers were present, none of whom were of legal drinking age. The frat brothers had marked all present with a red or black “X” on their hands, but would not explain what the marks signified.
The search warrant filed in the case reveals that the three women transported to the hospital had a red “X” drawn on their hands. The lone man hospitalized, who bore a black “X,” had shared a drink with a female who had been marked with red. Investigators surmise that the “X” marks were drawn as part of a color-coded plan by the fraternity brothers to single out targets for date rape.
Tau Kappa Epsilon was investigated in 2013 after reports of three sexual assaults were made. Charges were not filed. According to the search warrant, a student reported that although the frat had been known for using “roofies,”she “thought it was all in the past.”
Because the frat house is a private home, UWM lacks the authority to govern what occurs there. What the university does control is its affiliation with Tau Kappa Epsilon as well as the affiliation of its members with the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Alex Baker, speaking on behalf of the Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity, denounced the allegations as being contrary to their “values of love, charity and esteem.”
In an interview with The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, Tom Luljak, the vice chancellor of University Relations and Communications, said that the university is “deeply concerned” about the situation and that student safety is their first priority. There has been one arrest to date. The investigation into the Tau Kappa Epsilon chapter at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee continues.
By Jennifer Pfalz