October 22, 2021
Dear USC community,
We are writing to provide additional information about Wednesday’s campus crime alert. That alert referenced two separate incidents: a police report of sexual assault at a fraternity last weekend, and confidential information that drugs may have been placed into drinks without consent at a party last month at the same house, leading to possible drug-facilitated sexual assaults.
Such behaviors are deeply disturbing, they hurt people and go against everything we stand for as a community. We are sorry for the pain and anguish this is causing. Even as these matters are being investigated, we want to share what information we can and describe how the university is responding.
On Tuesday, the university placed an individual on interim suspension. The following day (the same day that the campus crime alert went out), the fraternity in question was placed on interim suspension. We have reported all known information about these matters to the Los Angeles Police Department, and are cooperating fully with their investigations. The Interfraternity Council has voluntarily agreed to cease all social activities for the time being, and we intend to enforce that pause until further notice as the investigations proceed.
Some of you have asked about the timing of the decision to notify the community about confidential information shared about the party last month. The information about those incidents came through our Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Services (RSVP), a channel for confidential reporting. Such confidential resources are critical to survivors and used extensively. Although we still do not know the details or identities of the individuals who approached RSVP, and it is important to maintain their confidentiality, the university decided to include this information in our safety alert because of its serious nature.
We also understand that some of the safety language in the TrojansAlert disturbed people. Some TrojansAlert messages are required by the Clery Act to contain specific information related to crime prevention. In the coming weeks, we will look at ways to improve that language.
We know how difficult it is to report, and we appreciate those who have come forward. Getting information to the proper authorities is critical, and we expect there may be additional safety notifications of this nature in the future. If you or anyone you know has any information about these specific incidents, please call the USC Department of Public Safety at (213) 740-6000 for the University Park Campus (UPC), (323) 442-1000 for the Health Sciences Campus (HSC), or (213) 485-6571 for the LAPD Southwest Division.
We are dedicated to working every day to build a culture of trust and well-being and a community where every one of us feels safe and respected. This work will never be complete, but there is no higher priority or goal.
Carol L. Folt
Monique S. Allard
Acting Vice President for Student Affairs