The Hopkins chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) has been placed on interim suspension following an alleged sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl at their off-campus fraternity house on the 2900 block of St. Paul Street early Sunday morning. Preliminary reports indicate that the alleged assailants are not known to be affiliated with Hopkins.
Campus Security informed students of the incident and the ongoing Baltimore Police Department (BPD) investigation via email that morning.
According to a report from The Baltimore Sun, the alleged victim is a Baltimore County resident. She had reportedly been drinking and was assaulted by two men in a bathroom.
The Sun also reported that the girl was attending a party at the SAE house with her sister, whose affiliation with the University is unknown. The victim was transported to Mercy Hospital for treatment.
Vice Provost for Student Affairs Kevin G. Shollenberger contacted the student body in two JHBroadcast emails on Sunday and Wednesday to provide updates about the situation, including SAE’s suspension.
“We informed the SAE fraternity yesterday that it has been placed on interim suspension based on reports of underage drinking and other possible violations of university policy at the party last weekend,” Shollenberger wrote on Wednesday.
Shollenberger wrote on Sunday that Campus Safety and Security will be giving increased attention to the area near the SAE house. He also wrote that the University intends to review the circumstances in their own investigation, and SAE has promised full cooperation with BPD and the University.
Shollenberger subsequently wrote that the University will postpone its own investigation to avoid interfering with BPD’s investigation.
Members of the Hopkins chapter of SAE declined to comment on the suspension and the alleged assault.
On their national website, SAE released a statement addressing the allegations.
“[SAE’s] national headquarters is investigating the circumstances surrounding an alleged sexual assault at a property occupied by our Maryland Phi chapter,” the statement reads. “Any form of assault or sexual misconduct is unacceptable, and we will not tolerate actions that are inconsistent with our values... Sigma Alpha Epsilon will not hesitate to take corrective actions or impose sanctions on any member or chapter that fails to follow the stringent guidelines we set for social events.”
Brandon Weghorst, SAE’s associate executive director of communications, wrote in an email to The News-Letter that any time the fraternity headquarters learns of an allegation of this sort, its staff immediately starts an investigation.
“We take very seriously those issues because we are committed to the health and safety of our members and their guests,” Weghorst wrote.
SAE’s statement also notes that the national fraternity is a sponsor of “It’s On Us,” the White House-led initiative to end sexual assault on college campuses.