California College Bans Greek Parties Amid Reports

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Fraternities and sororities at the University of California, Berkeley have taken a bold stance against sexual violence, voluntarily banning all parties following reports of two sexual assaults last week at off-campus frat functions.

Interfraternity Council President Daniel Saedi called it “relatively unprecedented” for the Greek system to suspend its own parties but said Friday that fraternities and sororities agreed to pause social events to figure out how to keep them safe.

“We needed to take some time off and really assess our situation,” said Saedi, a 21-year-old senior at Berkeley. “These are grave acts of violence that are occurring. They have no place anywhere in this country let alone on college campuses.”

Saedi and Panhellenic Council president Divya Thomas, who oversees the school’s 12 sororities, announced the suspension this week in a Facebook post, saying they would “suspend all social events until we can reevaluate our risk management practices.”

Berkeley police say that two female students reported alleged assaults at off-campus fraternity parties last weekend.  According to the university’s crime statistics, 22 rapes were reported on-campus or in student housing in 2015 and four rapes were reported off-campus.

The party ban comes amid heightened attention to sexual assaults on college campuses, just months after the high-profile case of Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman.