Three Stony Brook University Fraternities Suspended

Three fraternities at Stony Brook University named in reports of sexual assault and hazing have been suspended, the university said in a statement.

Kappa Sigma, Sigma Beta Rho and Tau Kappa Epsilon were suspended late last month after reports of Title IX violations and hazing were filed with the university’s Department of Student Engagement and Activities, which oversees fraternities and sororities.

“This is consistent with our process, as sexual assault and hazing have no place on college campuses or in our society,” the university stated regarding the suspension.

The Office of Equity and Access, which handles Title IX matters, and the Office of Community Standards, which handles student code of conduct violations, are investigating the allegations, according to the statement.

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination and harassment in educational institutions that receive federal funding. The law requires schools to respond to hostile educational environments.

The suspension of the three fraternities came after an Instagram account, @voicesofsb, was created to share stories of sexual assault from students at Stony Brook University.

The account aims to “give sexual assault survivors an anonymous platform to let their voices be heard,” according to its first post on June 23. The account shares stories that survivors from Stony Brook University can anonymously submit through a Google form.

“I am a fellow student but will not be revealing my identity for the sake of both your privacy and mine,” the account user stated in a post. “We’re in this together. You are strong and your voice will be heard. You’re not alone.”

The federal education department released in May new regulations governing campus assault that allows colleges to use either a “preponderance of the evidence,” which means there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true, or a “clear and convincing” standard, which sets a higher burden of proof. Under the Obama administration, colleges were required to use the “preponderance of the evidence” in Title IX hearings, which critics argued was unfair to accused students.

The new regulations are in effect starting Aug. 14.

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