St Andrews University investigates rape and sexual abuse allegations against student fraternity

Getty St Andrews University has said it will work with police to investigate dozens of

Getty
Getty

St Andrews University has said it will work with police to investigate dozens of allegations of sexual assault or rape on campus.

An Instagram account called St Andrews Survivors posted over 20 allegations about sexual misconduct at the university, with many claiming members of a fraternity at St Andrews University carried out the attacks.

According to a report in The Telegraph, at least nine rape claims involved students in the St Andrews branch of US-based student fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi.

The fraternity confirmed in a statement that several of its members have been suspended following the allegations and said it will conduct a thorough investigation.

“We find the contents of these allegations abhorrent and are taking them extremely seriously,” it said.

“Coming forward in any capacity takes tremendous bravery, and we want to thank everyone who has both told their stories and those who have supported them as we confront these difficult issues. We hear you, and want to help.”

Police Scotland said it was aware of the reports online and was working with the university.

The vice-principal of education at the university has met and spoken with the founder of the Instagram account and urged the victims to report the allegations.

All St Andrews students will also have to undergo a compulsory orientation module to learn about consent and sexual assault before matriculating.

A spokesperson for St Andrews told The Independent: ““We welcome the ‘St Andrews Survivors’ account’s efforts to provide people of all genders a space to voice their experiences of sexual misconduct.

“The proctor met with the account creator this week to establish how we can work together to signpost support and reporting mechanisms to students who require them.

“The university’s primary concern is to ensure survivors know that we are ready and willing to support their decisions and take action, facilitate police reporting, and provide ongoing support accordingly.

“We have clear and established procedures for investigating allegations of this nature. However, the details of any investigations must remain confidential to offer appropriate support and fair outcomes to all concerned,” she added.

“The University will always act when incidents are formally reported, and is committed to working collaboratively with students to promote a culture of responsibility and respect, in which everyone can trust in our procedures and that our community is intolerant of all forms of sexual misconduct.”

Yvonne Stenhouse, Police Scotland’s community inspector for North East Fife, said: “We are aware of these online reports and are working with the university to make sure students in St Andrews feel safe while they live and study in the town.

“We are committed to bringing sexual offenders before the courts and treat all reports of sexual crime with the utmost seriousness. Anyone wishing to report such offences should do so to Police Scotland by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.

“Within busy town centres, such as St Andrews, we have regular deployments of officers to deter such offences and provide a visible and reassuring presence to our communities. We will continue to work with the University on this matter and any criminal complaints will be progressed accordingly.”

Source Article