Personal Injury

Penalize fraternities if members caught drugging students: Daya

Canadian PressTHE CANADIAN PRESS

VANCOUVER — All social functions at University of British Columbia (UBC) fraternities have been indefinitely suspended in the wake of allegations that several students were drugged over the weekend.

The schools Interfraternity Council (IFC) says in a statement posted on Facebook that it has been in contact with fraternity leadership and is working closely with “pertinent groups.”

“We take any issues concerning the safety of the UBC community and the community at large very seriously. Further, the IFC has indefinitely suspended all social functions,” it says.

Toronto personal injury lawyer Jasmine Daya tells AdvocateDaily.com that the IFC should be conducting an investigation that clearly demonstrates there will be zero tolerance for such behaviour.

“The fraternity in which a member or members are found to have committed this act should be penalized by being shut down for a period of time, such as one academic year,” says Daya, managing principal with Jasmine Daya & Co. “This will ensure that fraternities are closely overseeing the behaviour of their members .”

Ainsley Carry, the universitys vice-president of students, says the school received information on Twitter that students may have been drugged at a fraternity party on the weekend.

In a statement, he says staff asked the RCMP to open an investigation Wednesday morning.

“My staff has been in contact with the Interfraternity Council and we will be speaking to the fraternities at length in the coming days. We are doing everything we can to find out more,” it says.

The schools statement comes after economics instructor Marina Adshade tweeted that one of her students had been drugged.

“One of my students spent the weekend in the hospital after being drugged in a Vancouver bar on Friday night. On Saturday morning there were six women with her who had been drugged in the fraternities on UBC campus,” asserts the post, sent Tuesday afternoon.

She says in another tweet that the student gave her permission to post about the incident on Twitter.

In an interview, Adshade says the student told her that she was out with other students at a bar in downtown Vancouver.

The student was lucky she had friends who noticed something was wrong and took her to a hospital within the hour, she said.

Adshade said hospital staff told the student that tests showed a “cocktail” of drugs in her system, and she spent two nights in care.

The student told her there were six other women in the hospital Saturday morning with symptoms consistent with drugging.

Adshade said at least one or two students each year, including both men and women, tell her they have been drugged.

“Its not uncommon,” she said.

Daya says the university should also be taking action, adding such allegations have been made against fraternities “for decades.”

“Individuals who attend an institution of higher education to learn and grow should not be subjected to an unsafe environment, which is actually what has been created at various institutions that permit the Greek fraternity system. Social media has made the issues worse with information flowing instantly.”

Daya urges students to come forward and report issues. But she concedes it takes courage.

“Fear of social suicide prevents many people from doing anything when issues of drugging, sexual harassment, bullying, and other disgusting behaviour occurs,” Daya says. “Social suicide is often not worth the risk of coming forward given the unlikelihood that the perpetrators will be caught and face repercussions.”

- with files from AdvocateDaily.com

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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