Student news outlets peel back secrecy to reveal drugging allegations at UO fraternities

On Feb. 10, two first-year women at the University of Oregon attended a party hosted by Phi Delta Theta, a fraternity near the UO campus. The women already had drinks in their hands when a male student — someone they knew and trusted — pushed new drinks on them. Their friend told the women the drinks were vodka and lemonade.

 “It wasn’t even half of a Solo cup,” one of the women later recounted on Feb. 27 to KWVA, the UO campus radio station. “Thirty minutes later, I don’t remember anything at all.” 

Both felt dizzy and nauseous — one of them vomited — before they blacked out.

The women believe they were roofied — slipped drinks spiked with a drug intended to knock them out. Drugging of women at college parties has been a growing concern at campuses across the U.S. According to a study published in the journal Psychology of Violence in 2017, an estimated 8 percent of college students reported being drugged without their knowledge, most of them women who say they also were later sexually assaulted. 

The two women escaped the Phi Delt party thanks to a sober friend, who returned them safely home. But in the morning, the two say they had no recollection of how they got there. 

 Today, the women’s story is widely known across campus. The women have shared their accounts on TikTok and in an interview with KWVA. An upstart news site, Anonymous Student News, broke the story that Phi Delt and two other fraternities were under investigation for allegations of drugging, as well as doing their own interview with the women that posted before the KWVA radio interview.

But the scale of the problem is only now becoming clear. UO officials tell Eugene Weekly that since January, they have received reports of nine people “unknowingly ingesting substances that caused some level of incapacitation or need for medical care” while attending events sponsored by fraternities.

The wave of druggings at Greek parties may test the administration of UO’s new president, John Karl Scholz. 

 The UO said in its statement that in order to “protect the health and safety of the campus community, three organizations have been placed on interim suspension while the university investigates the allegations.” The fraternities include Phi Delt, which the UO suspended after the women’s allegations. 

 But it’s not clear if anyone is conducting a criminal investigation. 

Drugging someone without their knowledge is a felony in Oregon, and the women who survived the Phi Delt party say in the interview with Anonymous Student News that they reported the incident to the Eugene Police Department. 

When EW asked about the case, Eugene police spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin referred questions to the University of Oregon Police Department. “UOPD is handling the investigation,” McLaughlin said in an email.

UOPD Captain Clint Dieball tells EW that his police department is not investigating any cases involving fraternities or druggings at Greek events. Dieball says he doesn’t know why the Eugene police would send EW to his agency.

“That’s odd,” Dieball tells EW. “I’m not aware of any such reports.”

The UO says that the reported events occurred at off-campus locations, placing them in the legal jurisdiction of the EPD. UO officials say no associated criminal complaints have been filed with UOPD.

In an email to EW, the university said it is investigating these reports as potential violations of the student conduct code, but as of now, nothing has been substantiated. 

Nicole Lasky is a criminal justice professor at Northeastern University whose research focuses on drugging and victimization. 

 Lasky says such cases too often fall under the control of universities instead of police.

“The issue really is that universities aren’t legal systems; they have their own sort of way of operating outside of our criminal justice system,” Lasky says. “I’m not sure how you can really increase transparency, operating under this kind of obscure system that our universities do.”

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The women involved in the alleged roofie incident at Phi Delt didn’t respond to EW’s requests for an interview. But they have described their experience in detail elsewhere. 

According to what they told KWVA, the women woke up the following day, Sunday, Feb. 11, still feeling sick. Both were confused — neither had consumed enough alcohol to warrant their symptoms. They went to the emergency department at PeaceHealth’s RiverBend Medical Center in Springfield.

The women told KWVA that a physician at RiverBend told them their symptoms suggested they had been roofied.

The term “roofied” comes from the spiking of drinks with Rohypnol, the brand name of flunitrazepam. The drug is a benzodiazepine — or “benzo”—which includes potent tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax. Rohypnol, which is illegal in the U.S., is a common date-rape drug. 

 But being “roofied” extends to any substance that knocks someone out and affects their memory. Another commonly used rape drug, GHB, creates a sense of euphoria while bringing on amnesia.

 The women told KWVA that RiverBend had only standard drug tests, which can’t detect Rohypnol. Tests that might have shown they had ingested Rohypnol cost more than $300 each. RiverBend confirmed it does not offer tests for Rohypnol.

The women said they then tried to go to the University Health Center, but it was closed since it was Sunday. The University Health Center doesn’t offer walk-in drug tests. To be able to be tested, you have to make an appointment with a provider, who then can request labs. The health center suggested the women try Quest Diagnostics, a testing clinic. The women told KWVA that Quest Diagnostics couldn’t run the tests because it had not received an order from RiverBend.

“I felt like it’s all just been a really, really overly complicated process that has made us really angry,” one of the women later told KWVA. 

The next day, Feb. 12, they started posting about their experiences on TikTok. 

Their posts soon got the attention of Anonymous Student News, a news site first launched in February. In an interview with EW, the site’s founder and editor asked to go by their screen name, “Ako Fucus,” to keep anonymity when criticizing the university student government, which was the original motivation for the site. 

Anonymous Student News has served as a source for news, interviews and unfiltered opinion, Fucus says. They also say the site’s anonymity allows students to publish without retaliation about various topics, such as student government and campus protests.

On Feb. 20, Anonymous Student News broke the rumored news spreading on YikYak that the Interfraternity Council (IFC) had decided to suspend fraternities until the end of the term. The article also said that Phi Delt, Theta Chi and Delta Sigma Phi were facing disciplinary action for allegations regarding assaults and drugging. 

The next day, IFC posted a statement on its Instagram, stating only that there would be a temporary suspension of social gatherings with alcohol. When EW reached out this week to the IFC for comment, members referred the paper to the Instagram post. 

That same day, Anonymous Student News published another article, which said that an anonymous YikYak user said “that the IFC’s decision to voluntarily enter social probation was a pre-emptive move taken before the university could enforce more stringent measures” such as disaffiliating or permanently removing all fraternities from campus. On Feb. 21, the Daily Emerald published a story on the decision, adding that the suspension of alcohol at fraternity events would last until April 15. KWVA broadcast its interview with the women six days after the Emerald story. 

On Feb. 22, Oregon Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) posted on their Instagram, stating that over the last month the university had “received allegations of students unknowingly ingesting substances.” 

But the statement didn’t reveal which fraternities had received allegations. Nor did the UO disclose how many people claimed to have ingested substances at fraternity parties. 

While the statement didn’t name the fraternities, the UO FSL eventually posted the names of fraternities under investigation or university sanction on its website. 

However, by the UO’s standards, which says that updates to the status of chapters will be posted within five business days, there have been delays in naming the fraternities. 

The Greek Conduct Process and Chapter Status Report web page says it takes five business days to update news about fraternities.

UO officials say they suspended Delta Sigma Phi on Jan. 26 but took more than 20 days to disclose the decision. The UO suspended Phi Delt on Feb. 15, but it took 13 days before naming the fraternity on the website. It took only three days for the UO to disclose that it had also suspended Theta Chi. 

The UO investigations could bring long-term consequences to fraternities hoping to remain in the school’s Greek system. 

 However, three fraternity chapters went rogue after the UO in 2021 found them in violation of university codes, including rules that ban hazing and alcohol overconsumption. The fraternities — Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Sigma Phi and Kappa Sigma — continue to operate without sanction from the UO. An investigation substantiated that “multiple attendees” of a Sigma Alpha Epsilon party “consumed a controlled substance without their knowledge or consent, and attendees had to seek medical attention following the event.” Alpha Sigma and Kappa Sigma were suspended for misconduct unrelated to drugging allegations.

The UO has issued a warning on the website about the disaffiliated fraternities: “The university strongly discourages maintaining or seeking membership in these organizations and has significant and serious concerns about the health and safety of our students and the university community if these organizations continue to recruit and operate.”

For their part, the women told KWVA they wanted people to know what happened to them to prevent it from happening to others. 

“I’m so lucky that nothing worse happened to me,” one of the women told KWVA. “And the intention was probably much worse.”

The women recalled a meeting in the UO Dean of Students office, where an official told them the university had seen a spike in cases of students reporting being drugged at parties. One of the women said the university official told them other victims were reluctant to speak out.

“A lot of them don’t want to pursue further action out of a lot of reasons, which I totally understand,” she said. “But it just makes it so hard for action to actually be taken.”

The UO says anyone with additional information on these reports should contact the UO Office Of the Dean of Students at Chapter status updates are at