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Brandeis and Waltham police investigate alleged sexual assault

Posted by Your Town  February 5, 2013 12:49 PM

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Waltham police and Brandeis police are investigating an alleged sexual assault that took place on Dartmouth Street, and was reported in late January, according to the Waltham police and a Brandeis University official.

Detective Sgt. Joe Guigno of the Waltham police said in a phone interview Tuesday that the alleged sexual assault was first reported to Waltham police on Jan. 23.

“The assault is being investigated,” Guigno said.

Ellen de Graffenreid, a spokeswoman for the university, confirmed the incident occurred off-campus and that Brandeis police were working with the Waltham police department.

An article that was published in The Waltham News Tribune and The Brandeis Hoot indicated that the person who is being accused of sexual assault was a member of a fraternity comprised of Brandeis students. The Hoot and Tribune reported that following the sexual assault, Brandeis officers from one fraternity and the Greek Awareness Council sent an e-mail on Jan. 24 to all Greek life students, asking them to not discuss the sexual assault.

In a phone interview Tuesday afternoon, de Graffenreid would not confirm if Brandeis students were involved in the alleged sexual assault. However, she said that as of 1988, Brandeis University has not recognized sororities or fraternities.

The policy, she said, is that “exclusive or secret societies are inconsistent with the principles of openness to which the University is committed. Therefore, social fraternities and sororities, in particular, are neither recognized nor permitted to hold activities on campus or use University facilities.”

On Feb. 1, The Hoot published an editorial in which they condemned the response of the Greek life organizations. The staff wrote that they were “disappointed by the tone of their message,” noting the e-mail did not reference the potential victim of the sexual assault, and urged the students to remain silent about the incident.

“Silence, not discussion, they wrote in an email to all Greek life members, is the best response to protecting their reputation.” The Hoot wrote. “No one in reasonable and fair judgment would connect allegations about an individual incident to the character or integrity of an organization. But the response sent last week is far more telling of such reputations and images.”

Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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