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Hundreds of students protest outside KU fraternity house over rape allegations

KU protest
Posted at 9:54 PM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-14 10:02:49-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hundreds of students gathered outside of a fraternity house at the University of Kansas on Monday night in response to sexual assault allegations against a member of a fraternity.

Protestors say an undergraduate student member of the Phi Kappa Psi sexually assaulted a female KU student Saturday night. No one is under arrest, Lawrence police have not confirmed whether it's investigating a sexual assault.

Monday, Lawrence police officers were sent to check on a trespassing in progress at about 8:30 p.m. in the 600 block of West 15th Street. The officers found hundreds of people protesting outside the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house.

"It’s really sad, but honestly it’s not surprising to me and I feel like there should more measures taken to prevent it," said Nina Bauschamp, a freshman at KU "I hate to see it happening right here."

Protesters demanded the alleged attacker be arrested and called for justice for the alleged victim. They have also started an online petition asking KU to ban the fraternity from campus. More than 6,000 people have signed the petition.

A spokesman for the national chapter of Phi Kappa Psi told KSHB 41 News in an email that it became aware of "alleged events" that happened over the weekend but didn't directly address the allegations of sexual assault.

"On Sunday, September 12, Phi Kappa Psi became aware of allegations against a new undergraduate member based on alleged events occurring at the chapter house on the night of Saturday, September 11," the spokemsan said in an email. "University of Kansas officials were immediately notified so a full and prompt investigation could be initiated. Phi Kappa Psi takes these allegations very seriously and will fully cooperate with law enforcement."

A spokeswoman from the University of Kansas referred KSHB 41 News to the same statement provided by Phi Kappa Psi.

However, she did say the university takes all allegations of sexual violence seriously.

"The university takes seriously all allegations of sexual violence and has robust processes to investigate such allegations," Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, director for news and media relations for KU said in an email. "We encourage anyone who has experienced sexual violence to contact law enforcement or the university’s Office of Civil Rights and Title IX to initiate an investigation."

Lawrence police officers and Douglas County Sheriff's deputies were in the area Monday and planned to stay to keep everyone safe, a police department spokesman said.

No arrests had been made by 11 p.m. and no injuries were reported, according to a police department spokesperson.

"This is not how our university should be remembered," said Rod O’Den, a senior at the school. "KU definitely needs to do something through discipline through the university.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.