A lawsuit filed Wednesday in Washtenaw County accused Eastern Michigan University (EMU) fraternity members of a “staggering” number of sexual harassment cases.
The EMU chapter of Delta Tau Delta has been a breeding ground for underage drinking, “alcohol-fueled parties,” and over 15 cases of sexual harassment, the lawsuit alleges.
Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit, who is spearheading the movement to redress the wrongs at the fraternity, said six members are facing criminal charges in connection with fraternity activities.
“We were really looking for a way of course not just to prosecute the people involved in these cases, but also to be proactive and address the conditions that are leading to these sexual assaults in the first place,” Savit said.
History of Harassment
Delta Thau Delta came under fire last year after more than 30 women accused EMU of turning a blind eye to the “dangerous culture of sexual assault” perpetrated at the Greek organization.
A federal lawsuit was also filed against the local and national chapters of Delta Tau Delta, alleging numerous rapes at fraternity houses and other off-campus sites were swept under the carpet by university officials.
Given the multiple police reports filed against the fraternity, the lawsuit states the fraternity house poses “a severe ongoing risk to public health and safety” and should be declared a public nuisance.
“It is about addressing the instant conditions…as well as addressing the culture,” Savit told The Detroit News. “I am hopeful that we can start to see a culture change not just with respect to Greek Life, but to students in general. If you are creating conditions that lead to sexual assaults, the party is going to be over.”