In collaboration with Jordyn Noennig and Joe Horning
The Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) chapter of UW-Milwaukee, Zeta Zeta, has been suspended indefinitely as police pursue an investigation into a party held at their off campus fraternity house involving alleged “date rape” drugs.
Police were called to the Sandburg dorms on three separate occasions on Saturday, Sept. 13 between midnight and 1:33 a.m. for reports of severely intoxicated students. Three different women and one man entered the dorms that night, all reportedly unable to walk and exhibiting signs of drug and alcohol induced disorientation. All four of the students were later admitted to Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital.
Police suspected foul play might have been at hand upon noticing all four of the students had similar color-coded X’s written on their hands in permanent marker. A further inquiry revealed some suspicious information pertaining to that nights events.
Officers obtained the address of the house, 3321 N. Oakland Ave., and went over to break up the troublesome party. Upon arrival, the officers quickly noticed numerous piles of vomit outside the house. After talking with the fraternity’s president, Thomas Kreinbring, 28, officers were given permission to enter the building. 42 people were found drinking in the basement, all of them under the legal drinking age.
Officers were told by students that in order to get into the party you had to know a member of the fraternity. Boys hands were then marked with black X’s, girls with red X’s.
Once inside the party, girls who were “hot” could purchase an $8 index card, which gave them exclusive access to a set up bar. The drinks were then made for the women underneath the counter and out of their view.
After the hospitalizations and the results of the inquiry of the students’ activities that night were revealed, police executed a search warrant on the house in search of drugs or any media devices holding information concerning malicious activity.
Any media device capable of information storage found on the premises was confiscated, which includes phones, laptops, memory cards, and video game consoles.
Drugs and related paraphernalia were also found within the house and subsequently confiscated. The drugs were later identified as marijuana and Adderall. The paraphernalia confiscated included scales, sandwich bags and pipes cited as being used for the consumption, weighing and packaging of drugs.
In the days following, Kreinbring was arrested and charged. His charges include keeping a drug house, and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, both of which are felonies.
Outrage and Feedback:
The results of the searches and the alleged reports of “date rape” drugs being administered into drinks has sparked outrage from students and residents living in the surrounding area. The story has since gained national attention from media outlets including CBS, MTV, Salon, BuzzFeed and CNN.
The university quickly acknowledged the misconduct by the fraternity.
Thomas Luljak, Vice Chancellor of University Relations, said in a press statement that they are “deeply concerned about these allegations because the safety of our students is our number one priority.”
Student Association president, Ryan Sorenson, stated “the reports concerning the TKE house are troubling. We appreciate the investigation and will wait see what comes from it. It is vital that our students feel safe at UWM.”
Representatives from TKE’s UWM chapter could not be reached for comment.
Rough history for UWM’s TKE:
TKE does not have a bright on campus reputation amongst students and peers.
The chapter was also involved in an investigation last year in the alleged rape of three female students of the university. The charges were later dropped.
The UWM Post reached out to students for input concerning the fraternity. A student who wishes to remain anonymous said this wasn’t the first time this has happened at one of the fraternity’s parties.
“One night I got drugged there,” she claims. “I had only had a drink or two and college wasn’t my first time drinking. So I knew what I had drink wouldn’t get me drunk like that.”
The student then went on to state that she remembers being coerced to go upstairs and lead into a bathroom after finishing a drink, where one of the men began to expose his genitals. Another fraternity member, and friend of the woman, reportedly stopped the activity before it could go any further.
On campus sexual assaults abroad:
The allegations come at a time when universities abroad are under intense scrutiny for under reporting on campus sexual assaults.
The White House acknowledged the problem at an event held Friday. The event launched the start of a new White House campaign, “It’s on us,” which is centered at bringing the issue to light. A study by the Justice Department estimates that one in five women in college will be a victim of a campus sexual assault at some point.