LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Hundreds of people chanted and held signs outside a University of Kansas fraternity house where a member is accused of sexually assaulting another student.
The Monday night protest outside the Phi Kappa Psi house came after the fraternity officials reported the allegations over the weekend.
University Chancellor Douglas Girod said a statement Tuesday that fraternity leaders have been cooperative.
“First, we want to say we appreciate that so many members of our community were moved to gather in support of combatting sexual assault,” Girod said. “Sadly, sexual assault continues to be pervasive in our society, and we are heartened to know that so many of you feel compelled to engage on this topic.”
He added that the university takes seriously all reports of sexual assault. The university has “robust processes” to investigate reported instances and hold accountable those individuals and organizations that violate university policies. He also noted the university has a number of resources to assist survivors of sexual violence.
The Lawrence Kansas Police Department responded to what was initially reported as a trespassing in progress, and encountered several hundred people engaged in protest, police said in a news release. Law enforcement agencies maintained a presence for the duration of the protest to ensure “the safety of everyone involved.”
No arrests were made and no injuries were reported, police said.
The police department also denied social media claims that it had used pepper spray on protestors, saying this was done by private security personnel in advance of police arrival.
A spokesman for the fraternity said the organization has been made aware of the allegations involving one of its new undergraduate members and the university was immediately notified.
“Phi Kappa Psi takes these allegations very seriously and will fully cooperate with law enforcement,” the statement said. “Due to the recent nature of these allegations and the need for a full and complete investigation, Phi Kappa Psi cannot provide further comments at this time.”
A petition to remove Phi Kappa Psi from campus had garnered more than 13,000 signatures by Tuesday afternoon.