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Thursday, April 2, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Whitman College fraternity confronts sexual misconduct allegations

By Alfred Diaz Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

A Whitman College fraternity’s social schedule was suspended last week by its peers after a number of sexual misconduct allegations were reported against members of Phi Delta Theta.

College officials were unwilling to add details or provide comments on the suspension because it was initiated by students and against a student-run organization.

But college officials are involved in the investigation to some degree, according to Whitman spokeswoman Gina Ohnstad.

Walla Walla Police Detective Sgt. Matt Wood said he was unaware of any sexual assault cases currently being investigated by police at the Phi Delta Theta house, at 715 Estrella St. He added that sexual assault cases investigated by college officials would not necessarily be reported to police.

The college’s sexual misconduct victim’s advocate, Barbara Maxwell, declined to comment to the Union-Bulletin and directed all questions to Ohnstad.

“We are working with the appropriate parties to determine the next step,” Ohnstad said.

On Thursday, the college newspaper, the Pioneer, reported representatives of four sororities and the college’s sexual violence prevention representatives sent an email to the college’s Greek community on Tuesday notifying recipients that Phi Delta Theta’s social events were canceled because of sexual misconduct concerns.

In addition, the article noted members of the fraternity had agreed to attend presentations by representatives of the sexual violence prevention program and All Students for Consent.

The article also reported members of Phi Delta Theta said the fraternity will not exist on campus unless the community notices drastic change in behavior.

Attempts to contact members of Phi Delta Theta or the four college sororities – Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta and Kappa Kappa Gamma – were unsuccessful.

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