Student assaulted at off-campus fraternity house party

Daniel Wilcox, News Editor

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Landon Tucker ’22 “never liked the idea of fraternities,” but decided he would “give them a chance” one night. On the night of Friday, September 13, he went to a party at 821 Union Street, an off-campus fraternity house associated with Sigma Chi (Sig Chi), with a group of friends. Outside the house, a senior attending the party threw a drink at his head, Tucker said. Tucker was diagnosed with a concussion by Wicker Wellness Center four days later, according to an email obtained by the Concordiensis.

“I wanted to speak to the paper to make a call for change and for people to have the courage to know that they can speak out against these organizations that hold so much power on campus,” Tucker said.

Before he and his friends were waiting outside before entering the off-campus fraternity house, the senior was shouting at the group. As the group entered the house, the senior began messing with Tucker, touching his glasses and face, an act that Tucker at first believed was non-aggressive, according to Tucker. As he turned to make his way back Tucker alleges that he was hit “by a full beer in the face,” thrown by the student. The senior declined to talk about the incident with the Concordiensis, but admitted that a physical altercation between himself and Tucker had taken place.

This is not the first time a student claimed he was harrassed at the house: Last term a gay student said he was kicked out because he was wearing nail varnish. In both instances the President of the Gamma Zeta Chapter of Sigma Chi Corey Rutkin ’21 claimed that the alleged aggressors were not members of the fraternity. Tucker and bystanders agreed that the accused was not a member of the fraternity.

“Sigma Chi takes seriously all infringements of college policies and standards ready to cooperate with the college in any way that we can when our members are involved,” Rutkin said.

Witnesses at the party said that brothers of the fraternity were critical of the actions of the senior. Sig Chi brothers took aside Tucker’s friends after Tucker had left the party and apologized for the accused’s actions.

Tucker filed a complaint to Campus Safety the morning after the incident. Schenectady Police also became involved, with Tucker considering police action. Since the report, several people have been interviewed by Campus Safety. The incident has not appeared in the Crime and Fire Log. There are reasons that this may not have been reported: When a crime does not in the jurisdiction of Campus Safety, when “disclosure would jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation or the safety of an individual,” or when “disclosure would jeopardize the confidentiality of the victim,” it will not be reported, according to Sargent Janice Underwood.

The Schenectady Police Department has not responded to repeated requests for information about the incident. Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Jenn Jerussi declined to comment on this specific case, in order to “protect the rights of all students involved.”