Drugging reported at Thursday party on the Row

Oct. 12, 2019, 2:22 a.m.

A female student tested positive for a date-rape drug on Friday after losing consciousness at a party on the Row Thursday night, Stanford Police announced in an AlertSU notification sent early Saturday morning. It is unclear exactly where the incident occurred.

After receiving a report that the student lost consciousness after drinking alcoholic beverages at the party, the Campus Security Authority issued a drug test that returned a positive result for GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate), a drug slipped in alcoholic beverages to incapacitate victims.

GHB, an odorless and tasteless substance, is a powerful hypnotic and sedative agent that causes depressive nervous system effects including drowsiness, loss of inhibition, and temporary amnesia. The effects can last for hours, and when combined with alcohol the drug has caused several deaths.

Knowingly providing a harmful substance such as GHB to someone without their consent is aggravated assault. Police have no information on a suspect at this time.

It is unknown whether an additional crime, such as sexual misconduct or sexual assault, occurred, according to the AlertSU. On the night of the drugging, the victim was brought home safely by a companion. 

This isn’t the first time that a suspected drugging has occurred on the Stanford campus. In January 2018, a non-Stanford student was suspected of drugging five members of Pi Beta Phi and two members of the men’s rowing team at a party at the then-Sigma Chi fraternity house at 550 Lasuen Mall. The fraternity has since lost its national recognition at Stanford. The incident, which led to several hospitalizations, caused some Row houses to institute new alcohol policies to prevent future crimes. Lawsuits between Stanford and Sig Chi over use of the house are ongoing.

In a separate incident that September, an unknown male suspect offered a female victim a drink of water, which she thought tasted odd. According to an AlertSU sent out after the event, she had no more memory of the evening. According to the victim’s friend, who eventually escorted the victim home safely, the male suspect danced with her and groped her.

Any updates to the case will be available at https://police.stanford.edu/alert/. Those who have information about the crime are encouraged to call the Stanford University Department of Public Safety at (650) 329-2413 at any time. Resources for sexual assault survivors and information about stopping sexual crimes were also linked in the university AlertSU.

Correction: This article has been reflected to clarify that the police have no information on an alleged suspect, not that they have not released information.

Contact Cooper Veit at cveit ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Cooper Veit '22 is an opinions writer and amateur Steinbeck scholar from San Francisco. Talk to him about the work and life of John Steinbeck, and contact him at cveit 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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