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While reports of druggings last weekend at Northwestern University fraternities Alpha Epsilon Pi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon remain under investigation, one alleged victim came forward in an op-ed column in the Daily Northwestern.
Isabel Podolsky wrote that she was drugged at Alpha Epsilon Pi, and also criticized the health care she received afterward from NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston.
“I had consumed two drinks over a period of three hours. I took two sips of a ‘non-alcoholic’ drink that was offered to me, only to realize 30 minutes later that I had been drugged,” she wrote in the campus newspaper. “I ended up on a couch in Kemper Hall, dissociating, able to speak coherently but unsure if I could move my body.”
Podolsky wrote that she was eventually taken to Evanston Hospital, but said she was not given a full drug test to find out what chemicals may have been in her blood and only received a urine test for marijuana and Valium.
Podolsky said she was told this was because she was not physically assaulted, so a full drug panel could not be conducted without going to a crime lab.
The second-year student from New York City described her memory of the night as “patchy,” but said the next morning a friend who had accompanied her to the hospital recounted what had been said to her by medical staff.
Podolsky wrote that her discharge papers listed alcohol intoxication as the condition for which she was treated, although she said she was not drunk.
“Though there are many things I don’t know about that night, I can affirm that I was not drunk, and I am horrified that my words were not taken at face value,” she wrote. “This is why victims do not come forward.”
Because a full drug test was not administered, “evidence in the investigation against those who drugged me doesn’t exist,” Podolsky wrote.
“The hospital dismissed me and denied me the ability to know what drug I and others ingested, but they can’t take away my ability to publicly call upon the administration of the NorthShore University HealthSystem to do better,” she wrote.
Jim Anthony, senior director of publication relations at NorthShore University HealthSystem, offered this response to the RoundTable about Podolsky’s column:
“We take these matters very seriously and prioritize health and safety across our organization. Out of respect for patient privacy, we are unable to provide further comment.”