A Jewish fraternity at the centre of numerous rape allegations at St Andrews University has claimed its members are in danger of “trial by social media”.
Alpha Epsilon Pi, a society for Jewish males at the university, is under investigation after numerous accounts of alleged sexual assault came to light, and has suspended a number of members.
However, it has claimed it and its members could be subject to “cancel culture” online, which would “also destroy lives.”
In a statement, a spokesman for Alpha Epsilon Pi said: “We need to be careful about using these sites or stories — painful and often horrifying as they are — as a substitute for an official investigation by proper authorities.
“Too often, those identified in these posts are being tried and convicted on social and traditional media and, that too, is unfair.
“Moreover, bypassing official investigations by proper authorities causes a breakdown in criminal justice systems that are best prepared to take on such serious matters.”
“It’s time to treat everyone — no matter their gender — with respect and dignity. It’s also time to stop allowing people to use social media as a weapon. It’s time that we reconfirm that everyone has a right to due process.”
Meanwhile, St Andrews Survivors has today published email correspondence with the Deputy Principle Lorna Milne, in which she says the two parties have reached an “impasse” over agreeing to mediation.
The group desired to engage with the university using non-confidential means, which it claims the university could not commit to despite asking repeatedly. The university has denied that alleged victims would be made to sign confidentiality agreements.
A university spokeswoman said: “Survivors have categorically not been asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. They have been invited to engage in an ongoing consultation, which will offer a range of student groups and societies, including elected student representatives, equal and fair opportunity to engage in discussions and shape policy.
“We suggested that these discussions should respect confidentiality in the first instance for their protection and to provide a safe space for discussion, given the trauma that survivors of sexual misconduct have experienced and that dialogue may involve disclosure of deeply personal information.
“Our consultation is being led by our Head of Mediation and Wellbeing, who is also the policy lead for gender-based violence and Chair of our Equally Safe Committee, which involves students and staff from across the University."