UVA Suspending Fraternities in Wake of Rolling Stone’s ‘A Rape On Campus’ Article

Rolling Stone UVA Fraternities Article

Update: RollingStone has since retracted the story. “In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie’s account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced. We were trying to be sensitive to the unfair shame and humiliation many women feel after a sexual assault and now regret the decision to not contact the alleged assaulters to get their account. We are taking this seriously and apologize to anyone who was affected by the story.”


Rolling Stone recently published a devastating article called, “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA“–and now the repercussions are rolling at the University of Virginia. As Rolling Stone is reporting, Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s article inspired plenty of correspondence from other UVA students, and now UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan has announced that the entire UVA fraternity system is shutting down through the rest of the year, as seen in this excerpt from her address:

This morning the Inter-Fraternity Council announced that all University fraternities have voluntarily suspended social activities this weekend. This is an important first step, but our challenges will extend beyond this weekend. Beginning immediately, I am suspending all fraternal organizations and associated social activities until January 9th, ahead of the beginning of our spring semester. In the intervening period we will assemble groups of students, faculty, alumni, and other concerned parties to discuss our next steps in preventing sexual assault and sexual violence on Grounds. On Tuesday, the Board of Visitors will meet to discuss the University’s policies and procedures regarding sexual assault as well as the specific, recent allegations.

The investigation will certainly be welcome, especially as the details of the article (and the alleged 2012 assault at UVA’s Phi Kappa Psi  house) continue to be debated. Rolling Stone‘s original piece has already produced weirdness in the comments, with one person posting the name of all the current members of the Phi Kappa Psi branch following the article. That was followed by death threats against the Phi Kappa Psi members.

At this point, it’s hard to imagine what other steps could have been taken by President Sullivan in the wake of a media firestorm. Rolling Stone has certainly reopened the case, and bizarre internet commentary can’t change how important it’s now become to know there’s a full investigation.

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