UVA Issues Statement Regarding Fraternal Suspension

Posted: Updated: Dec 08, 2014 05:51 PM
Greek Row at UVA Greek Row at UVA

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The University of Virginia says it's creating a group to explore its policies and campus culture after a Rolling Stone article on an alleged gang rape prompted an "intense, ongoing period of introspection."

School officials also said Monday that the university won't lift its suspension of Greek activities at the request of national fraternity and sorority organizations.

The university suspended Greek activities until Jan. 9 after Rolling Stone published an article describing an alleged rape at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house. The magazine has since backed away from many details.

The Greek life groups had urged the school to lift the suspension after the magazine acknowledged missteps in its reporting.

Officials say the newly created group supports the goal of providing an outstanding education while ensuring students' safety and well-being.

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University of Virginia Press Release

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Dec. 8, 2014 — The University of Virginia issued the following statement today regarding its decision to suspend social activities at fraternities and sororities until Jan. 9:

University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan remains sensitive to concerns about broadly indicting the entire Greek system in the aftermath of the allegations described in the Rolling Stone article. As she said in her Dec. 1 address to the community, “In any crisis it can be far too easy to paint with a broad brush, and blindly attack entire groups of individuals. This is not a responsible reaction.” Sullivan went on to state fraternity men at UVA. are “good and decent people” and were equally distressed at the allegations in the article.

The purpose of the suspension of fraternity and sorority social activities was to give the University and Greek leadership a pause to identify solutions that would best ensure the well-being and safety of students. This important collaborative work continues, and the reinstatement of Greek activities on Jan. 9 will be in conjunction with a new Fraternal Organization Agreement that will enhance the safety of members and their guests.

President Sullivan's decision to suspend fraternity and sorority social activity for the remainder of the year came after UVA's Inter-fraternity Council suspended its activities for the weekend of Nov. 21 and after the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity chapter at UVA. voluntarily surrendered its own Fraternal Organization Agreement with the University.

The IFC presented a number of ideas for reform at the Board of Visitors' meeting on Nov. 25, and President Sullivan continues to meet with leadership of all four Greek councils – the IFC, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Multicultural Greek Council and the Inter-Sorority Council – to discuss additional ideas about how best to ensure the safety of their members and guests while also bringing about meaningful cultural change at the University.

President Sullivan has also called on all student organizations to review their contracts with the University to safeguard the safety of their respective members and participants.