The University of Virginia restored fraternities on campus Tuesday without apology, requiring them to undergo safety and sexual assault training and adopt strict new rules on alcohol — or face continued banishment.
President Teresa Sullivan suspended all fraternities and sororities on campus on Nov. 22 after Rolling Stone magazine published a now-discredited story of an alleged, premeditated gang rape during a Phi Kappa Si party in the fall of 2012.
Reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely relayed a sordid tale of student “Jackie’s” rape atop broken glass for three hours by seven men, and the skepticism she faced from friends and institutions on campus. Jackie refused to seek immediate medical care after the horrific ordeal — telling Erdely that several friends, seeing her covered in blood, decided not to take her to the hospital for fear they wouldn’t be invited back to parties. Erdely spoke to none of Jackie’s friends and made no effort to identify, let alone speak to, the alleged perpetrators. The Associated Press reported that contrary to Erdely’s story, Jackie’s friend and crush Ryan Duffin, referred to as “Randall” in the Rolling Stone story, was mid-dial when Jackie begged him not to call 911.
After several blogs raised questions about Jackie’s account and the Washington Post contacted Jackie’s friends to get their side of the story, it quickly fell apart.
Undeterred, the university has ordered fraternities to sign onto a slew of new regulations ostensibly meant to prevent sexual assault, according to the LA Times.
BuzzFeed listed the new regulations:
At least three sober brothers must be on hand to monitor alcohol distribution and the stairway to residential rooms.
An additional sober brother must be on hand for each 30 fraternity members.
Functions must be registered with the council.
Beer must be served in its original, unopened can.
Wine must be visibly poured at a bar by a sober brother.
Punch and premixed drinks are prohibited.
Liquor may be served at the bar by a sober brother at parties where outside guests don’t exceed the number of brothers. But at larger parties, a bartender and outside security must be hired.
Bottled water and food must be available.
A sober brother must have a key to access each room.
Greek life has been struggling to come to terms with the university’s demands for a month. In a statement, the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee (FSPAC), the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), and the North American Fraternity Conference (NIC) called for UVA to release the records detailing its decision:
The reckless Rolling Stone article set off a chain of events that led the University of Virginia to suspend operations of all fraternities and sororities for the remainder of the school term. This decision was made before an investigation into all of the facts alleged in the story was completed and it was not consistent with the law or university policies. The school’s decision to suspend hurt the reputation of thousands of outstanding student leaders in our organizations who had nothing to do with the alleged events described in the article. As a result, the University’s rush to judgment has caused great harm and emotional distress to the members of Phi Kappa Psi and many in the fraternal community. We believe universities must demonstrate more respect for the fundamental rights to due process and freedom of association for students and student organizations when allegations of misconduct are lodged. A rush to judgment on campus all too often turns out to be wrong, especially when applied at the organizational level.
Sullivan has chosen to forge ahead with the new restrictions.
“I believe the new safety measures recommended by the student leaders in the Greek community will help provide a safer environment for their members and guests,” Sullivan said in a statement, according to NBCNews. Greek life organizations have until Jan. 16 to adopt the new regulations.
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