The president of the University of Virginia has suspended all campus fraternities until Jan. 9 in the wake of explosive gang rape allegations involving the school’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, the Washington Post reports.
Here’s what President Teresa Sullivan said in a statement on her school’s website:
“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.”
The announcement comes after a disturbing Rolling Stone article recounted a horrific alleged gang rape at the Phi Kappa Psi frat and several other alleged instances of sexual assault at UVA. Following the article, the frat was vandalised and voluntarily suspended itself.
The image of that vandalism below is from The Cavalier Daily:
Virginia Governor Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he was “deeply disturbed” by the allegations and asked the school to conduct a full investigation into its sexual assault policies. Meanwhile, UVA has asked the local police to investigate the horrific 2012 incident alleged in the Rolling Stone article in which a first-year student said seven men raped her at a frat party.
In her statement posted to the UVA website on Saturday, Sullivan expressed both sorrow and determination. From her statement suspending the fraternities:
The wrongs described in Rolling Stone are appalling and have caused all of us to reexamine our responsibility to this community. Rape is an abhorrent crime that has no place in the world, let alone on the campuses and grounds of our nation’s colleges and universities. We know, and have felt very powerfully this week, that we are better than we have been described, and that we have a responsibility to live our tradition of honour every day, and as importantly every night.
UVA and a number of other high-profile universities have been scrutinized over their responses to sexual assault allegations, which the school typically handles internally.
UVA was one of 55 schools originally announced as being under investigation by the Office of Civil Rights in May.
However, UVA may have “more reason to worry than most of its peers,” Rolling Stone reports. According to the magazine, “UVA is one of only 12 schools under a sweeping investigation known as ‘compliance review’: a proactive probe launched by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights itself, triggered by concerns about deep-rooted issues.”
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