Three national organizations are calling on the University of Virginia to reinstate fraternities and sororities after an acknowledgment last week by Rolling Stone magazine of “discrepancies” in its story on gang rape.
In a joint statement, the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee, the National Panhellenic Conference and the North-American Interfraternity Conference, among other things, asked the university “to immediately reinstate operations for all fraternity and sorority organizations on campus, to issue an apology for its actions of the last two weeks, to publicly explain and release all records for the basis of its decision to suspend our organizations, and outline what steps it will take to restore the reputation of our groups and students at UVA.”
On Nov. 22, the university suspended all its fraternities until Jan. 9 following the article in which a woman described being gang-raped during a fraternity party in 2012. The school later publicly apologized to the student, identified as “Jackie.”
But on Dec. 5, after doubts were raised about the article, Rolling Stone walked back some of the assertions in the story, and it said it had “come to the conclusion that our trust in [Jackie] was misplaced.” The magazine later deleted that line, saying the mistakes in the story “are on Rolling Stone, not on Jackie.”
Jackie is standing by her version of the events.
Today’s statement from the three organizations said the Rolling Stone article “sets back the fight against rape and sexual assault, marginalizing and discouraging true victims from stepping forward”; and 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.” The statement also called on Congress and state legislatures “to look seriously at the complex issue of how to handle sexual assault on campus.”