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New Rules for Frat Parties as Greek Life Resumes at University of Virginia

The university suspended all Greek activities in November after a Rolling Stone article, since cast into doubt, alleged a gang rape at a frat in 2012.
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The University of Virginia has outlined new restrictions on fraternities — which includes having at least three members stay sober through the night, and hiring an outside security guard during large parties — after the school was rocked by a Rolling Stone article alleging a gang rape at a frat house. That report was later found to be not completely accurate.

The university suspended all fraternities on Nov. 22 after the woman, identified only as “Jackie,” claimed in the magazine that she was gang raped at a frat party in 2012. Inconsistencies have since been pointed out in the story, which was dubbed "the worst journalism of 2014" by the Columbia Journalism Review.

Nevertheless, frat activities will only be able to resume if fraternities agree to the new rules, University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan announced Tuesday. Fraternities have until Jan. 16 to sign the agreement.

"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.

The agreement requires that at least three frat members stay sober, and that at least one be stationed near the stairway leading to bedrooms. It also restricts what kind of alcohol can be served, and, at large events, requires an outside bartender be hired to serve hard liquor.

The new rules come even after problems with the alleged victim’s story in Rolling Stone emerged, forcing the magazine to apologize and admit that “our trust in her was misplaced."

The University went ahead with its investigation into on-campus sexual assaults even after the story was discredited. Sullivan said security on campus would also be increased and that more counselors will be made available to work with sexual assault victims.


— Phil Helsel