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The president of the University of Virginia responded on Thursday to a letter in which national sorority leaders encouraged women to skip fraternity parties this weekend to protect their "safety and well-being." President Teresa A. Sullivan said she has confidence that students can exercise good judgment and consider each other's safety.

The letter from sorority leaders was widely criticized, with some students saying that the request treated them as untrustworthy and suggested women are inferior. Sullivan said it was a matter between national sorority organizations and their local chapters. But she said she resists "any implication that UVA students are somehow deserving of special admonition."

The Virginia campus was roiled last year by a since-discredited Rolling Stone article describing a gang rape at a fraternity party.

Sullivan pointed to safety guidelines adopted by UVA fraternities and sororities earlier this month. “We have confidence in our students’ ability to use good judgment, be mindful of one another’s safety” and follow their own safety practices, she said.


— Katie Wall and Erin McClam