UVA Reinstates Fraternity at Center of Rolling Stone Story

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The University of Virginia on Monday reinstated a fraternity after a police investigation failed to find “any substantive basis” to confirm an account in Rolling Stone magazine of a gang rape at a party.

The fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, suspended itself after the magazine published its story in November, and the university briefly suspended all fraternities. The Washington Post uncovered discrepancies in the story, and friends of the accuser, identified as Jackie, came forward to contest parts of her account.

The university said that its Phi Kappa Psi chapter would be reinstated immediately after Charlottesville police said they could not corroborate the story.

“We welcome Phi Kappa Psi, and we look forward to working with all fraternities and sororities in enhancing and promoting a safe environment for all,” said Teresa A. Sullivan, the university president.

Rolling Stone apologized and commissioned an investigation into its own reporting on the story, which was crowned the worst journalism of the year by Columbia Journalism Review.

The fraternity chapter president, Stephen Scipione, said it was important to “guard against a rush to judgment as we often don’t have all of the facts in front of us.” He also said the episode was a chance to improve student safety.

This has prompted us to take a closer look at ourselves and what role organizations like ours may play in this problem. It’s opened all of our eyes to the problem of sexual assault. Now it’s time to do something about it. As a fraternity, we are going to continue discussing that need in the coming weeks.


— Erin McClam