The University of Virginia’s president, Teresa A. Sullivan, temporarily suspended all campus fraternities just days after an in-depth report by Rolling Stone gave a harrowing account of past cases of sexual assault on campus and their connection to the university’s Greek life. The article described how many past victims of sexual assault on UVA’s campus have been pressured by peers and administrators to keep quiet and not press charges.
In a follow-up article to the original, Rolling Stone published a series of personal accounts shared by readers about their own experiences with sexual assault at UVA, further demonstrating “the chilling frequency with which sexual assault on campus occurs.” The original article by Rolling Stone triggered a variety of responses from UVA students and students, as well as several politicians. Hundreds of UVA students and faculty members led a protest last Saturday, holding signs that read statements such as “She trusted you to do the right thing” and “Throw parties that respect women’s bodies.”
In a letter to students, Sullivan wrote that fraternities will resume activities on Jan. 9, and “in the intervening period [they] will assemble groups of students, faculty, alumni, and other concerned parties to discuss [their] next steps in preventing sexual assault and sexual violence on Grounds.”
She added, “We can demand that incidents like those described in Rolling Stone never happen and that if they do, the responsible are held accountable to the law. This will require institutional change, cultural change, and legislative change, and it will not be easy.” UVA is now one of over 80 universities under federal investigation “due to concerns with how the schools handle sexual violence on campus.”