The University of Virginia administration has drawn criticism for its lack of response to complaints that it has mishandled and hidden sexual assaults at the campus for years. This week, UVA announced it will finally tackle the sexual assaults after an alleged gang rape.
The University of Virginia, following reports of an alleged gang rape in 2012, has suspended Greek fraternity activities to re-examine its approach to dealing with cases of sexual assault on the campus, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Over the weekend, UVA President Teresa Sullivan suspended Greek social activities until January 9, shortly before spring classes begin. The university has also called for an independent investigation of its policies following a November 19 Rolling Stone article that alleged a gang rape occurred at a UVA fraternity house, as well as other sexual assaults.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Teresa Sullivan” author_title=”University of Virginia President”]
Meaningful change is necessary, and we can lead that change for all universities. 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.
The trouble at UVA comes during a federal crackdown on the failure of higher education institutions to sufficiently report sexual assaults. UVA is among the schools being investigated by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, which now has 88 pending investigations into sexual assault on college campuses.
Faculty members have signed petitions to reorganize campus life by focusing on fraternities, as they are a hot spot for younger students who cannot go to bars. Members of UVA’s fraternity council also acknowledged that sexual assault is a problem, FOX News reported.
The Rolling Stone article detailed what was apparently a planned gang rape of a student in 2012 in a room of the Phi Kappa Psi house, which was followed by a botched response by the university administration. The student’s friends, after finding her after the hours-long rape and standing outside the fraternity, debated about about taking her to the hospital. The victim’s friends were more concerned with their social status and what they believed would be betraying the fraternities than in reporting the incident. The article claimed rape has long been an undercurrent of the school’s social system as a byproduct of the party culture.
Some fraternity members have moved out of their houses at UVA, citing protests and the potential for vandalism or violence.
Do you agree with the administration’s decision to suspend all fraternities?