University of Virginia suspends fraternities amid rape investigation



University of Virginia's campus.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The University of Virginia on Saturday suspended activities at all campus fraternal organizations amid an investigation into a published report in which a student described being sexually assaulted by seven men at a fraternity in 2012.
University president Teresa Sullivan said in a letter to the university community that the Board of Visitors is scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss the allegations contained in a Rolling Stone article, along with the university's policies and procedures concerning sexual assaults. Groups of students, faculty, alumni and others will be asked to hold similar discussions.
"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," Sullivan wrote. "This will require institutional change, cultural change, and legislative change, and it will not be easy. We are making those changes."
"We need the collective strength of the members of our community to ensure that we have the best policies."
Sullivan said the suspension of all fraternal groups is effective until Jan. 9. She has also asked Charlottesville police to investigate the alleged rape at the Phi Kappa Psi house. The fraternity has voluntarily surrendered its fraternal agreement with University of Virginia.
On Friday, Attorney General Mark Herring said the university agreed to withdraw its appointment of former federal judge and prosecutor Mark Filip as independent counsel to investigate how the school responds to rape allegations. In college, Filip was a member of Phi Kappa Psi.
Sullivan had said the Rolling Stone article includes details that weren't disclosed to university officials previously.
"The wrongs described in Rolling Stone are appalling, and have caused all of us to reexamine our responsibility to this community. Rape is an abhorrent crime that has no place in the world, let alone on the campuses and grounds of our nation’s colleges and universities," she wrote. "There are individuals in our community who know what happened that night, and I am calling on them to come forward to the police to report the facts."




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