On November 19th, Rolling Stone published an article profiling a student at the University of Virginia, or UVA, who claims to have been gang raped at a frat party on campus her freshman year. Because of the intensity of greek culture, and loyalty of the students to that system, the student felt she needed to keep quite about the rape, and she felt the school’s administrators ignored the situation. On November 22nd, the president of the university, Teresa A. Sullivan, published a letter explaining all campus fraternities would be suspended until January 9th, the start of the spring semester, so the allegations could be properly examined.
Sullivan’s letter was addressed to the entire university community, titled “A Message from President Sullivan Regarding Sexual Violence” and explains,
“I write you today in solidarity. I write you in great sorrow, great rage, but most importantly, with great determination. 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. This will require institutional change, cultural change, and legislative change, and it will not be easy. We are making those changes.
This morning the Inter-Fraternity Council announced that all University fraternities have voluntarily suspended social activities this weekend. This is an important first step, but our challenges will extend beyond this weekend. Beginning immediately, I am suspending all fraternal organizations and associated social activities until January 9th, ahead of the beginning of our spring semester. In the intervening period we will assemble groups of students, faculty, alumni, and other concerned parties to discuss our next steps in preventing sexual assault and sexual violence on Grounds. On Tuesday, the Board of Visitors will meet to discuss the University’s policies and procedures regarding sexual assault as well as the specific, recent allegations.”