The University of Virginia will lift a ban on its more than 30 fraternities and related activities, in place since Nov. 22, on Jan. 9, President Teresa A. Sullivan said.
The reinstatement will be in conjunction with a new agreement between the fraternities and UVA “that will enhance the safety of members and their guests,” Sullivan said Monday in an e-mailed statement.
Sullivan banned the groups and related social activities in the wake of a now-discredited Rolling Stone story about an alleged 2012 gang rape at a Greek house. Sullivan said police continue to investigate and the university is cooperating. A review by an independent counsel, ordered by the Virginia Attorney General’s office, is also proceeding.
“The purpose of the suspension of fraternity and sorority social activities was to give the university and Greek leadership a pause to identify solutions that would best ensure the well-being and safety of students,” Sullivan said.
National fraternity and sorority groups issued a joint statement on Sunday, Dec. 7, urging the president to lift the ban immediately. Peter Smithhisler, president and chief executive officer of the North-American Interfraternity Conference in Indianapolis, didn’t immediately return a call and e-mail for comment. Michelle Bower, a spokeswoman for the National Panhellenic Conference, didn’t have an immediate comment.
An ad-hoc committee set up under an action plan Sullivan outlined on Monday has been working with leaders from the school’s Inter-Fraternity Council and other Greek groups to revise existing fraternal organization agreements that govern the relationship between the Greek houses and the university. Sullivan said she is expecting student leaders to present a list of final recommendations by Dec. 31.
Discussions of the fraternal agreements are expected to take place at a meeting of UVA’s Faculty Senate on Dec. 17, George Cohen a law professor at the school, said in a telephone interview. Sullivan is expected to attend the meeting, he said.
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