Groups at the University of Virginia moved this week to respond to an article published by Rolling Stone that describes the brutal rape of a first-year student called Jackie. Students and faculty organized events Saturday to protest the campus’ culture as the administration called on local police to investigate “sexual misconduct” allegations.
University faculty organized a rally scheduled for Saturday night called “Take Back the Party,” with the aim of protesting the risks faced by woman on campus. “The purpose of ‘Take Back the Party’ is to protest a social culture that puts our female students at unacceptable risk,” said UVA faculty in a statement published by NBC.
On Friday afternoon, hundreds of people took part in an on-campus “Slut Walk” to protest the allegations outlined in the Rolling Stone article as well as demand change on campus. “I think we’ve reached the point where people are ready to take steps,” the second-year organizer of the march, Defne Celikoyar said. “People are coming together to act up against it. We want to change it. We do not want to live like this anymore.”
Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity where the brutal gang rape described in the article allegedly took place, said Thursday it was suspending all of its chapter activities and surrendered its Fraternal Organization Agreement.
Students at UVA wrote in to Rolling Stone after the article was published, recounting numerous other instances of rape on campus, blaming a “culture of sexual assault,” according to one commenter.
Teresa Sullivan, the president of UVA, responded to the article by saying the school had asked local police to investigate the sexual assault on Jackie, and said she was reexamining the university’s response to rape allegations. “I want to underscore our commitment to marshaling all available resources to assist our students who confront issues related to sexual misconduct,” Sullivan said.
Rolling Stone describes the violent gang rape in 2012 of a first-year named Jackie, who was reportedly lured into a Phi Kappa Psi frat house bedroom and penetrated by a group of fraternity brothers. The article caused a campus outcry over the administration’s apparent cover-up of sexual assault allegations.