Rape

Cops Say Nothing Happened at UVA Frat Accused of Gang Rape, But Who Really Cares?

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Witch
Monty Python

The University of Virginia reinstated its chapter of Phi Kappa Psi—the fraternity where Jackie claimed to have been gang raped, according to Rolling Stone—after the cops failed to find evidence that the horrible crime actually occurred. The fraternity's national organization has reinstated it as well, effective immediately.

According to the press release:

The reinstatement resulted after consultation with Charlottesville Police Department officials, who told the University that their investigation has not revealed any substantive basis to confirm that the allegations raised in the Rolling Stone article occurred at Phi Kappa Psi.

U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan informed fraternity officials of the decision to reinstate the chapter's Fraternal Organization Agreement with the University after learning of the update to the police investigation.

"We welcome Phi Kappa Psi, and we look forward to working with all fraternities and sororities in enhancing and promoting a safe environment for all," U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan said.

That's it? No apology? No sorry about our huge mistake and rush to judgment? Keep in mind that the false accusation had consequences for the Phi Psi house, which was vandalized by angry students after Rolling Stone's story broke. UVA President Teresa Sullivan caved to public pressure to make some display of force against the frat; I would think she should be more contrite, since she was dead wrong.

For what it's worth, frat officials don't sound too upset:

"We believe that in the midst of this ordeal, there is an opportunity to move forward with important safety improvements. This has prompted us to take a closer look at ourselves and what role organizations like ours may play in this problem. It's opened all of our eyes to the problem of sexual assault," Scipione said. "Now it's time to do something about it. As a fraternity, we are going to continue discussing that need in the coming weeks."

Well, it's always a good time to do something about sexual assault, although it's weird to think this was the event that made Phi Psi aware of the problem, since its members weren't responsible; if something happened to Jackie, it wasn't at Phi Psi. And there is good reason to doubt that Jackie underwent an ordeal that closely resembled her claim—all evidence in her favor has been debunked, even as the likelihood of a pre-planned deception on her part continues to grow.

But in any case, Phi Psi will become the first UVA fraternity to sign the new "Fraternal Organization Agreement" with the university administration. The pact obligates Greek organizations to baby-sit their guests and puts restrictions on what kinds of alcohol they can serve. Frat bedrooms will now be guarded.

It's not surprising that a pack of overbearing bureaucrats are peddling dubious safety requirements based in Victorian sexual morality—legislating morality and covering people in bubble wrap are two of their favorite things. The only surprise here is the timing. In a sane world, this would be an occasion for the angry villagers to lower their pitchforks and discuss the biases and processes that led them to the wrong conclusions.

But the angry villagers seem undeterred. I suppose that's what makes them angry villagers. For too many people, it was always the agenda that mattered, not the truth.