Rape

Blame the Killer, Not the Rugby Team, for Murdering a Feminist at U. of Mary Washington

Title IX complaint alleges cyber bullying and sexual harassment on campus

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Rugby
Morgan Riley

On April 17, University of Mary Washington student Grace Mann was strangled to death insider her off-campus home. The authorities swiftly apprehended her alleged killer, Steven Vander Briel—an on-again off-again UMW student and one of Mann's roommates.

As it so happens, Mann was an active member of the campus's Feminists United Club (FUC), and Vander Briel was (supposedly) a former member of the rugby team. Considerable bad blood existed between the two groups, and in the weeks leading up to Mann's death, members of FUC had faced a torrent of verbal abuse and threats on Yik Yak, an anonymous social media site. In May, attorneys for FUC filed a Title IX complaint against UMW with the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights for failing to protect the group from sexual harassment and cyber bullying.

To the casual observer, the case may seem like a slam dunk. All too often, these Title IX complaints are based on little more than hurt feelings and insensitive language—but a UMW student really did die a horrible, tragic death. Certainly, the fact that she was a member of FUC who had been threatened on Yik Yak can't be written off as a mere coincidence.

And yet, the full story is considerably more complicated. First, it doesn't appear that the rugby team—which was disbanded by the university (in part, due to FUC's complaints) prior to Mann's death—had anything to do the murder. In fact, a rugby team leader made a good-faith effort to reach out to FUC leader Paige McKinsey only to have her interpret it as a threat and report him to the university. Second, Vander Briel was allegedly never an active member of the team, and official records turned up no evidence that he actually played any games. Third, correspondence between McKinsey and the university suggests that administrators went out of their way to accommodate her demands, and only balked when compliance would mean violating other students' First Amendment rights.

Last November, FUC ramped up its advocacy efforts; group leaders met with UMW's Title IX coordinator, Dr. Leah Cox, about their desire to see the university hire a full-time sexual assault coordinator. On November 23, an off-campus house party galvanized the group. The party, deemed a rugby team event because it took place at a residence unofficially known as a rugby house, involved the singing of a highly offensive chant that included lyrics alluding to the rape of dead whores, according to Jezebel. Shock, rather than malice, seemed to be the point: the song has existed in various forms for a long time, and was inspired by Irish "pub" songs. Other such rugby songs mock Jesus in equally disgusting terms. In other words, it's hard to argue that the song was actually a veiled threat against UMW women.

But the campus feminists were furious. Members met with the administration and demanded action. The university expressed concerns about the chant but didn't appear to do anything, which led McKinsey to pen an op-ed in the school newspaper alleging that UMW was "not a feminist friendly campus."

According to FUC's complaint, the op-ed "led to an escalation of verbal and cyber-attacks on members of Feminists United and others perceived to be feminist." Many of these alleged attacks were posted on Yik Yak, which prompted the group to request that the university block the app from campus servers.

One of the most interesting developments came on February 20, when the president of the rugby team approached McKinsey in a dining hall. According to the complaint, he introduced himself and said, "I wanted you to know that we are open to talk whenever." McKinsey responded by reiterating her request that the rugby team stop using the chant; the rugby captain then left.

McKinsey told a different story to Jezebel:

In March, McKinsey told Jezebel that she'd been approached by the president of the rubgy team and several of his teammates after the op-ed came out; the president, as she recalled it, said, "We're open to chat whenever you want to," and that she responded that she wasn't interested in meeting. But Kingkade's story has a different version of events, one where McKinsey says she explicitly asked them to stop using the chant and they ignored her: "When McKinsey replied that all she wanted was for the team to stop using the song, she said, he walked away."

McKinsey did not respond to a request for comment seeking clarification.

In either case, she left the encounter feeling "extremely unsettled," according to the complaint, and quickly reported it to Cox. "While this does not seem concerning at face value," she wrote in an email to Cox, "when I couple this interaction with the anonymous yaks and comments made against me, situations like this make me feel deeply unsafe as I have no way of knowing if some of these men wrote those yaks or comments. I was just hoping to know that administration is still planning on taking some sort of action."

McKinsey's expectation was sexual harassment training for the entire rugby team—even though the rugby team had nearly 50 players, only 8 of whom attended that party.

In the following weeks, FUC made repeated demands for meetings and concessions from the university. University President Richard Hurley personally assured McKinsey that he would be taking action against the rugby team. He also offered to meet with FUC. On March 18, he sent an email to campus in which he criticized "repugnant and highly offensive behavior" but did not specifically attribute such behavior to the rugby team. This again drew FUC's ire. Hurley assured them that privacy laws prevented him from publicly discussing what sanctions, if any, had been taken against the rugby team. FUC told him that his privacy concerns "appeared to be unreasonable," and chided him for taking so long to issue a punishment.

The following day, it became public knowledge that the rugby team had been formally disbanded by the university. All members of the team were required to attend sexual assault training. This prompted a wave of criticism of FUC on Yik Yak, and several activists—including McKinsey and Mann—felt endangered.

A week later, FUC emailed Hurley to demand another meeting. "Many of us feel immensely unsafe at UMW," the email read. "We also feel, unfortunately, that the administration has not done enough to support us, or to help handle the current situation."

They did not get the meeting with Hurley, but did sit down with several other administrators. They made the following demands of the administrators: disable Yik Yak on campus, "be more transparent and continuous in their communication," clarify publicly that the feminists did not make the decision to disband the rugby team, and hold a mandatory assembly "to explain rape culture."

The university did not meet any of these demands (other than the one they were clearly already meeting: continuous communication)—and for obvious reasons. Disabling Yik Yak would be a clear First Amendment violation, according to the university's lawyers.

Members of FUC again met with university administrators on April 8 and 15. Hurley attended at least one of those meetings. McKinsey pressed her case that the Yik Yak threats had made her feel unsafe and the university was required under Title IX of the Higher Education Act to mitigate the sexually hostile environment that the feminists found themselves living under.

Grace was murdered—allegedly by Vander Briel—on April 17. The complaint describes Vander Briel as a former member of the rugby team. A current member of the rugby team who spoke to Reason on condition of anonymity told me that there was no record of him ever playing an official game. I obtained partial records from USA Rugby confirming that he played no games for at least the last ten years.

Vander Briel, 30, was enrolled at the university from 2002 to 2006, and then left. He reenrolled for the 2007-2008 school year, and dropped out again when he was just two classes away from graduating with a degree in political science. He returned to campus this year to take spring courses and was renting a room in Mann's house. He and Mann were not involved in a romantic relationship, and there is no known motive for the crime.

It's possible that there was some wider conspiracy or hidden motive beyond Vander Briel's alleged actions. But absent any evidence of that, it certainly seems like FUC's complaint conflates a number of separate issues. The Yik Yak conversations, though frequently disgusting, aren't something that the university has the right to shut down. As a spokesperson for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (which was identified in FUC's complaint as a defender of verbal harassment) told me in a statement:

As a state institution, the University of Mary Washington is right to conclude that blocking access to a website or app because of its content presents First Amendment concerns. If online speech rises to the level of incitement or "true threats," law enforcement should take action. 

FIRE takes issue with the complaint's characterization of our work defending free speech on campus. Demanding that public colleges honor their students' First Amendment rights is not "defending harassment." When it comes to the First Amendment and harassment, FIRE's position is identical to that of the Supreme Court of the United States. As the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights—the federal agency responsible for enforcing Title IX—made clear in a recently reaffirmed 2003 "Dear Colleague" letter, "to be prohibited by the statutes within OCR's jurisdiction, [harassment] must include something beyond the mere expression of views, words, symbols or thoughts that some person finds offensive. . . . No OCR regulation should be interpreted to impinge upon rights protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or to require recipients to enact or enforce codes that punish the exercise of such rights."

Mann's death is a terrible tragedy, and it's worth considering what—if anything—could have prevented it. But we know who to blame, and it sure isn't the rugby team—an institution that was disbanded over essentially nothing—or the broader campus climate, or a highly accommodating university administration. It's the man who killed her.

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  1. in the weeks leading up to Mann’s death, members of FUC had faced a torrent of verbal abuse and threats on Yik Yak, an anonymous social media site.

    And we know these weren’t self-serving, false-flag threats and abuse, how?

    1. What, you think someone would just go online and LIE?

      1. we should automatically believe claims of victimization, and never assume people are wielding their status as a victim group as a weapon against people they’re actively trying to destroy

    2. For this:

      McKinsey’s expectation was sexual harassment training for the entire rugby team?even though the rugby team had nearly 50 players, only 8 of whom attended that party.

      They deserved abuse, if not the threats. If this shit keeps up, the counter reaction is gonna be a Skeleton Army.

  2. As it so happens, Mann was an active member of the campus’s Feminists United Club (FUC), and Briel was

    ummm…the Vander goes along with the Briel. (meaning: of the)

    1. Thanks.

  3. Other such rugby songs mock Jesus in equally disgusting terms.

    Oh, fuck Jesus.

    1. “their desire to see the university hire a full-time sexual assault coordinator.”

      Job opportunity?

      1. Coordinating sexual assaults is a job?

        1. STEVE SMITH APPLY FOR JOB.

          1. STEVE SMITH FREELANCE VOLUNTEER.

            IT A CALLING.

        2. it’s far too frustrating for the feminists like the FUCkers to wait around hoping for random sexual assaults to occur. Even their efforts at watering down the definition of sexual assault simply don’t produce the kind of results they’re looking for. To truly increase the number of sexual assaults to a level that justifies their outrage (and increases funding!) there needs to be consistent level of sexual assaults. As such, a position needs to be created whereby victims and perpetrators can be matched up to produce more sexual assaults.

          1. e-sodomy.com?
            We match rapists and sexual assault victims based on 29 dimensions of compatibility.

      2. I thought you wanted the sexual assault trainer position?

      3. What? I’m surprised they don’t have one already. A lot of campuses already have a full time title IX coordinator. What this person does most of the time who knows. Probably not much of anything useful. Oh wait, I forgot, 25% percent of women are sexually assaulted, mostly between ages 18-24, and that is a fact whether it’s actually statistically true or not, so this person is VERY busy all of the time. My bad.

        1. Would you believe that Northwestern’s Title IX coordinator stopped replying to me after my second email? Outrageous!

          1. Where you harrassing her, mister?

          2. She has more important things to do. Ya think that online shopping is gonna do itself?

    2. Oh, fuck Jesus.

      No, FUC Jesus

    3. Mary Magdalene did.

      1. [citation needed]

      2. It was just a foot job.

    4. Jesus can’t play rugby because he only has 12 friends. (and judas will play for the other team)
      Jesus can’t play rugby because his dad will fix the game.
      Jesus can’t play rugby because he has illegal headgear.
      Jesus can’t play rugby because the nails will pop the ball.
      Jesus can’t play rugby because he has an illegal toe spike.
      Jesus can’t play rugby because jews suck at sports.
      Jesus can’t play rugby because he can’t support a hooker.
      Free beer for all the ruggers!!!

  4. group leaders met with UMW’s Title IX coordinator, Dr. Leah Cox, about their desire to see the university hire a full-time sexual assault coordinator.

    Fucking kids have to be led around by the hand. They can’t organize a simple sexual assault without an official “coordinator” brought in by the administration?

    1. They may not know whether they’ve been sexually assaulted or not. They have to be educated. Also, they have to understand what consent actually means. Not getting a ‘no’, does not mean ‘yes’. You have to ask the questions specifically. Better to have a signed contract with witnesses. And the ‘yes’ can be withdrawn at any time. So best have the witnesses stay in case more contracts need to be negotiated and signed during the sex. Oh, the joys of being a student on campus these days. Can’t believe I’m missing out on all this fun and freedom.

      1. Is there an opening for one of the witness positions?

        1. This is why Reek was asked to stay?

  5. demands of the administrators: disable Yik Yak on campus…

    Did FUC members’ computers lack an “uninstall” option for programs?

    1. the fact that someone someone somewhere might be saying something that can be interpreted as offensive makes people feel unsafe, therefore free speech is problematic

  6. If you can’t handle bad words being said on a website, why do you keep subjecting yourself to the website?

    Oh, wait, they’re looking for excuses to be offended.

    Fuck FUC.

  7. “And yet, the full story is considerably more complicated. First, it doesn’t appear that the rugby team?which was disbanded by the university (in part, due to FUC’s complaints) prior to Mann’s death?had anything to do the murder.”

    Huh?

    They disbanded the rugby team–for what complaints?

    Why did they disband the rugby team?

    Is it because the rugby team was for men, and there wasn’t a womens’ equivalent?

    Are you telling us that they disbanded the rugby team because of the Title IX complaints of the feminists on campus–and that has nothing to do with this?

    Did this guy lose a scholarship because of that? Did he lose the whole reason he went to that school?

    If his team was disbanded because of feminist complaints about Title IX, how can that have nothing to do with the murder, and how can the murder have nothing to do with feminism?

    1. They were roommates. I can imagine that there are all sorts of motivations for murder that have nothing to do with rugby and feminism. Have you ever had a roommate ?

      1. Have you ever had a roommate ?

        None that lived.

        1. I don’t get it.

          PS3,4? Teddy bear?

    2. Rugby is not a scholarship sport at any level, AFAIK, so it’s not subject to the usual Title IX foolishness.

      Rugby is a very, very serious club sport among a few top DI schools (Cal, BYU, Ohio State…hell, I can’t think of many others). Their “playoffs” and national championship have been on TV recently (I think the title game was supposed to have happened a week ago?). However, the sport is governed completely externally to the NCAA. Many programs have womens’ teams.

      1. Is USMA D1? If so, I’d sure count them among the very, very serious. But many, maybe most, of the most serious college rugby clubs aren’t at the big varsity sports schools.

        Rugby transcends the intercollegiate sports structure. For example, Life Chiropractic College (now simply Life College) used to compete in the graduate & professional school div., because their players were students at a professional school. But it became obvious they were far too good for that division. So their top team started competing instead with the independent clubs (adults, the highest level of play in the country) & later helped form the Super League (equivalent to a major league in pro sports), and of course now their players don’t even have to be students.

        1. Of course there’s nothing keeping patrons of rugby from privately subsidizing the college attendance (scholarships, jobs, whatever assistance) of someone who’s a good player.

        2. Forgot about Army. I presume the other service schools also have clubs.

          Army’s DI in football, are they not? Doesn’t matter since none of it has anything to do with the NCAA.

          1. Hey, you’re the one who brought up NCAA D1.

    3. Did this guy lose a scholarship because of that? Did he lose the whole reason he went to that school?

      Come back when you’ve taken the time to actually read the article.

    4. He wasn’t on the team. Pretty sure they don’t give rugby scholarships to people not on the team.

  8. But the campus feminists were furious.

    There’s something new and different.

    Many of these alleged attacks were posted on Yik Yak, which prompted the group to request that the university block the app from campus servers.

    Or, you could, you know, not read Yik Yak.

    1. “, you could, you know, not read Yik Yak”

      Exclusionary discrimination! Unsafe

    2. Or, you could, you know, not read Yik Yak.

      That would entail them having to take responsibility for their own emotions and responses to things that others do. Everyone knows that women should never, under any circumstances be required to accept responsibility for their own behavior.

      If they want to go to a party, get blackout drunk, strip naked and pass out in the middle of the floor, they bear no responsibility whatsoever for anything unpleasant that happens to them. It is always someone else’s fault that bad things happen or their feelings get hurt or they’re offended. The rest of the world is responsible for their safety and happiness at all times and they owe the world nothing in exchange.

  9. “On April 17, University of Mary Washington student Grace Mann was strangled to death insider her off-campus home. The authorities swiftly apprehended her alleged killer, Steven Vander Briel?an on-again off-again UMW student and one of Mann’s roommates.”

    So a person killed their roommate (which happens for various reasons more often than most people would like to admit) and this involves the rugby team…how?

    “Briel, 30, was enrolled at the university from 2002 to 2006, and then left. He reenrolled for the 2007-2008 school year, and dropped out again when he was just two classes away from graduating with a degree in political science. He returned to campus this year to take spring courses and was renting a room in Mann’s house. He and Mann were not involved in a romantic relationship, and there is no known motive for the crime.”

    Yeah, I find it highly unlikely that a 30 year old man who’d been in and out of school since 2002 and just returned to campus the very semester of the murder was a current member of the rugby team. More likely, this guy who is apparently incapable of finishing a degree has some issues of his own which led to the murder of someone he happened to be living with and feminists are blaming a rugby conspiracy because that fits their Culture of Woman Hating narrative.

    1. Dude, I don’t think you understand the way college sports works, how boosters work, etc. I know people who are still involved in the water polo programs they graduated from decades ago. The alumni form whole professional programs for graduates. If you want to be an investment banker, being attached to a lacrosse team is an excellent strategy.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/ar…..osse-mafia

      Meanwhile, let’s review:

      *The feminists disbanded the rugby team.

      *Someone from the disbanded rugby team murdered one of the feminists.

      But the rugby team being disbanded by the feminists doesn’t appear to have “had anything to do with the murder”–why?

      Because the captain of the team was against it?

      I can’t pretend to be Pollyana enough to understand this view of the world, and I’d get a little offended if I thought Robby were presuming that we’re so obtuse. But I don’t think Robby is trying to patronize his readers–I think this is really the way he sees it!

      I guess I’m a cynical bastard to think that when a rugby player strangles one of the feminists, having had his rugby team disbanded by the feminists might have had something to do with it?

      Because I think Title IX is horseshit hardly means I have to pretend to be painfully naive. I’m still against Title IX horseshit even if this guy murdered a feminists because she’s a feminist. Aren’t you, too?

      1. So a person killed their roommate (which happens for various reasons more often than most people would like to admit) and this involves the rugby team…how?

        I think proximity had more to do with it than ideology.

        1. Exactly. They were living together. Even if he had formerly played for the team (and what does formerly mean? Was he on the team 10 years ago and hadn’t been involved at all since?) what’s more likely: Murder because rugby team disbanded or murder because unstable guy is living in a house with another person and his instability results in him killing her?

          Barring additional evidence, Rugby Conspiracy strikes me as a vastly less likely motive for a crime than friction between roommates.

          I am open to changing my position when more evidence is presented. Until that evidence is presented, we should not assume this bizarre, tenuous connection to the rugby team based on the say-so of people who have yet to provide a shred of proof.

        2. Maybe, but Robby wrote that the rugby team didn’t appear to “have had anything to do the murder.”

          Really willing to go that far?!

          Why would anyone go that far?

          Feminist implementations of Title IX are horseshit–regardless of whether some jackass murdered a feminist because of Title IX.

          There is no reason to pretend shit is other than what it is.

          Let’s look at another example.

          What if an NRA member murdered a gun control activist with a handgun?

          I’d still be in favor of the Second Amendment anyway–even if an NRA member murdered a gun control activist with a handgun specifically because she was a gun control activist.

          But what kind of jackasses would we be if we all sat around and tried to pretend being a gun control activist didn’t have anything to do with why the NRA member murdered the gun control activist?

          1. But what kind of jackasses would we be if we all sat around and tried to pretend being a gun control activist didn’t have anything to do with why the NRA member murdered the gun control activist?

            Not nearly as big of jackasses as we would be if we blamed the NRA and demanded that it be disbanded for the actions of one guy.

          2. “Maybe, but Robby wrote that the rugby team didn’t appear to “have had anything to do the murder.”

            Really willing to go that far?!

            Why would anyone go that far?”

            Because no evidence has been provided and the evidence he could find implies that this is true?

            “There is no reason to pretend shit is other than what it is.”

            And I’m not. The minute evidence is provided to the contrary I will reassess my position. Until that evidence is presented, I’m not going to pretend the rugby team had anything to do with one crazy guy who possibly never had any involvement with the team.

            “What if an NRA member murdered a gun control activist with a handgun?

            But what kind of jackasses would we be if we all sat around and tried to pretend being a gun control activist didn’t have anything to do with why the NRA member murdered the gun control activist?”

            If the NRA member were a co-worker of the anti-gun activist you’d be an idiot to assume there was a connection before more information came out. How do you know the NRA members wife didn’t cheat with the anti-gun activist? How do you know ANYTHING until evidence comes out?

            You’re arguing that we should buy an argument for which there is no evidence of any sort because otherwise you’re worried we’ll look bad. Why would we look bad? If evidence is later released, I’ll change my position to be in line with the evidence. As of now, no evidence exists, and I’m not going to whine and moan based on unfounded accusations.

            1. “If the NRA member were a co-worker of the anti-gun activist you’d be an idiot to assume there was a connection before more information came out.”

              Without knowing, why would assuming the NRA member shot her because she’s a gun control activist be worse than standing up for the NRA–when whether one NRA member is a murdering bastard is completely irrelevant to the question of whether the government should protect our right to bear arms?

              1. “Without knowing, why would assuming the NRA member shot her because she’s a gun control activist be worse than standing up for the NRA–when whether one NRA member is a murdering bastard is completely irrelevant to the question of whether the government should protect our right to bear arms?”

                Because leftists would immediately attempt to claim it was because scary murderous gun nuts are on the rampage and the fact that their entire narrative is wrong is important to point out.

                I’d defend the NRA no matter what but if the entire motive the left ascribed to the shooter was false, that makes my defense of them quite a bit easier, don’t you think?

                1. “Because leftists would immediately attempt to claim it was because scary murderous gun nuts are on the rampage and the fact that their entire narrative is wrong is important to point out.”

                  I’m the one pointing out that their narrative is wrong–right from the beginning.

                  I see is people defending…what, I’m not sure…from the suggestion that his motivation may have been ideological–when whether his motivation was ideological is completely irrelevant to the question of whether feminist implementations of Title IX are horseshit.

                  Talking about the motivations of this guy is a red herring that can only serve to bite us in the ass. The real questions are about things like whether the government should protect the rights of gun owners or whether the government should effectively discriminate against men by way of things like Title IX.

                  Pretending this guy murdered somebody for reasons we’d rather he didn’t is just setting ourselves up. If the feminists want to build a gallows to hang libertarian ideas with stuff like this, then why carry their wood and rope? Pretending this guy did it for other reasons can only hurt us.

                  Even if he did it for reasons unrelated to ideology, it doesn’t make any difference. And if it turns out that he did it for ideological reasons, we get a lot more mileage out of pointing out why that doesn’t matter right now than we do by pointing out why that doesn’t matter after our assumptions about his motivations turn out to be wrong.

          3. Ken,
            If the anti-gun nut was room mates with the gun nut, I would still lean towards proximity over idealogy. If evidence comes out that he killed her over the rugby stuff, that still isn’t an indictment of the rugby team. Just a nut killing a poor girl.

            1. “If the anti-gun nut was room mates with the gun nut, I would still lean towards proximity over [ideology].”

              What do you hope to gain because of that assumption?

              My contention is that whatever you hope to gain in the argument, you’ve sold the foundation of your argument out from underneath yourself.

              The fact is that your gun rights should be protected by the government–even if some jackass murdered a gun control activist because of ideology. Once you start making assumptions trying to protect the NRA or the ideology because of the behavior of some murderer? You’ve opened your rights up–broadly–to attack if and when the motivation of the killer turns out to be ideological.

              The time to have the ideological debate is right freakin’ now. Not after your assumptions about motive of the murderer have turned out to be false. …especially when the ideology of the murderer are irrelevant anyway. Even IF IF IF the murder was ideological in nature our Second Amendment rights feminist implementations of Title IX are horseshit anyway.

              1. Because I feel a human being killed shouldn’t be politicized. Her murder should be brought to justice no matter the motivation for her murder.

                1. Amen to that.

                  He should be entitled to fair trial.

                  And if he did it, he should be convicted–no matter his motivation.

                  His motivation certainly shouldn’t have any bearing on anything outside of his trial.

                  Everything that was true is still true anyway–no matter why he did it.

          4. How about if he wrote it didn’t appear “the NY Yankees had anything to do with the murder.” Would that be a stretch?

            Because NOWHERE in the article does it state a connection to the rugby team. The team captain obviously checked the records and said he has never played for the team. I think it is reasonable to assume the rugby team is not implicated in this.

      2. Seriously Ken?

        1. “Because I think Title IX is horseshit hardly means I have to pretend to be painfully naive. I’m still against Title IX horseshit even if this guy murdered a feminists because she’s a feminist. Aren’t you, too?”

        Yes. I’m just skeptical that he actually murdered her for that reason when there has, as of yet, been no information released regarding this issue. They were roommates. He was a man who was in and out of college and therefore seems to have some issue that is preventing him from graduating. So an unstable man killed his roommate and there’s no evidence rugby was involved.

        2. “Meanwhile, let’s review:

        *The feminists disbanded the rugby team.

        *Someone from the disbanded rugby team murdered one of the feminists.

        But the rugby team being disbanded by the feminists doesn’t appear to have “had anything to do with the murder”–why?”

        From the article:

        “Second, Vander Briel was allegedly never an active member of the team, and official records turned up no evidence that he actually played any games.”

        What evidence has been presented that he was ‘from the rugby team?’ I have seen no such evidence. It’s basically just been asserted and you’re buying the assertion without any sort of proof. If the guy has no rugby connection, it is unlikely he murdered her because of rugby, correct?

        Barring actual proof he was a) linked to the team and b) did this as a result of that link, it’s probably best to withhold the assumption that there is a link.

      3. The assertion that Vander Briel was a member of the rugby team is apparently dubious. Soave could not find anything to confirm his alleged association with the team.

        1. If FUC says he was with the team, that’s good enough for me. Why would FUC lie about something like that?

        2. What is the point of denying that the alleged killer was a member of the rugby team?

          Is it because feminist implementations of Title IX would be perfectly appropriate if he was?

          Feminist implementations of Title IX are horseshit–even if every single member of the rugby team had a hand in the murder, and they all did it on purpose because she was a feminist and because of Title IX.

          1. Ken, what on Earth are you talking about?

            “What is the point of denying that the alleged killer was a member of the rugby team?”

            Because they’re claiming he was a member of the rugby team in an attempt to assassinate the characters of every person on the team. If he isn’t a member of the rugby team, that is relevant information since it immediately destroys the allegations against the rugby team which are asserted in a Title IX complaint.

            It’s important to look into this and see if it is true or not true because if it is not true then people are being attacked based on outright lies.

            1. I don’t want to post the same thing twice, but I’ve just answered precisely this above.

              See my post here:

              https://reason.com/blog/2015/05…..nt_5327064

              1. You’re implying he was a ‘rugby nut’. There is nothing that says he was a rugby nut.

                He lived with her. He killed her. It has nothing to do with rugby.

          2. That the FUC leader’s murder may not have had anything to do with her group’s persecution of the rugby team?

      4. “Someone from the disbanded rugby team murdered one of the feminists.”

        READ THE ARTICLE!!

        He wasn’t on the team. There is no record of him ever having been on the team, nor having played a game. There is no record of him even being a rugby fan. The rugby team connection was never made in the article.

        Get real.

        How about a man killed her. He might have liked sports since a lot of men do. Rugby is a sport. It is possible he liked rugby. Therefore, let’s not be naive, the rugby team is implicated.

      5. I admit to sharing a little cynicism to, but I would like to know why Vander Briel (if he was connected with the rugby team) would move in with these FUC girls, or these FUC girls would have him move in with them, if this trouble between FUC and rugby started in November as the linked Jezebel article says.
        If he was returning to school to finish up, did he reconnect himself with the team? Alumni contributions records, contact with the team, especially in a brotherhood like rugby … surely there would be pictures or records, etc.
        Could it be something else entirely… roommate nagging about missing beer/food/something else?

  10. “Feminists United Club (FUC)”

    The irony…

  11. free speech s good, in theory, but those girls should have known better than to say offensive things about rugby players.
    That’s just asking for it.

  12. And don’t forget that FUC sent in a white knight to record that rugby song, being sung in a off-campus house by eight rugby players not important enough to the team to be at a road game.

    Would you like to hear a recording of a FUC meeting when they don’t know they are being recorded?

    1. I…actually I don’t know. On the one hand, it would probably be revealing. On the other hand, it would probably be even more insipid than some drunk rugby players singing a song.

      Is it weird that I really don’t give a shit about the people involved in all this bullshit? Why can’t they just fight with each other and keep it out of my hair?

    2. But when they say “kill all men”, they’re just being ironic!

      1. and we know all rugby players are really necrophiliacs at heart, so that’s real

    3. “…FUC sent in a white knight…”

      My name’s SF and I have to make EVERYTHING ABOUT RACE.

  13. clarify publicly that the feminists did not make the decision to disband the rugby team

    Why? Just to rub it in at that point?

    FUC:”Punish them! Or we will sic the DOJ on you!”

    ADMIN:”We have terminated the organization”

    FUC “Oh. Wait, people will be pissed and now we wont get invited to as many parties. Say it was YOUR decision or we will sic the DOJ on you!”

    1. You don’t mean to say these people should have to sleep in the bed that they made, do you?

      1. You mean the bed they shit in?

  14. So the feminist group clutches pearls over other people’s rude behavior, but does so under the aegis of an acronym that would be pronounced like the most common offensive word?

    Do these prople even bother to listen to themselves?

  15. The following day, it became public knowledge that the rugby team had been formally disbanded by the university…. This prompted a wave of criticism of FUC on Yik Yak, and several activists?including McKinsey and Mann?felt endangered.

    “We shrilly demand that you protect us from the consequences of our shrill demands.”

  16. “Rugby” songs such as this?

    “What if my parents should come home? What if my parents come home?
    What if my parents should come home?” said the fair Young Maiden.

    “I’ll kill your pa and then fuck your ma!” said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
    “I’ll kill your pa and then fuck your ma!” said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.

    “Are you young and handsome, sir? Are you young and handsome, Sir?”
    Are you young and handsome, sir?” said the fair Young Maiden.

    “I’m old and rough and dirty and tough!” said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
    “I’m old and rough and dirty and tough!” said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.

    “What is your intention, sir? What is your intention, sir?
    What is your intention, sir?” said the fair Young Maiden.

    “Oh, off with your shirt, so you doesn’t get hurt!” said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
    “Oh, off with your shirt, so you doesn’t get hurt!” said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.

    “Will you take me to the dance? Will you take me to the dance?
    Will you take me to the dance?” said the fair Young Maiden.

    “To Hell with the dance! Now off with your pants!” said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
    “To Hell with the dance! Now off with your pants!” said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.

    -Courtesy teh Wiki

    1. Sounds more like a sea shanty than a rugby song.

      1. Correct. And FUC’s next move is to disband the rowing team.

      2. Not one I’ve heard before, but our songs are in a similar vein.

  17. The progressive mind usually sees crime as the result of social forces. Of course, social forces can matter, but they are only part of it. Much of it is individual choice, and I suppose, to some degree, internal psychological forces that may not be able to be resisted.

    But progressives like to focus on social forces, because crime is a great excuse to remake society in the ways they prefer. So if a male student murders a female one (not a common event), it’s a chance to demand that more women’s studies graduates be hired, that male gatherings like sports teams and fraternities be suppressed, etc.

  18. an on-again off-again UMW student and one of Mann’s roommates.

    Never trust an on-again off-again anything.

    1. What about an irrigation system?

      1. If I’m the one doing the turning on and off, I’m good, if you get my meaning.

        1. I’m not sure that I do…..
          *looks around desperately for someone to explain it*

  19. “UMW’s Title IX coordinator, Dr. Leah Cox”

    Doctor of… What?

    1. Here you go: “Dr. Cox received her bachelor’s degree from Western Maryland College, in education, a master’s degree from the University of Arizona, in counseling, and a Doctor of Philosophy, in Counseling Personnel College Administration from the University of Maryland.”

  20. From the comments to the “op ed” by the FUC member. This was in late January, long after the “allegations” in Rolling Stone had been proven to be false:

    Paige ? Thanks for writing a brilliant piece. I graduated last year, so UMW’s stance against greek life is still really important and relevant to me. It floored me that this was passed right after the Rolling Stone article was printed. (Yes, some of the facts of the article were inaccurate, but the overall point of the article remained intact, and many of the horrendous things mentioned in the article WERE facts.) Greek life is one of the biggest reminders of misogyny the US today and it’s ridiculous that UMW should want to embrace it after 100 years of standing against it.

    1. Oh and this guy too, though I can’t tell if he’s trolling or not.

      May 18, 2015

      David

      I just learned about this case and my only response ? between this school and University of Virginia?is that Virginia is a sickening toilet of moral filth. The attitudes towards women expressed in some of these comments show me everything I need to know. I’m repulsed, and I’m sad that people in Virginia raise their children to hate women with such ferocious intensity and call this “men’s rights’ ? it isn’t men’s rights, it is pathology and the men who endorse murder and violence against women are sociopaths.

      If you send your daughter to a school in Virginia she will most likely be murdered and/or raped and no one will care. Repulsive on every level

      May 18, 2015

      David

      Oh, and yeah I do think that every single person who chanted that inducement to murder is reponsible for inciting murder and needs to be charged thusly.

      1. I doubt that’s trolling.

        1. So, does that mean every single person who tweeted #killallmen should be charged with ever murder of a man that has happened since? I think we’re gonna need more prisons…

  21. “Many of these alleged attacks were posted on Yik Yak, which prompted the group to request that the university block the app from campus servers.”

    So Robby, when Nick handed out the duty roster, and you got the “tae-kwon-slappy-face Twitter bitchfest” beat, we’re you excited or annoyed?

  22. Did it occur, at any time, to these dumb FUCkers that people whose lives you piss around with might have a legitimate reason to hate you and say nasty things about you?

    1. Here’s how this works… It’s like talking to my mom. She makes an offhand snide remark, you respond, she runs out of the room crying, you have to apologize.

      1. She makes an offhand snide remark, you respond, she runs out of the room crying, you have to apologize

        So, you married your Mom…??

        1. If by “my mom”, you mean “a woman” then yes, just like every other heterosexual man who got married…ever.

          1. just joking that your interaction sounds more like a spousal one than a maternal one. no offense meant

            1. No offense taken. My mom was, alas a woman. My brief marriage was the same way. She made a snide remark about having slept with someone else, I said, “the Fuck?”, she ran out of the room crying, I apologized. Then I spent the next seven years flat broke.

        2. That was my thought too.

    2. Well, it’s not the same. These FUCers could be sexual assault survivors or other ‘protected class’ individuals. The Rugby team OTOH, are members of the privileged class and probably mostly white males, the most privileged.

      So it’s ok, even justified for the FUCers to say bad things about the privileged, but if the Rugby team says mean things in return, that’s punching down.

      Man, you have a lot to learn.

  23. In fact, a rugby team leader made a good-faith effort to reach out to FUC leader Paige McKinsey only to have her interpret it as a threat and report him to the university.

    Olive branches can look much like a phallus in the right light.

  24. “when he was just two classes away from graduating with a degree in political science”

    Whoa whoa whoa… Ok then. Whoa.

    1. “Seven years of college down the drain.”

  25. Can we get back to the important questions, please? Such as, how exactly does one “rape a corpse?”

    1. Paging Warty, paging Warty to thread #5326836…

    2. how exactly does one “rape a corpse?”

      First, you start with the Minority Leader of the House . . . .

      1. Oh, God, stop…

        …okay, keep going.

        1. This is really more of a SugarFree thing. . . .

  26. Men pay money for the experience of attending this shithole? “Mary” is right in the damn name.

  27. They strip down to their bras and panties and have tickle fights. I know because I’ve researched this on the internet…. A lot…. Just put “college girls” into a search engine, you’ll see what I mean

  28. …alleging that UMW was “not a feminist friendly campus.”

    Is there such an animal?

    1. Only for a short time. Purge all non-feminists, things are great for a few days until trivial disagreements pop up and they turn on each other.

      It’s like trying to distill 100% ethanol.

  29. and hold a mandatory assembly “to explain rape culture.”

    That might actually be interesting, because so far I’ve never heard a coherent definition of that term. It’s just a big vague boogeyman that can be tattooed to any man’s forehead depending on the whims of the loudest feminist in the room.

  30. “FUC had faced a torrent of verbal abuse and threats on Yik Yak”

    Modern. Journalism.

    1. An “anonymous” social networking site (whatever that means) so it’s possible the insults were a false flag operations by FUC.

      1. Or messages from Chinese dissidents. Or you, or me.

  31. “the rugby team?which was disbanded by the university (in part, due to FUC’s complaints)”

    Makes sense. Why not? Someone complained.

  32. sexual harassment training
    sexual assault training

    No, thank you.

  33. Trigger warning; I am about to bring up something REALLY offensive. Adults only beyond this point!

    Given the hysterical Feminist Left’s track record of false flag operations, fake harassments, and so on, is there actually any evidence that this young woman was not sacrificed by her sister FUCs?

    1. See my comment above. This “yik yak” What… Ever in fuck that is, is “anonymous”. (Unlike every other social networking platform on the history of ever). So there’s no real evidence add to who made any of the posts.

      1. SCPS’s suggestion seems darker than that.

        Though I don’t find it plausible.

        1. CSPS

      2. If you’re not familiar with Yik Yak it’s worth downloading it to your mobile device (it doesn’t work well on real computers). Especially if you live near a university. It can get pretty raunchy (women can say some crude things), and it really is anonymous, unless you actually threaten someone. In that case, the owners will respond to warrants and give out IP Addresses, and have done so on occasion. It periodically ignites firestorms on campuses, with SJW’s arguing it should be shut down and FIRE (and IT folk who know better) arguing that it can’t because it runs over the cell network as well as WiFi, and the FCC frowns on blocking cellphone signals. As well as that 1st Amendment thing…

  34. OK, let’s now deal with the real issues here:

    FUC leader Paige McKinsey

    So, if she’s the leader, can she rightly be titled “the FUC Head”?

    UMW’s Title IX coordinator, Dr. Leah Cox

    Does FUC actually require Cox’s input in this matter? Does Cox’s position allow her to call the shots in this matter?

    Third, correspondence between McKinsey and the university suggests that administrators went out of their way to accommodate her demands

    The school was, apparently, giving it giving good to FUC. However…

    But the campus feminists were furious.

    Something changed. Did Cox not rise to the occasion quickly enough for FUC? Was the response just flaccid? Could it just be a matter of not enough stamina?

    1. Beautiful

    2. Its pretty clear they wanted Cox to pound the rugby team until it was just begging for mercy, isn’t it?

      1. I do think it’s a good guess that FUC wanted Cox all up in the team’s ass.

  35. Robby Soave (campus politics) and Peter Suderman (ACA) are keeping this rag alive.

  36. there was no record of him every playing an official game. I obtained partial records from USA Rugby confirming that he played no games for at least the last ten years.

    Not that I think it’s relevant whether he played or was a member of the club, but unless something’s very much changed lately, in the great majority of games there’d be no record of who played. That comes into play only as concerns the A games, which may count toward a USA Rugby-sanctioned championship. “Team” is not the appropriate term for 50 persons; more likely a club of several teams.

    In a club of 50 (unless they have a large social membership as part of formal membership), they’d likely be playing A, B, and C games, maybe even a D game. Unless the club has regular expenses & therefore would charge dues, they wouldn’t have formal membership. Even if they do have formal membership, it’s likely there’d be occasional players at the low levels who weren’t formal members. If they have formal membership, it’s possible they’d have non-playing social members too, but otherwise they could just have hangers-on w no formal status in the club. Someone who usually plays at the C level would be unlikely ever to play on the A team, so even if USA Rugby had records of those who played in the A games, such a player wouldn’t show up. However, if a club were short players in attendance & committed to playing matches of 3 games, an A player might also play in the C game.

    1. USA Rugby’s records include all registrations, not just match records, and officials ensure that all players are registered prior to participating. Mr. Vander Briel was not in the USA Rugby records anywhere as far back as they go, which is to the 2004-2005 season.

      1. Which means it is most likely this had nothing to do with rugby.

      2. Maybe he killed her because she kept accusing him of being
        on the rugby team??

      3. That’s only for games USA Rugby cares about. (Partly it’s the insurance, partly it’s ringers.) The B game, surely the C game, is not going to be officiated by anybody reporting to USA Rugby.

        1. I know at our school everyone needed to be CIPP’d by USA rugby, regardless of what team they played on. It ended the traditional alumni games, since the school wouldnt allow non CIPP’d players to play on there fields (insurance was the reason).
          I wonder how many were Cipp’d during the years Vander Briel played, if its a small number, like 20, you know everyone blew it off, if it was over 30 … it might be a complete list. One more thing, the Jezebel article says there were 46 players on the team this year, I wonder how many were Cipp’d. it would at least show the teams level of organization.

  37. These horrible FUCers will use this tragedy to further their agenda, without blinking an eye.

    On some level, they are happy about it.

  38. This was infuriating to read. Not the article, but the series of events leading up to the murder (which isn’t connected). I can’t help but feel like this is one of those self perpetuating stories. The FUC clearly wanted a sexual assault coordinator to be hired because of the rolling stone article last fall. Not getting traction, they used the rugby team’s chant to get leverage on the university, which led to all the yik yak stuff, WHICH LEAD to the rugby team extending an olive branch to the FUC, WHICH lead to the FUC getting more leverage on UMW and, in turn, more heat on yik yak. All this because of one organization’s (in)sensitivity. The FUC should be ashamed of itself. UMW is incredibly welcoming to both feminist and the LGBT community, they’ve done nothing but endanger that relationship and hurt UMW as a whole.

  39. I find it difficult to get worked up over the murder of a man-hating lesbian bitch. I’ve had personal experience with some of those cunts and I expect she probably deserved it.

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