Groups representing fraternities and sororities urged the University of Virginia on Sunday to end the suspension of Greek organizations it imposed last month after a magazine story about an alleged gang rape at a campus fraternity house.

Rolling Stone last week backed away from the story it had published Nov. 19 and issued a more thorough explanation of concerns about the article over the weekend after published reports questioned key details of the allegations in it. The magazine’s managing editor apologized for “discrepancies” that he said had emerged in the horrific account of a woman who said she was raped in 2012 at the Phi Kappa Psi house in Charlottesville. That account was at the core of an article that sent shock waves through the university community and drew national attention.

On Nov. 22, University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan announced a suspension of all fraternities, sororities and other Greek organizations until Jan. 9. The suspension, Sullivan said at the time, was meant to give the university time to “assemble groups of students, faculty, alumni, and other concerned parties to discuss our next steps in preventing sexual assault and sexual violence” on the campus.

Fraternity and sorority advocates say the unraveling of the Rolling Stone account means there is no reason to continue the suspension.

In a statement Sunday, the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee, the National Panhellenic Conference and the North American Interfraternity Conference said the “decision to suspend hurt the reputation of thousands of outstanding student leaders in our organizations who had nothing to do with the alleged events described in the article.”

The groups called on the university “to immediately reinstate operations for all fraternity and sorority organizations on campus, to issue an apology for its actions of the last two weeks, to publicly explain and release all records for the basis of its decision to suspend our organizations, and outline what steps it will take to restore the reputation of our groups and students at UVA.”


The statement was e-mailed to The Washington Post by Kevin O’Neill, a veteran lobbyist for fraternities and sororities and the executive director of the political action committee.

A university spokesman, McGregor McCance, has declined to answer whether Sullivan plans to rescind the suspension.

The president of the Inter-Fraternity Council at Virginia., Tommy Reid, told The Post on Saturday that the suspension of Greek activities was not a concern for him and that he hoped the focus of the discussion would remain on preventing sexual assault on campus.

“Practical implications of the ban are negligible,” he said. “We are heading into exams and will not return to school until after Jan. 9. The suspension itself is not something the IFC is particularly focused on.”

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