CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WJZ) — Sixteen sororities at the University of Virginia are told to stay away from big fraternity parties.
As Linh Bui reports, Greek life is still reeling after a discredited article about an alleged gang rape.
Earlier this month, the University of Virginia lifted a suspension on all Greek activities following that Rolling Stone article. But a national organization representing 16 sororities says members have to avoid a campus tradition this weekend–Boys’ Bid Night.
As many of UVA’s students prepare for one of the biggest party weekends of the year, 2,000 sorority sisters are being told to find something else to do.
“Initially, I was very upset,” said Ellie Kayton, sorority member.
Kayton is a sophomore at UVA. Her sorority, which she asked us not to identify, is one of the 16 being told to stay away from fraternity houses hosting the parties.
“It became obvious to me that while it was well intentioned, it was having the wrong effect on the culture here at UVA,” she said.
Fraternities and sororities agreed to new rules in the wake of that explosive Rolling Stone piece last November. Some of the allegations in the article were later discredited.
But the sorority’s national chapter presidents are still concerned for members’ safety.
In a statement, the national group representing the 16 sororities said they “support the safety of their women, so they support those national presidents making that decision and encouraging sorority women to plan sisterhood events and other ‘safer’ options.”
But students say their decision vilifies UVA’s entire Greek system.
“It’s taking away the ability for girls in the sororities to make their own choice,” one student said.
“I think the manner in how it’s approached, the entire culture is the issue,” said another.
This week, sorority members created an online petition, urging UVA to revoke the order, which they say promotes gender discrimination.
“You have to take the responsibility off the women. You can’t put rules on them and not punish the fraternities. They don’t have any punishments right now, yet we have to stay indoors,” said Kayton.
Some of the sororities are planning those so-called “sisterhood events” in their sorority houses this weekend because they are concerned about losing their charters.
The Change.org petition has garnered more than 2,100 signatures.