For Immediate Release
Contact: Brian Ellis
Charlottesville, VA January 12, 2015; Today the University of Virginia (UVA) announced the full reinstatement of the Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. UVA President Theresa Sullivan informed the fraternity of her decision following an update on the investigation being conducted by the Charlottesville Police Department.
“We are pleased that the University and the Charlottesville Police Department have cleared our fraternity of any involvement in this case,” said Stephen Scipione, president, Virginia Alpha Chapter Phi Kappa Psi. “In today’s 24-hour news cycle, we all have a tendency to rush to judgment without having all of the facts in front of us. As a result, our fraternity was vandalized, our members ostracized based on false information.”
Phi Kappa Psi’s own investigation into the case quickly revealed many factual errors in the November 19, 2014 Rolling Stone article, which ultimately led to follow up reports that raise questions about other aspects of the story.
Members of Phi Kappa Psi participated in the development of a new Fraternal Organization Agreement designed to create a safer student environment on campus. That agreement was approved by President Sullivan prior to lifting restrictions on Greek life on campus. Phi Kappa Psi has agreed to the new guidelines and will enact those provisions immediately.
“We believe that in the midst of this ordeal, there is an opportunity for good. This has prompted us to take a closer look at ourselves and what role organizations like ours may play in ensuring student safety. It’s opened all of our eyes to the problem women like Jackie face,” said Scipione. “Now it’s time to do something about it. As a fraternity, we are going to continue discussing that need in the coming weeks.”
Phi Kappa Psi already has a comprehensive program in place addressing sexual assault education and awareness that is mandatory for all new members. The fraternity has been on UVA’s campus since 1853 and currently has more than 800 alumni across the country.