University of Virginia reinstates Phi Kappa Psi fraternity linked by Rolling Stone to rape
CHARLOTTESVILLE — The University of Virginia's Phi Kappa Psi chapter, which was embroiled in sexual assault allegations stemming from a Rolling Stone magazine article, has been reinstated on campus, fraternity officials, police and school administrators said Monday.
Phi Psi officials said that UVa President Teresa A. Sullivan approved the full reinstatement of the fraternity chapter after new developments in a police investigation of sexual assault claims described in Rolling Stone.
The magazine has apologized since a Washington Post investigation discovered significant inconsistencies in the account of a junior named Jackie who said she was gang-raped at Phi Psi in 2012.
On Monday, university officials said the Charlottesville police investigation concluded that allegations against Phi Psi detailed in the Rolling Stone story could not be substantiated.
“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,” Sullivan said in a statement.
Charlottesville police Capt. Gary Pleasants said that while Phi Psi has been cleared, the investigation into the allegations is ongoing.
“We're still investigating,” Pleasants said. “We found no basis to believe that an incident occurred at that fraternity, so there's no reason to keep them suspended.”
As a result of the Rolling Stone article's publication online in November, the Phi Kappa Psi house was vandalized and the fraternity voluntarily suspended its charter at the university as police investigated the allegations. In December, the fraternity issued a statement denying the claims described in Rolling Stone and noted that its own inquiry into the allegations revealed factual inaccuracies.
“We are pleased that the University and the Charlottesville Police Department have cleared our fraternity of any involvement in this case,” said Phi Psi chapter President Stephen Scipione, a junior. “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.”
Last week, Sullivan announced a new contract between the university and fraternities that included enhanced safety measures for social activities designed to discourage binge drinking.