University of Virginia Reinstates Fraternity at Center of Botched Rolling Stone Rape Story

Phi Kappa Psi, which suspended itself following Rolling Stone story, gets its charter restored nearly two months later

The University of Virginia has reinstated Phi Kappa Psi fraternity Monday, two months after Rolling Stone reported a female student’s story of an alleged gang rape in the fraternity’s house.

“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,” UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan said in a statement.

The fraternity suspended itself after the Nov. 19th Rolling Stone story, “A Rape on Campus,” which reported female student “Jackie’s” claim that she was gang-raped at the fraternity’s house by seven male students. Phi Psi had commented previously that the botched story is a lesson on how media consumers shouldn’t react in today’s lighting-fast news cycle.

“We are pleased that the University and the Charlottesville Police Department have cleared our fraternity of any involvement in this case,” said Phi Kappa Psi President Stephen Scipione. “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.”

Since the story was published, Rolling Stone has amended it with multiple editor’s notes, conceding to multiple errors in its reporting, including not reaching out to any of the men “Jackie” claimed raped her.

Rolling Stone recently tasked Columbia Journalism School with independently reviewing its reporting process for the story. The piece’s author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, is still a contributing editor for Rolling Stone.

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