The University of Virginia just released an update on the investigation into the campus sexual assault allegations that sparked a national controversy. In case you need a quick refresher on the events surrounding the now-infamous Rolling Stone article on campus rape at UVA, here’s what went on. The story, which centered on a student named Jackie detailing a horrifying gang-rape at a fraternity and the school authorities’ failure to act appropriately to the crime, was later found to have some major reporting missteps.
It was a depressing chapter because the story, intended to bolster support for sexual assault survivors on campus instead served to overshadow a very real and pervasive problem. Police launched an investigation into the fraternity at the center of the story (after the entire Greek system was suspended in response to the allegations) and, after many weeks, finally reported their findings.
Though investigators haven’t cleared Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity at the center of the scandal, they also have found no evidence to support that a sexual assault of the kind described in the Rolling Stone article took place at the house.
“We’re still investigating,” Charlottesville Police Captain Gary Pleasants told the Los Angeles Times. “But there was no reason to keep this house under sanctions.”
In response to the Charlottesville Police Department’s findings, UVA announced in a statement, reported by the Washington Post yesterday, that they would be reinstating Phi Kappa Psi and the rest of the Greek system.
Of course, just because the Rolling Stone story had flaw does not discredit the larger issue of sexual violence on campus. And if this story has any silver lining, it’s that it forced the school and fraternity named in the story to seriously reassess their policy towards incidents of sexual assault.
“We believe that in the midst of this ordeal, there is an opportunity to move forward with important safety improvements,” said Phi Kappa Psi President Stephen Scipione in a statement. “This has prompted us to take a closer look at ourselves and what role organizations like ours may play in this problem. It’s opened all of our eyes to the problem of sexual assault. Now it’s time to do something about it.”