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UVA fraternities are refusing to sign new campus requirements By Ashe Schow


So far two University of Virginia fraternities are refusing to sign a new Fraternity Operating Agreement to resume social activities.

Alpha Tau Omega and Kappa Alpha have released nearly identical statements refusing to sign U.Va.’s new requirements that fraternities alter their activities following a two-month suspension on social activities. The new rules require a certain number of fraternity brothers to be sober and present and different places around the house and set limits on what kinds of alcohol can be served and in what containers.

The fraternities state two reasons for their refusal to sign on to these new rules.

The first reason is that U.Va., “for reasons that were found to be untrue, unfairly punished all members of fraternities and sororities." This is in reference to the Rolling Stone article claiming a woman was gang raped at a Phi Kappa Psi party, which resulted in the social activity ban (without any evidence other than the uncorroborated accusation).

“Because we do not accept the validity of a suspension imposed in contravention of the existing FOA, university policy, Virginia law and the constitutional rights of our members, we are not compelled to sign a revised FOA to continue operations on campus,” the fraternities wrote in press releases that were put out separately but shared the same language.

The fraternities also state that their own risk management policies “are as strict or more strict than this new FOA” and they will continue to “comply with the more restrictive of the policies in its activities.”

The fraternities wrote, “We are concerned that the university’s revision to the FOA may create new liability for individual members of our organizations that is more properly a duty to be borne by the university itself."

The statements also claim that the new rules “set a dangerous precedent of an erosion of student and organizational rights,” but would work with U.Va. to develop “risk management education.”

“This should occur on an ongoing basis, not under these pretenses,” the fraternities wrote.

The fraternities have released these statements just one day after Charlottesville police found “no substantive basis” for the allegations set forth in Rolling Stone to have occurred at Phi Psi.

U.Va. spokesman Anthony de Bruyn, in an email to the Washington Examiner, wouldn't comment on the press releases but was hopeful the organizations would eventually sign the FOA.

"The Greek organizations have until January 16 to sign the new agreements, developed by the student groups themselves, and we will have no further comment or action until that date has passed," de Bruyn wrote. "We remain hopeful that all groups will commit to these reasonable protocols designed to improve student safety."

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