The University of Virginia has reinstated phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity at the heart of Rolling Stone’s botched gang rape story, after Charlottesville police said the story about an alleged gang rape could not be substantiated (via WaPo):
“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.
In the wake of the 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 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. The university said that Phi Psi was the first fraternity to sign the updated agreement, and fraternity officials said that Phi Psi members have participated in a sexual assault awareness program.
Yet, as the Washington Examiner’s Ashe Schow wrote, Captain Gary Pleasants said in an email that the investigation isn’t over; “no substantive basis that the alleged incident occurred at THAT fraternity,” he wrote. “We are still investigating and will release a statement once that investigation has been completed.”
Rolling Stone has yet to fire anyone over this horrific journalistic foul-up. They’re re-reporting the story with the same author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who initially misreported the story in their November edition last year.