New Year, New Rules For UVA Fraternities & Sororities — Otherwise, They'll Stay Banned

Last November, Rolling Stone published a damning story about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity party. As a result, the school suspended all of its fraternities and associated organizations until January, even after the article turned out to be riddled with inconsistencies and poor reporting. Now UVA is proposing new rules for fraternities and sororities that aim to prevent sexual assault on campus. If organizations agree to the new regulations and sign the agreement by January 16, the university will lift its ban and Greek life can resume once again at UVA.

On Tuesday, UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan authorized the new rules, which are part of an addendum to the university's Fraternal Organization Agreement. The Interfraternity Council (IFC) accepted the new safety measures and issued a statement on the agreement:

We seek to achieve a safe environment at fraternity events by addressing high-risk drinking, sexual misconduct, and unhealthy power structures. These changes are not comprehensive — nor do they claim to be. Instead, we submit these reforms as the next step in the IFC's commitment to guaranteeing a baseline of safety for fraternity members and our guests.

Sullivan also issued a statement on the new proposed rules:

I believe the new safety measures recommended by the student leaders in the Greek community will help provide a safer environment for their members and guests.

It's unclear at this time how the new measures will be enforced, but Sullivan said that they would be monitored and assessed throughout the semester. All 61 fraternities and sororities must sign and abide by the rules in order to participate in official UVA events and be officially recognized by the university.

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Some of the most noteworthy rules under the new agreement:

  • At least three fraternity members must stay "sober and lucid" during parties, kind of like designated drivers, except designated monitors.
  • One sober member must be stationed on the stairs leading to the bedrooms and have keys to all bedrooms.
  • A hired security guard will be stationed at the entrance and only allow those on the printed guest list to enter events.
  • Hard liquor will be prohibited at certain events.
  • Beer kegs and pre-made drinks like punch will be prohibited.
  • Beer must be served in its original, unopened can.
  • Wine can be served only if it's poured visibly by a sober brother.
  • When there are more guests than brothers at an event, alcohol must be served by a licensed bartender.
  • Liquor can be brought to smaller events, but must be placed on a central bar and served by a sober brother.
  • Food and water must be provided at events.
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The Rolling Stone article that prompted the new rules had detailed one female UVA student's horrific account of being gang raped by seven men at a Phi Kappa Psi party. Several parts of the story have since been discredited after other news outlets further investigated the case and revealed discrepancies in the subject's account. Nevertheless, UVA is going forward with the new rules for its spring semester, which will begin on Monday. Images: Getty Images (2)