UVA sorority members ordered to stay away from fraternity parties this weekend

Controversy is once again spreading across the campus of the University of Virginia. Sororities at the school have been told to stay away from fraternity parties this weekend -- concerned about the safety of those who may attend the parties.

But there is now a backlash.

The school recently ended its suspension of Greek social activities after fraternities and sororities agreed to stricter regulations.

But by telling young women to stay away from parties, the sorority officials have sparked a double dose of anger among some who say they have cast women as being responsible for sexual assaults and for painting young men in fraternities as predators.

In November, the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville was rocked by Rolling Stone.

The magazine published -- and then discredited -- its own story of an alleged rape at a fraternity house. No one was ever charged by police. But reaction was massive when the story came out.

Sororities have now been told to stay away from fraternity recruitment parties on Saturday. The national headquarters of 16 sororities on the University of Virginia campus, the National Panhellenic Conference, made the move over concern for women's safety at the parties.

A spokesperson wrote "Sorority organizations with chapters present on UVA campus, that are also NPC member organizations, collectively made the decision to not participate in men's bid night events."

Petula Dvorak of The Washington Post has written a column appearing in Friday's paper taking the sorority leaders to task. She says by telling women to stay away from parties are suggesting that women are somehow responsible for sexual assaults.

"This sounded crazy to me because it sounds like we're punishing women, we're trying to find a solution by locking women up," Dvorak said.

Likewise, Dvorak says the request also casts a bad light on male students who have done nothing wrong.

"It does a lot to our young men," she said. "It shows us that they believe young men can't be trusted."

For their part, young women and men are pushing back against the ban. An online petition on change.org to remove the mandate gathered more than 2,000 signatures and counting.

To be clear, this ban was not ordered by University of Virginia officials, but rather by the sorority conference members.

There will be a meeting on campus Thursday at 6 p.m. for both fraternity and sorority members to talk about the issue and decide how they will move forward this weekend.

What do you think about the order? Vote in our FOX 5 Feedback poll below.
Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

More Stories You May Be Interested In - Includes Advertiser Stories