Sep 26, 2016



NEWS

Students claiming responsibility for Phi Kappa Psi vandalism submit anonymous letter

Letter lists four demands, lambasts University community for inaction

phipsi_vandalism

An anonymous letter submitted to various news organizations claims responsibility for the vandalism of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house which occurred early Thursday morning.

The letter was submitted via email shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday by "John Doe" at the email address strawberryqueen1717@gmail.com.

The vandalism came as a response to a Rolling Stone article published online Wednesday which detailed an instance of gang rape which allegedly occurred at the fraternity house in Sept. 2012.

"We applaud the bravery of those who have shared their stories, and we promise that their bravery will not be in vain," the letter read. "This situation is just beginning. We will escalate and we will provoke until justice is achieved for the countless victims of rampant sexual violence at this University and around the nation."

The letter included four demands:

  • "An immediate revision of University policy mandating expulsion as the only sanction for rape and sexual assault."
  • "The immediate suspension of UVA’s Phi Kappa Psi chapter, and a thorough review of the entire fraternity system."
  • "A thorough overhaul of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Board and the resignation of Dean Nicole Eramo."
  • "The immediate implementation of harm reduction policies at fraternity parties, such as policing, University supervision, or permission for parties to be held in safer environments such as sorority houses."

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Phi Kappa Psi's University chapter said they would voluntarily suspend their FOA and all fraternity activities.

Charlottesville Police responded to the reported vandalism at 2:45 a.m. Thursday.

"A number of windows had been broken with bottles and chunks of cinder block and a portion of the building had been spray painted," according to a police press release. "Police officers collected evidence from the scene and the incident is under investigation."

The words "SUSPEND US" were spray painted on part of the house, along with the words "UVA Center for Rape Studies."

The anonymous letter, which was signed by "the students who vandalized the Phi Psi house," criticized administrators and other members of the University community for inaction.

"We appeal for action to President Sullivan, who has shown promise as a strong and progressive administrator, but we will no longer confine ourselves to working through a bureacratic [sic] and ineffective system," the letter read. "UVA will not be the same after this — we will not allow it."

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Full Text of the Letter:

We wish that the recent Rolling Stone article regarding the culture of rape in the University’s Greek system had come as a shock. Unfortunately, as students, we are all too familiar with the rape and assault that is ubiquitous on Rugby Road. We have been assaulted, our friends have been assaulted, and the University––students and administrators alike––continue to minimize the problem. The administration has consistently failed to take the drastic steps that are necessary to halt the epidemic, and the students go about their lives complacently, tolerating the abuse. Rapists go unpunished and wander our campus––our campus, where they haunt their victims and even openly mock them. We are fed up with it. We applaud the bravery of those who have shared their stories, and we promise that their bravery will not be in vain. This situation is just beginning. We will escalate and we will provoke until justice is achieved for the countless victims of rampant sexual violence at this University and around the nation.

To that end we list the following short-term demands:

- An immediate revision of University policy mandating expulsion as the only sanction for rape and sexual assault.

- The immediate suspension of UVA’s Phi Kappa Psi chapter, and a thorough review of the entire fraternity system.

- A thorough overhaul of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Board and the resignation of Dean Nicole Eramo.

- The immediate implementation of harm reduction policies at fraternity parties, such as policing, University supervision, or permission for parties to be held in safer environments such as sorority houses.

Rape is not a political issue to be negotiated and discussed with an eye towards gradual improvement. It is a criminal act of violence that cannot be tolerated. Inaction on the part of anyone––students, faculty, and administrators––allows more young victims to be raped every weekend. Rolling Stone discussed UVA’s culture of rape, and it is pervasive. But we are UVA students too, and we reject that culture. The silent majority of this University cannot remain silent: change will be made on this campus only if we force it. We appeal for action to President Sullivan, who has shown promise as a strong and progressive administrator, but we will no longer confine ourselves to working through a bureaucratic and ineffective system.

UVA will not be the same after this––we will not allow it.

Sincerely,

The students who vandalized the Phi Psi house


Published November 20, 2014 in News









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