UVA Fraternity Suspensions Lifted Early and After New Safety Agreement Signed

The fraternities and sororities at the University of Virginia are no longer under the nearly two month long suspension that was imposed after a scathing article was published by Rolling Stone, which prompted a national debate and the need for a new safety agreement to be drafted.

The original date to reinstate the fraternities was to be on January 9th, but UVA president, Teresa Sullivan, opted to end it on Tuesday instead.

The lifting of the suspension does not mean that fraternities and sororities are able to carry on with their wild ways as usual, however. As part of their reinstatement, a safety agreement was added as an extension to the existing Fraternal Organization Agreement and must be signed each year by each fraternity and sorority.

The new safety policy requires that three sober monitors be present and clearly identified as such at each event and must be presented with a key in order to access any and all rooms of the fraternity house. Beer may now only be served in its original, unopened container and wine is to only be poured by one of the designated sober brothers. Guest lists are now required for each event and only those listed will be granted access.

UVA spokesman Anthony Paul de Bruyn wrote an email to HuffPost saying, “This aspect is meant to help ensure a safe experience for guests and fraternity members, including consideration of personal belongings.”

The new agreement was drafted by members of UVA’s Greek community and was presented to Sullivan in an attempt to come to a resolution after the Rolling Stone article and subsequent suspension. The hard work of the Inter-Fraternity Council members and the noted discrepancies in the article were likely contributing factors to the early removal of the suspension.

Sullivan said in a statement, “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.”

Hopefully the changes required as a result of the new safety agreement prove to be beneficial as the spring semester begins next week and recruiting begins for the fraternities and sororities. With new pledges often brings more parties and more alcohol, which paves the way for potential instances of unsafe behavior. Perhaps the combination of the suspension and safety measures will prevent further stories like the one written about in Rolling Stone.

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