UVa Sororities Fume Over Ban from Key Fraternities Event

National chapters' action prompts petition
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 28, 2015 11:16 AM CST
In this Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015 photo, students participating in rush pass by the Phi Kappa Psi house at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

(Newser) – Sorority members at the University of Virginia are taking a stand over a rule they argue is rooted in discrimination. This Saturday is bid night at UVa campus fraternities, an event in which the sorority sisters normally take part—but this year, national chapters are requiring many of them to avoid the parties, the Washington Post reports. The national chapters' decision follows the death of a student as well as allegations of gang rape at a fraternity house. Though those allegations were later said to be unsubstantiated, the university has taken a hard look at safety on campus, the Post notes. Now, some women are even banned from participating in events with fraternity members off-campus that night.

Says the National Panhellenic Organization that oversees Greek life: "NPC supports the safety of their women, so they do support those national presidents making that decision and encouraging sorority women to plan sisterhood events and other ‘safer’ options." A letter to the NPC gives voice to those opposed to the policy: "Sorority women are being used as leverage to change the actions and behaviors of fraternity men," it reads. "This resolution has misconstrued us as a passive aggregate rather than active agents for change." Meanwhile, an online petition to revoke the ban has gathered more than 2,000 signatures. The school's Student Council yesterday passed a resolution calling on the national groups to change the mandate, the Cavalier Daily reports.

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