From Kevin O’Neill, a lawyer at Squire Patton Boggs representing two fraternities at the University of Virginia that have refused to sign an agreement governing, among other matters, alcohol consumption at fraternity parties:
The fact is the university has never acknowledged that they made a mistake in suspending 25 percent of the student body that had nothing to do with an article that proved to be erroneous. The university has not apologized and has not explained why they took this action.
The article in question is a Rolling Stone article alleging that a woman named “Jackie” was a gang-raped at a fraternity party by seven men. The story was subsequently discredited when it was discovered that it did not comport with verifiable facts. Rolling Stone acknowledged errors in the story, among which were its failure to seek comment from the accused fraternity and its members. Before the story was discredited, the university suspended all fraternities. The university owes an apology to the fraternities for taking action against the entire group based on an unsubstantiated allegation against one of them. The two hold-out fraternities should be commended for refusing a punishment based on transgressions that did not happen.