UVa Fraternity Men Speak Out

This, from an old friend and fraternity member – once again, one bad egg does not the carton make, so don’t ever assume being Greek equals rape. The most caring men I know came out of the UVa fraternity system, as such, I married two of them – this one man knew of two high profile rapes (I knew the vic in one of the cases)which makes me so very sad.

“I write this e-mail because, as a graduate of UVa, I am appalled by the
University’s ‘dismissive’ attitude towards rape allegations. I was a
student at Virgina from 1984-1988 and was made aware of 2 very public rape
allegations within the fraternity system. Both involved people I knew. And
one was particularly disturbing because UVa did NOTHING to take a stand on
how serious a crime rape is. It involved a woman who had a father who was a
prominent judge and a man who had a father who was an equally prominent
attorney. The school did nothing. It asked the fraternity member to leave
school for (and my memory on this is fuzzy) either a semester or a full
year, allowing him to return the following semester (or year). The fact
that he was not kicked out of UVa and asked never to return really left me
speechless and in shock. Members of this man’s fraternity used to jeer this
girl as she walked down Madison Lane to class and the University did
nothing despite complaints. I don’t think this woman wanted to press
charges and go through a lengthy trial, having her good name sullied in
press, and so i don’t believe formal charges were ever filed (i am hazy on
this as well). But the man who raped her was a fraternity brother of her
boyfriend’s and it was a very well known case. It disgusted me that the
University did nothing but have this man leave school for a period of
time, only to return while the woman was still an undergraduate. This is
NOT the 1st time that UVa has turned a blind eye to this kind of problem,
as you well know, Liz. I think UVa should have been held accountable in
your situation when they erroneously told you that the Charlottesville
police department did not have jurisdiction for this type of felony. And
they should have taken a very tough stance and sent a stern signal to the
student body (in the case that I have just described) that rape would not
be tolerated and would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law (by
expelling this student).

I would bet my life’s savings on making a statement that UVa has looked
the other way over the years on allegations of rape. I don’t say that
lightly and I have no proof of this and I love my alma matter very much.
But they have proven to be ignorant of the severity of this felony and
need to be morally and ethically bound to clear its reputation that has
been tainted over the years due to serious allegations of rape on its
hallowed grounds.

I wish you well, Liz, and hope that your healing continues.



  1. M:Of course we do – I see at support for all victims. My point in blogging this was also to show how people rush to judge that all fraternity people are mired in bad behavior – not so. I was grateful for this letter and the ensuing correspondence. Sadly, the case he refers to is very true and the vic was a friend of mine. She was understandably distressed when the rapist was allowed back on campus (“Grounds” in UVa-speak) with not a care in the world. That rapist and his brother were pretty bad news all around. She was studying in her boyfriend’s room at his house and fell asleep. She awoke to his fraternity brother raping her. It was an awful case. She’s gone on to a full happy life with kids and a husband and I am grateful for that.

  2. Rapists are few.

    Rapist enablers and protectors are many.

    That's how people like Eric Harris can become homicidally enraged at an entire community.

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