UVA Sororities Banned From Parties To Lessen Risk Of Sexual Assault

In a move we'd describe as stunningly misogynist, 16 sororities at the University of Virginia were told last week they are prohibited from participating in "men's bid night," to lessen their risk of sexual assault. Bid night is a notoriously big event where fraternities celebrate — and party with — new members. "I believe that the intent was probably a good one, but no, I don't think this mandate is an effective way of dealing with a problem," says Celina Miller, a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma at UVA in the 90s. "This punishes women by limiting their ability to exercise their free will. " Despite complaints across the Charlottesville campus — plus a petition drive and letter-writing campaign — the National Panhellenic Conference, an umbrella group that oversees all female Greek organizations, favored the existing policies that prohibit sorority members from participating in fraternity recruitment. In the past, that meant only refraining from wearing fraternity letters or other promotional items during this time period. Now, it means the girls are banned from frat parties entirely. While the national chapters may think they are looking out for the best interests of their members, their solution boils down to: if women want to avoid experiencing sexual violence, they should avoid going to parties. This sends the troubling message that the fault lies with the victim.  "I would hope that the women who disagree with this mandate, as I do, feel comfortable to quietly and peaceful protest by attending these parties or going to those "public places" where fraternity men may be on Saturday," Celina adds. This party ban comes on the heels of a lifted suspension on social activities the university established for all Greek life in November, after an account of fraternity gang rape on campus came out in a now-disproved Rolling Stone article.

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