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  1. #1
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    Default Rolling Stone pulls their UVA Fraternity rape story

    A note to our readers

    Because of the sensitive nature of Jackie's story, we decided to honor her request not to contact the man she claimed orchestrated the attack on her nor any of the men she claimed participated in the attack for fear of retaliation against her. In the months Erdely spent reporting the story, Jackie neither said nor did anything that made Erdely, or Rolling Stone's editors and fact-checkers, question Jackie's credibility.
    In the face of new information, there now appear to be discrepancies in Jackie's account, and we have come to the conclusion that our trust in her was misplaced.
    Well its a good thing no one was unnecessarily affected by this story.... Oh wait...

    UVA Bans Fraternities Until January In Wake Of Campus Rape Article

    Citing "great sorrow, great rage" and "great determination," University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan says she's suspending all the school's fraternities until Jan. 9. The move comes days after a Rolling Stone article in which a woman described being gang-raped when she was a freshman in 2012.
    Glad you were able to throw the baby out with the bathwater and ban ALL fraternities.

    How dare fraternity men not live up to the monstrous portrayals so breathlessly published by the fourth estate.
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    What was the January 9th date? It sounds like they temporarily suspended the frats to investigate any institutionalized misbehaviors on campus, and were going to reinstate as of that point. Or is that an erroneous assumption?

    --

    As far as frats go, I was in school in the mid-80's - 1990 and watched my college summarily whittle down the fraternities. There were many reasons for this, some good and some bad. Some of the frats were definitely "problem children" and actively created situations where such abuses could easily occur. They were also creating situations where the school could be legally liable and/or lose donors (and my school runs crazy on rich donors). I saw the wild parties, the freshman girls getting "pig-booked" by the jock frats for hookups, the drunk underaged people passed out all over the Quad, the bonfire (where drunk frats broke into an academic building and literally created a huge bonfire from the furniture they ransacked from the rooms), etc. The worst offenders were also the most popular ones.

    On the other hand, the college was also trying to reclaim space and loved the thought of getting rid of the Greeks regardless of the individual frat's behavior. The bad ones went first. The good ones disappeared later. So yeah, kind of a mixed bag.

    Also my experience was 25 years ago. Not sure how various institutes crack down or what the frats are like now.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    What was the January 9th date? It sounds like they temporarily suspended the frats to investigate any institutionalized misbehaviors on campus, and were going to reinstate as of that point. Or is that an erroneous assumption?
    That's correct. But you only get 3 college football semesters in a fraternity there (UVA has no fall rush), and to suspend the entire fraternity system, even temporarily is
    re-God-Damn-dickulous.

    Luckily, Sabrina Erdley's career is OVER. (the author of the original RS story)

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    That's correct. But you only get 3 college football semesters in a fraternity there (UVA has no fall rush), and to suspend the entire fraternity system, even temporarily is re-God-Damn-dickulous.
    Yeah, like I said, I can comment more sensibly if I understand what the systematic issues were that might have demanded a temporary suspension (or whether it was just total kneejerk reaction).

    Luckily, Sabrina Erdley's career is OVER. (the author of the original RS story)
    I don't disagree with you there. She made a call that has bitten everyone, including the publisher (RS), in the ass and really pissed off a lot of people... and no legitimate publisher will trust her now or want to touch her. Bad resume item.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    For me, the bigger issue is how "narratives" are beginning to carry the day more easily in this world of social media. If the story fits the narrative, it gets repeated and becomes part of the overall narrative. If it doesn't fit the narrative, it gets ignored.

    Not that this never happened prior to social media, but I think social media accelerates the phenomenon, making the narratives even more persuasive (however temporarily) than before, because it isn't just talking heads on a TV any more. These are your FRIENDS saying these things.

    Once in a while, the narrative backfires, as it did here, and in the Duke rape case. This, like the Duke rape case, will be ignored in years to come, as the narrative continues to thrive on a new set of convenient lies and half-truths.

    None of this is to say that X or Y or Z or whatever the narrative is about isn't a problem. The problem is that the narrative does a disservice, polarizing communities over things in which they are actually in theoretical agreement. Everyone is against rape. Everyone is against racism and police brutality. Yet these narratives have to create villains that are somehow FOR the inexcusable crime, when the only disagreement is whether the allegations are true. The disservice done here is that it becomes a case of the boy crying wolf. If the big visible cases of rape charges are easily falsified (because they're proven to be lies or at best entirely unsubstantiated), then doesn't that have the very effect that those who wish to support the victims of rape would wish to avoid: that the victims won't come forward for fear of being disbelieved? The falsified narrative stories live on as much as the narrative itself.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    What was the January 9th date? It sounds like they temporarily suspended the frats to investigate any institutionalized misbehaviors on campus, and were going to reinstate as of that point. Or is that an erroneous assumption?

    --

    As far as frats go, I was in school in the mid-80's - 1990 and watched my college summarily whittle down the fraternities. There were many reasons for this, some good and some bad. Some of the frats were definitely "problem children" and actively created situations where such abuses could easily occur. They were also creating situations where the school could be legally liable and/or lose donors (and my school runs crazy on rich donors). I saw the wild parties, the freshman girls getting "pig-booked" by the jock frats for hookups, the drunk underaged people passed out all over the Quad, the bonfire (where drunk frats broke into an academic building and literally created a huge bonfire from the furniture they ransacked from the rooms), etc. The worst offenders were also the most popular ones.

    On the other hand, the college was also trying to reclaim space and loved the thought of getting rid of the Greeks regardless of the individual frat's behavior. The bad ones went first. The good ones disappeared later. So yeah, kind of a mixed bag.

    Also my experience was 25 years ago. Not sure how various institutes crack down or what the frats are like now.
    At UF a very substantial portion of the rich donors are greek alums. We also run Student Gov., and corner the market in student philanthropic involvement.

    We also drink our faces off, but then again so do all (i.e. a substantial portion) of the non-greek students as well. Our current (and thankfully outgoing) Uni. President started a shitstorm when he tried to ban open containers from football tailgates. The donors told him to go fuck himself and that the $$ spigot would be turned off it he proceeded with that course of action.

    Frats these days have to run a pretty tight ship, but the administration is always on the hunt to punish anything. The only thing the administration cares about (at most if not all universities) is what makes them look good.

    It's not nearly as libertine as in your day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Yeah, like I said, I can comment more sensibly if I understand what the systematic issues were that might have demanded a temporary suspension (or whether it was just total kneejerk reaction).
    I'm sure UVA's president was under an extraordinary amount of outside pressure to DO SOMETHING!!!

    Even so it was still an extreme overreach to shutdown everything. I would be much less aggravated had the pres just suspended Phi Psi pending further investigation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    At UF a very substantial portion of the rich donors are greek alums. We also run Student Gov., and corner the market in student philanthropic involvement.

    We also drink our faces off, but then again so do all (i.e. a substantial portion) of the non-greek students as well. Our current (and thankfully outgoing) Uni. President started a shitstorm when he tried to ban open containers from football tailgates. The donors told him to go fuck himself and that the $$ spigot would be turned off it he proceeded with that course of action.

    Frats these days have to run a pretty tight ship, but the administration is always on the hunt to punish anything. The only thing the administration cares about (at most if not all universities) is what makes them look good.

    It's not nearly as libertine as in your day.
    It was a shock to me when I went. I came from Pennsyltucky backwoods (full of country religion and guns) where I didn't fit in, to an Ivy-league wannaba at the time still dominated by the Popular People (whose parents would buy them sports cars for Christmas) where I still didn't fit in. I hadn't even had a drop of alcohol at that tender young age, that was waiting for me my sophomore year, where I probably drank my fill for a lifetime, sigh...

    Banning open containers? Yeah, that sounds like a bad call, it ain't gonna fly.

    Totally agree about the schools doing whatever they can to keep their image high and get as many bucks as possible. It's crazy how much effort is expended on that, it seems typical to want to attract children of rich donors to expand their campus to get richer...

    Anyway, this investigation has sucked for the students who didn't do anything wrong.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    It was a shock to me when I went. I came from Pennsyltucky backwoods (full of country religion and guns) where I didn't fit in, to an Ivy-league wannaba at the time still dominated by the Popular People (whose parents would buy them sports cars for Christmas) where I still didn't fit in. I hadn't even had a drop of alcohol at that tender young age, that was waiting for me my sophomore year, where I probably drank my fill for a lifetime, sigh...

    Banning open containers? Yeah, that sounds like a bad call, it ain't gonna fly.

    Totally agree about the schools doing whatever they can to keep their image high and get as many bucks as possible. It's crazy how much effort is expended on that, it seems typical to want to attract children of rich donors to expand their campus to get richer...

    Anyway, this investigation has sucked for the students who didn't do anything wrong.
    Agreed.

    I'd also like to say that sexual violence sucks, and this thread is in no way meant to justify criminal behavior or to take anything away from those who have been affected by sexual violence.

    This thread is intended to highlight the downfalls of narrative journalism, and to serve as an example that prejudging anyone, even if they are white and well off and male, is pretty fucked up. This is especially true if those prejudices catalyze a society wide salem witch trial.
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    I just kinda wanna know... okay... actually... what DID happen?
    Especially if it resulted in a major retraction?

    EDIT: Here's the original:
    A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA | Rolling Stone
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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