Novemeber 22, 2014
Dozens of UVa students and members of the Charlottesville community gathered Saturday in front of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity house in protest.
Those who attended discussed ways to spark a change at UVa where an alleged rape culture was brought to light by a graphic article recently published in Rolling Stone magazine.
The article described in detail the story of an alleged gang rape at Phi Kappa Psi. The account triggered the launch of a police investigation asked for by UVa President Teresa Sullivan.
On Saturday, Sullivan also announced the suspension of all fraternal organizations and associated social activities until January 9. It's a move that some at the protest called a step in the right direction.
"As ironic as it sounds, I still believe in the power of and the goodness of fraternities and sororities. I think they really do have their benefits," said former Charlottesville resident Shannon Cruse Ranson. "But the debauchery and all the things that happen behind closed doors shouldn't happen."
Ranson says she drove 200 miles to attend the protest. She says she too was assaulted at a UVa frat back in 1999 making the Rolling Stone article hit all too close to home.
"Boys can make better choices, girls can make better choices," she said. "And the school can support it when, unfortunately those things fall apart."
Charlottesville Police say four people were arrested at Saturday's event and charged with trespassing on private property.
UVa faculty members are scheduled to get together for another protest Saturday night. Take Back the Party: A Faculty Action to End Rape will take place Saturday night at 11 p.m. on rugby road. Organizers say the purpose is to protest a social culture that puts female students at risk.