Alumni Forum

Response to Sexual Assault issue

Submitted on Dec 15, 2014 by David M. Snow (Col ’83)

This semester has been a difficult one for our university family. While still reeling from the Hannah Graham tragedy and the suicide death of one of her classmates, we were blindsided by the horrifying story from the Rolling Stone. While many details of the story have since been discredited, it nonetheless set in motion a…more >

Comments (2):

  1. Guest Alum on said:
    I think this is well-said David. What I'm really struggling with, is understanding why people of the University (students, Sullivan, faculty, etc.) seem to have gone mum in defending in any way the majority percentage of the school that does not condone a "rape culture". The majority of the Greek system that does...more >
  2. Christopher Mahoney, Darden '78 on said:
    When will the University formally apologize to the Greek community? When will the DA admit that the entire Rolling Story is false in every respect? When will the slanderous cloud be lifted from Phi Kappa Psi, the "rape fraternity"? When will Sullivan and the Board resign?

Time to apologize to the brothers of Phi Kappa Psi

Submitted on Dec 15, 2014 by Dustin Hecker (Col ’78, Law ’83)

By now, it is clear that what Rolling Stone reported happened to Jackie, did not. The most recent revelations from her three friends even call into question whether the third-year she discussed ever existed. We likely will never really know what — if anything — actually happened to her the night of September 28, 2012.

None…more >

Comments (2):

  1. Gerry on said:
    We'll written piece. As a mother of three, two sons one daughter, who are now past college false accusations such as these are not justified. The rape counseling service at uva should be disbanded as it is being run by incompetent and self absorbed individuals.
  2. Paul on said:
    Mr. Hecker: As you are no doubt aware, the Rolling Stone article is not just about an accusation of rape at a UVa fraternity party. From the start, the article's author, Sabrina Erdely, and her allies in the media, have made clear their hostility toward the fraternity system in general, which they accuse of condoning, or...more >

Common Sense Handling of Crimes

Submitted on Dec 12, 2014 by Peter (Engr ’08)

The University has no business handling or investigating crimes — violent, non-violent, sexual, or otherwise. Student councils can handle cheating, or other ‘honor’ issues, but crimes are crimes and need to be handled by the government agencies we’ve paid and elected to handle them.

The University needs to do the same thing the military has done…more >

1 in 4?

Submitted on Dec 12, 2014 by Scott (Col ’90)

Does the 1 in 4 figure hold water?

Statistically speaking, if only 6.25% of the female population were raped each year at a 4 year institution, then yes, after 4 years, you could have a rate of 25% or 1 in 4 of a given population. Provided, of course, no female was raped twice and rapes…more >

Comments (6):

  1. Barbara Coll ('77) on said:
    Thanks for doing some of the statistical work, Scott. I had done a tiny bit of research when there was criticism on this forum about this number and where it came from. I just did a little more research but if you can go further with it that would be great; having good...more >
    • Jeff Thomas on said:
      Thanks Barbara for the link to the study claiming one in five college women are sexually assaulted while in college. I find three major problems with this study. First and foremost, the authors explicitly state within the study that the conclusions of the study cannot be extrapolated beyond the two schools actually surveyed and specifically...more >
  2. Dave (Col '83) on said:
    The most recent report from the DOJ puts the incidence of rape for college aged women at 6-7 per 1,000. That would be 0.65%, not 6.5%. What am I missing?

There Must Be Accountability

Submitted on Dec 7, 2014 by Julianna Swent (Grad ’09)

In a Cavalier Daily article, Sullivan is quoted as follows:

“Sexual misconduct is a whole range of behaviors, all the way from verbal harassment to rape,” Sullivan said. “If you have a student who, [let’s] say, is cyber stalking and doesn’t realize that that’s offensive and shouldn’t be done — do you want to expel that…more >

Comments (6):

  1. Jeff Thomas on said:
    The Honor System is not a cure-all for anything that ails UVA! Rape and sexual assault are violent crimes and need to be dealt with in the criminal justice system. To assert that the Honor System is the appropriate venue to address the crime of rape is ridiculous. Rapist need to be...more >
  2. guest on said:
    what comes to mind is the naive state of the girls who are victims of these crimes. i can't speak for the others but for myself; i was too young and stupid about the ways of the world to even know what the police were all about. growing up in a civilized upper...more >

This Changes Nothing

Submitted on Dec 7, 2014 by Barbara (Col ’77)

This doesn’t change anything for me. UVA is mobilizing right now to keep the focus on this issue and fix it. “A chorus of student activists, politicians, faculty and administrators were mobilizing Fri. and Sat. to sustain that momentum”, according to today’s Wash. Post. Also, President of the Inter-Fraternity Council, Tommy Reid said “he wants…more >

Comments (11):

  1. Robert on said:
    Any person sexually assaulted should feel comfortable reporting any such incident, and any report/incident should be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But a few parts of the radical narrative deserve to be refuted: There is not a "culture of rape" at UVa. The term "culture of rape" certainly sounds scary, but other...more >
  2. Jeff Thomas on said:
    "This Changes Nothing." Well it should. The narrative of a "culture of rape" at UVA where gang rape is an initiation rite at a prominent fraternity has been shown to be a work of fiction. So what are we left with. Yes, rape is a problem in society and at UVA as well,...more >
    • Barbara, Coll '77 on said:
      I agree, Robert and Jeff, that most people in society and at UVA are good, and a statement that UVA has a “culture of rape” is extreme. But with statistics ranging from 1 in 4 or 5 women being sexually assaulted nationwide (I think that's on campuses and in society), something...more >
      • Robert on said:
        Don't worry, I wasn't lumping you. I was just making the point RE some folks out there right now on one extreme. There's not much we can do about people who are disturbed and commit sexual assaults and other violent crimes except maximize environmental safety (lighting, police call boxes, police patrols, not putting residence halls in...more >

As if UVa doesn’t have enough problems already…

Submitted on Dec 7, 2014 by Robert (Col ’89)

Along comes Julia Horowitz, “assistant managing editor of the Cavalier Daily,” writing in Politco yesterday. One would think her writings emanate from “The Onion,” but, alas, they don’t. They apparently represent what passes for “journalism” at The University these days.

A few cases in point:

“…to let fact checking define the narrative would be a huge…more >

Comments (6):

  1. Susan on said:
    Robert, I think it is interesting that you think you have the pulse of the university and intuitively claim to know how students are feeling when you are not currently a student there. Do you have some sort of special powers? Impressive.
  2. Jeff Thomas on said:
    Susan, your response is typical of the liberal elite: when you can't argue the facts you engage in personal attacks and ridicule. If you have something useful to say, say it! I believe Robert makes good points, particularly the often quoted statistic “…one in five women will be sexually assaulted while in college.” For...more >
    • Mike Weinstein (A&S 1971) on said:
      @Jeff Thomas: kindly lose the "liberal elite" claptrap. It destroys your credibility and makes suspect an otherwise logical argument. I am sick and tired of knee-jerk, fact-free extremism on BOTH sides. Because of Rolling Stone's borderline libel, the reputation of a great University has been tarnished forever, which is an outrage. Nevertheless, right-wing rants like...more >
      • Jeff Thomas on said:
        Dear Mike Weinstein, I don't like you either but your personal attacks are just as out of place as Susan's. My comments were anything but fact free and were not extremist. If you consider a logical presentation of the facts a "right-wing rant" so be it. I said nothing at all about binge drinking and its...more >
        • Mike Weinstein (A&S 1971) on said:
          No, our views are not that far apart, Mr. Thomas. And I can assure you that after what life has dealt me in the past 44 years for which UVa has prepared me, nothing you say "scares" me. However, it is beneath an alum of our University to start a comment with a nonsensical statement...more >

How sadly ironic.

Submitted on Dec 5, 2014 by Ellen Curnes (Law ’87)

The article was intended to give victims of sexual violence a voice, Instead, what a terrrible, terrible disservice has been done . Not only will the credibility of actual victims be undermined, but so will the compassion to which they are entitled. No amount of apologizing can undo the damage.

Comments (10):

  1. guest on said:
    i don't know about that. seems to me we got a few weeks of a voice/compassion, which is a few weeks more than most of us get. many thanks to all who contributed to this conversation, i found even the brief light on this subject to be helpful. diagnosed with PTSD some...more >
    • GuestAlum on said:
      Your experience at UVa sounds terrible and I'm truly sorry. However, mine was nothing like that, so I have a very different opinion on whether "UVa women have enough sense to simply leave". I am a woman, and my experience as a UVa student was, overall, excellent- and I thankfully never encountered...more >
  2. Robert on said:
    Beh. That whole "innocent until proven guilty" concept is antiquated anyway. Marauding around Rugby Road like a lynch mob is where social justice is at these days. It was fun while it lasted.

Lies, lies, and more lies…

Submitted on Dec 5, 2014 by Robert (Col ’89)

So, before the world now comes “Rolling Stone,” issuing an “apology” and a retraction of their obviously hyperbolic and politically motivated story. Says Rolling Stone: “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.” Translation:…more >

Comments (11):

  1. Ashley Nutley JD '87 on said:
    Perhaps we should wait for all the facts to come out before we weigh in. Read:
  2. Jeff Thomas on said:

What was happening behind the scenes prior to the Rolling Stones article

Submitted on Dec 3, 2014 by William T. Sheahan (Engr ’81, Med ’85)

Everyone is well aware of the definition of Integrity: how one acts when no-one is watching. The Presidents address to students this past monday was excellent. Unfortunately, it looks to many that the only reason things have been appropriately addressed and communicated to students and alumni is because of the Rolling Stones article. It would…more >

Comments (4):

  1. Jeff Maddox (Darden '82) on said:
    President Sullivan, do the honorable thing: resign. You are not qualified to lead the University out of this disgusting situation. If you did not know that felony rape was occurring with frightening regularity on campus, then you are an incompetent manager. If you did know and chose to turn your back on the victims, then...more >
  2. Chad C. Warwick on said:
    It's been years since I was at a U.Va. party, but I do remember the tendency of many of the students to try to take advantage of the women invited from other schools (we weren't co-ed then). I also have a son who is heavily involved with a fraternity at Wash. U. of St....more >