In Wake of Rolling Stone Fiasco, UVa Officials Also Have Some Explaining to Do

emily_renda

Emily Renda attending a White House function on sexual assault earlier this year. Image captured from Renda’s Instagram account and posted by the 28 Sherman blog.

by James A. Bacon and Reed Fawell III

On June 20, 2014, five months before the publication of a devastating article alleging a gang rape at the University of Virginia, Emily Renda, an employee of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, testified on sexual assault issues before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. The young woman, a self-identified victim of a campus rape, recounted her extensive activism against sexual violence, including work with a young woman identified by the pseudonym Jenna.

Jenna was gang-raped by five fraternity men early in her freshman year. Despite the severity of the assault and injuries she sustained, Jenna still experienced a feeling of personal responsibility. Looking for affirmation, she sought out peers and told her story. Sadly, each and every one of the friends she reached out to responded with varying denials of her experience; these responses worsened her feelings of self-blame. ….

When she finally sought assistance from the Dean of Students’ office, after struggling and nearly failing out of her classes for two semesters, it was difficult for the university to conduct a meaningful investigation because much of the evidence had been lost and witnesses were more difficult to locate.”

The story differed in some respects from the gang rape story that led off the explosive Rolling Stone article, “A Rape on Campus,” which used the pseudonym of “Jackie.” In Renda’s understanding, Jenna/Jackie had been raped by five men, not seven as reported by Rolling Stone. In Renda’s version, Jenna/Jackie sought out her peers to tell her story; in Rolling Stone, she contacted them immediately after the rape. But in both tellings, Jenna/Jackie’s friends responded by discouraging her from reporting the incident. Both versions of the traumatic episode reinforced a national anti-rape narrative that a student “culture” of denial perpetuated an epidemic of sexual assaults on college campuses.

Soon after Renda testified to Congress, Rolling Stone Contributing Editor Sabrina Rubin Erdely started researching a lengthy expose of sexual assault on college campuses. At some point, she connected with Renda, who granted an interview in which she described her own ordeal and commented upon the student culture of indifference toward sexual assault victims. Renda also connected Erdely to other sources, including “Jackie.”

Renda has not publicly commented upon her objectives in collaborating with Erdely on the article, but there is every reason to think that she hoped for a positive treatment of the University of Virginia’s ongoing efforts to grapple with sexual assaults. In February, the university had sponsored a national event, “Dialogue at U.Va.: Sexual Misconduct Among College Students,” that brought together national experts and professionals from some 60 colleges and universities to discuss prevention and response. Over the following three months, she traveled to the White House five times to participate in an administration task force to “protect students from sexual assault.” During the time Erdely researched her article, UVa was already implementing some of the recommendations contained in the White House report, “Not Alone.” Indeed, the Hoo’s Got Your Back initiative, designed to encourage bystanders to intervene and stop sexual assaults, provided the backdrop of one of the vignettes in Erdely’s article.

But Erdely had a very different agenda. Rather than highlight UVa’s anti-rape activism, she launched the November 19, 2014, article with a horrifying tale of a gang rape of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, painted UVa as a place where rape had been prevalent for decades, and portrayed the university administration as more concerned with protecting its reputation than in achieving justice for the victims of sexual assaults.

It’s not clear when UVa officials got wind of Erdely’s intentions, but by September, Erdely was asking pointed questions about its sexual-assault policies. According to emails acquired by the Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, the university shifted into damage control mode. University officials canceled an interview Erdely had set up with Nicole Eramo, head of UVa’s Sexual Misconduct Board and mother confessor to many victims of sexual assault. They also blocked access to Claire Kaplan with the Women’s Center. Instead, communications officers insisted that Erdely interview university President Teresa Sullivan.

It wasn’t until the magazine asked probing questions that UVa officials began digging deeper into the gang rape allegation that had circulated widely within the university and Renda mentioned in her congressional testimony.  Wrote Erdely:

Within days of the [September 12, 2014, Board of Trustees] meeting, having learned of Rolling Stone’s probe into Jackie’s story, UVA at last placed Phi Kappa Psi under investigation. Or rather, as President Sullivan carefully answered my question about allegations of gang rape at Phi Psi, “We do have a fraternity under investigation.” Phi Kappa Psi national executive director Shawn Collinsworth says that UVA indeed notified him of sexual assault allegations; he immediately dispatched a representative to meet with the chapter. UVA chapter president Stephen Scipione recalls being only told of a vague, anonymous “fourth-hand” allegation of a sexual assault during a party. “We were not told that it was rape, but rather that something of a sexual nature took place,” he wrote to RS in an e-mail. Either way, Collinsworth says, given the paucity of information, “we have no evidence to substantiate the alleged assaults.”

Under investigation,” President Sullivan insists when I ask her to elaborate on how the university is handling the case. “I don’t know how else to spell that out for you.”

When finally published in November, the article included “many details” about the gang rape that ” were previously not disclosed to University officials,” Sullivan said in her first public response. University Rector George Martin reiterated the point in a statement released the next day.

Despite the horrific nature of the charges and the differences with the earlier version to which Renda testified before Congress, neither Sullivan nor Martin questioned the veracity of the Rolling Stone account.  Announcing that she’d asked the Charlottesville Police Department to investigate the incident, Sullivan declined to comment upon the gang rape “out of respect for” the privacy of the sexual assault survivors. Otherwise, she emphasized ongoing initiatives to combat sexual assaults, including the February conference on sexual misconduct, the Hoo’s Got Your Back initiative, a Not on Our Grounds campaign, a new student sexual misconduct policy, and an upcoming campus climate survey.

The gang-rape allegation may have been a disaster for UVa’s reputation, but it did galvanize the university community into supporting the sexual-assault initiatives that had been underway for months. “The wrongs described in Rolling Stone are appalling and have caused all of us to reexamine our responsibility to this community,” Sullivan stated in a Nov. 22, 2014, message to the university community. 

We as a community must … do a systematic evaluation of our culture to ensure that one of our founding principles– the pursuit of truth – remains a pillar on which we can stand. ….

I write you today in solidarity. I write you in great sorrow, great rage, but most importantly, with great determination. Meaningful change is necessary, and we can lead that change for all universities. We can demand that incidents like those described in Rolling Stone never happen and that if they do, the responsible are held accountable to the law. This will require institutional change, cultural change, and legislative change, and it will not be easy. We are making those changes.

Essentially embracing the philosophy of never letting a crisis go to waste, Sullivan pushed through the sexual-assault agenda that had been in the works since early in the year. She shut down the social activities of sororities and fraternities until Jan. 9, 2015, vowing to provide better oversight of alcohol consumption and safety of guests. The Board of Trustees adopted a policy of “zero tolerance” toward sexual violence. The university hired the law firm O’Melveny & Meyers to conduct a review of sexual assault at UVa and the university’s response to reported cases. Sullivan created an ad hoc group of students, faculty, administrators and stakeholders to “ensure the safety and well-being of students.” The group would focus on three main areas:

  • Culture, including student behavior, Greek life, alcohol and other drug use, and student self-governance;
  • Prevention, including bystander training, peer education and physical safety such as lighting, camera systems and policing; and
  • Response, including institutional survivor support, training for students and faculty, and U.Va. policies and issues regarding adjudication.

This was very similar to the agenda articulated by the White House task force that Emily Renda had participated in. Even when the Washington Post essentially debunked the gang rape story, Sullivan did not relent in her commitment to the program. “Over the past two weeks our community has been more focused than ever on one of the most difficult and critical issues facing higher education today: sexual violence on college campuses. Today’s news must not alter this focus,” she stated Dec. 5, 2014.

UVa President Teresa Sullivan addresses the crowd at the 14th annual Lighting of the Lights

UVa President Teresa Sullivan addresses the crowd at the 14th annual Lighting of the Lights. Image credit: University of VIrginia

Sullivan drove home the same message in the 14th annual Lighting of the Lawn celebration on that same night. University officials and student leaders elaborated on the theme. The secret Seven Society donated $58,000 to support programs like bystander intervention. A statement from the Society emphasized the need to change the student culture. “Very few of us have knowingly allowed a sexual assault to be committed. How many of us, though, have stood by while a peer was disrespected? While another was objectified? How many times have we shaken our heads at the bigotry that persists in our community – and then done nothing?”

On Dec. 8, 2014, Sullivan reiterated her determination to forge ahead: “I remain committed to a fearless examination of our culture and practices,” she said, in laying out an action plan. Summarized a UVa press release: “Sullivan said the well-being of students, especially survivors of sexual assault, remains the first and foremost concern — regardless of the ongoing scrutiny of the magazine’s account.”

What does it mean? In the foregoing account, we have stuck to the facts. While the evidence may lend itself to different interpretations, we draw the following conclusions from those facts:

  1.  University of Virginia administrators were well aware of the gang-rape allegations long before they surfaced in the Rolling Stone article, going so far as to cite the incident in testimony to Congress. They accepted the veracity of the account and did not begin to check it until Rolling Stone’s Erdely started asking pointed questions.
  2. Despite discrepancies between Renda’s version of the gang rape story and the Rolling Stone version of the story — which grew more detailed and horrific — UVa administrators never expressed skepticism of the narrative. Sullivan did once refer to the  gang rape as “alleged” when referring the case to the Charlottesville Police but proceeded as if the story was accurate.
  3. The university leadership used the horror of the gang rape story to mobilize university opinion behind the need to change the “culture” and practices regarding sexual assault. When the Washington Post debunked the story, Sullivan essentially said that it didn’t matter.
  4. Rolling Stone has been rightly excoriated for its catastrophic failure in reporting. Out of an excessive sensitivity toward the feelings of “Jackie,” Erdely did not seek to confirm her account either with friends or the alleged perpetrators. In so doing, the magazine perpetrated a hoax. However, little attention has been paid to the University of Virginia administration for perpetrating and acting upon the same hoax to advance its ideological agenda.
  5. Yes, Teresa Sullivan’s agenda is highly ideological, almost identical to the White House’s sexual assault agenda, which frames the problem in black-and-white terms as an epidemic of rape and a student culture of denial — as opposed to, say, a problem stemming from the drunken party hook-up culture that results in a spectrum of undesirable behaviors from sexual assault to regret sex.

Mass media and bloggers are finally picking at the edges of the Sullivan administration’s cynical exploitation of the gang-rape story to advance its agenda. Such attention is way overdue. While we believe we have helped to advance this line of questioning with this blog post, there is still much work to do.

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45 responses to “In Wake of Rolling Stone Fiasco, UVa Officials Also Have Some Explaining to Do

  1. You had a decent, mostly fair-minded report with some snark but it came apart here:

    ” Yes, Teresa Sullivan’s agenda is highly ideological, very much in line with the White House’s sexual assault agenda which frames the problem in black-and-white terms as an epidemic of rape and a student culture of denial — as opposed to, say, a problem stemming from the drunken party hook-up culture that results in a spectrum of undesirable behaviors from sexual assault to regret sex, in which the parties are often too intoxicated to remember what happened.”

    the above is not only partisan when it should not be – it’s just plain dumb.

    “Mass media and bloggers are finally picking at the edges of the Sullivan administration’s cynical exploitation of the gang-rape story to advance its agenda. Such attention is way overdue. While we believe we have helped to advance this line of questioning with this blog post, there is still much work to do.”

    nope. because you betrayed your partisan perspective where you seek to blame Sullivan and the White House.

    you two should be ashamed… and I hold Jim particularly responsible for trying to give credibility to Reeds foolish blather.

    you guys cannot seem to help yourselves… everything leads back to “liberals”, the POTUS and progressivism – in your world – but that’s not the real world.

    • Larry, I clearly differentiated between the facts of the matter and the conclusions we drew from those facts. If you think we omitted germane information, make your case. If you disagree with our conclusions, tell us why. As it is, your argument goes like this: “I don’t like the conclusions you draw, therefore you are wrong.”

      • re: ” es, Teresa Sullivan’s agenda is highly ideological, almost identical to the White House’s sexual assault agenda, which frames the problem in black-and-white terms as an epidemic of rape and a student culture of denial — as opposed to, say, a problem stemming from the drunken party hook-up culture that results in a spectrum of undesirable behaviors from sexual assault to regret sex.”

        this is NOT a conclusion. this is just partisan blather …

        if you do not like what Congress has done about this – where is your solution and why do you blame the administration instead?

        ya’ll have no credible input to this.. it’s just blame and recrimination without any alternative ..

        it’s what the right does now days. they have no solutions of their own.. just a laundry list of what they don’t like.

        Lead, follow, or get out of the frickin way..

        your MOST POWERFUL argument is a simple paragraph on what you would do instead.

        and it’s not there.. you are epitomizing the inability of the right to do anything about the major issues other than whine and claim conspiracy theories.

  2. Funny I just cut and pasted the exact same section but Larry beat me to it.

    You guys go through a faithful narrative and then blow it by accusing Sullivan of ideology. You offer absolutely NOTHING to back this up.

    I am afraid this dumps you into the category of right wing nuts who want to use Rolling Stone’s flawed story to disabuse humanity that there may be a problem of sex abuse on campus and that it is the scheme of overwrought feminists.

    Keep up the good reporting but please spare us these unfounded and unsupported allegations. You go from A to B to Z way too fast. Kinda reminds me of reading the Communist press when I was a correspondent in the old Soviet Union.

    • and worse – with this – where exactly do you read ” instead, this should have been done” or ” Congress should do this”?

      it’s non-stop ideological blame and recrimination with nary a thought about what should be done instead… just swing that cudgel…

      and yes.. Jim is obviously slipping into that realm… unfortunately..

    • Peter said, “This dumps you into the category of right wing nuts who want to use Rolling Stone’s flawed story to disabuse humanity that there may be a problem of sex abuse on campus and that it is the scheme of overwrought feminists.”

      Please show me where Reed and I either (a) disabused anyone that there is a problem of sex abuse on campus, or (b) described Sullivan’s agenda as “a scheme of overwrought feminists.”

      It sounds like you’re the one jamming the discussion into ideological pigeonholes, not us.

      • re: ” Please show me where Reed and I either (a) disabused anyone that there is a problem of sex abuse on campus”

        where exactly do you say there IS a problem and what your solution is?

  3. And also, where is the headline?

  4. Maybe a r
    at in richmond’s west end!

  5. I accidentally published this post this morning just before driving home from my in-laws’ house in Wilksboro, N.C., and did not discover the mistake until this afternoon. I took the essay off-line to finish editing, add a headline, insert two photographs and link to sources. My apologies for the confusion.

    • re: ” I accidentally published this post this morning…”

      accidently? how does that happen?

      and let me offer to you – teaming up with Reed to publish commentary does not serve you well.. unless you WANT to own the ideological blather also.

      this issue has been going on a LONG time – LONG BEFORE this POTUS came to office – and tell me EXACTLY what legislation Congress has produced in dealing with this -and tell me what you and Reed’s commentary is with regard to Congress on this issue.

      • “Accidentally? How does that happen?”

        The administrative interface has a “publish” panel with a “save” button and “publish” button in close proximity to one another. I was working on the piece before leaving Wilksboro and my wife was, shall I say, “urging” me to hurry up and finish so we could get on the road, and I clicked the “publish” button by accident. Such things happen.

      • As for Congress, I have no idea what Congress has to do with this.

        The Obama administration decided to give closer scrutiny to sexual assaults on college campuses, began investigation colleges for Title IX violations, and targeting UVa and a handful of other colleges for closer examination. Those are facts, not ideological blather. The White House launched a task force to issue recommendations on how to deal with sexual assaults. That’s a fact, not ideological blather. UVa’s program for dealing with sexual assaults closely tracks the White House recommendations. Again, fact, not blather.

        Larry, you have fallen into a pattern of chastising me because I don’t present “solutions” to every problem that I write about. By that logic, nearly all investigative or in-depth reporting is flawed because it doesn’t present solutions to the problem. But in the world of journalism, the first step is revealing the true nature of the problem.

        When someone else has a flawed understanding of a problem and proposes “solutions” based on that flawed understanding, I don’t see the utility in advancing my own “solutions.” I deem it more important to show how those proffering solutions are working on the basis of flawed assumptions. If the assumptions are flawed, the solutions most likely are as well.

        • re: ” As for Congress, I have no idea what Congress has to do with this.”

          do you recall “hearings” ? do you think Congress does oversight and legislation?

          “The Obama administration decided to give closer scrutiny to sexual assaults on college campuses, began investigation colleges for Title IX violations, and targeting UVa and a handful of other colleges for closer examination. Those are facts, not ideological blather. The White House launched a task force to issue recommendations on how to deal with sexual assaults. That’s a fact, not ideological blather. UVa’s program for dealing with sexual assaults closely tracks the White House recommendations. Again, fact, not blather.”

          the “blather” comes from your selective focus on the studies and the administration – similar to Don’s selective reading of the FIRE – which actually was excoriating the POTUS for NOT dealing with the issue seriously – .. instead of the opposite.

          “Larry, you have fallen into a pattern of chastising me because I don’t present “solutions” to every problem that I write about. By that logic, nearly all investigative or in-depth reporting is flawed because it doesn’t present solutions to the problem. But in the world of journalism, the first step is revealing the true nature of the problem.”

          nope. you HAVE developed a pattern of delving into partisan criticism without providing alternative thoughts -which, if you did, would make your commentary – powerful but instead it’s just pedestrian partisan… blather.. found throughout the echo chamber… virtually indistinguishable from the other blather – and distinguished – almost uniformly -without a ” we should have done this instead”.

          you DEFEND the likes of McDonnell – coming up with all sorts of painful and embarrassing explanations, excusing for his behaviors but a man who has much better integrity -you have nothing but brickbats for.

          “When someone else has a flawed understanding of a problem and proposes “solutions” based on that flawed understanding, I don’t see the utility in advancing my own “solutions.” I deem it more important to show how those proffering solutions are working on the basis of flawed assumptions. If the assumptions are flawed, the solutions most likely are as well.”

          Nope. Your criticisms are feckless .. when you dain to say “what we should have done is….”…

          ANYONE can show how something is wrong or does not work.. that’ s for the ideological blather-butts of which we have no shortage of these days …and with tougher issues – it’s just feckless and cowardly.. and really unbecoming for those who purport to understand issues with enough clarity to offer thoughts.

          the right – and your commentary – increasingly – has no real purpose other than complaining… Conservatives used to have solutions.. BETTER solutions than the left but these days.. you have nothing.. just whining …and no solutions – just gridlock even among your own peers.

  6. Let assume for the sake of argument that the POTUS is wrong and, in fact, inappropriately involved in the issue – on the wrong side …just wrong from the get go…

    I want to know – what besides – blame – folks like Bacon and Reed have in dealing with the issue that will SHOW BY EXAMPLE – just how wrong the POTUS and Sullivan – are.

    don’t tell me what you don’t like . Tell me what you’d do differently to deal with the issue….

    not only at UVA – at all Colleges..

    step up guys.. get your butts off the ideological whoopee cushion and do some real writing…

    show us liberals how we should be dealing with this the “right” way.

  7. actually – let’s say this no matter whether you hew from the left or the right – the more partisan your argument is – the more incumbent it is for you to demonstrate your sense of fairness and objectivity in saying that the other side has a wrong solution.

    at that point you need to step up.

    even for things that are not partisan – like the anti-fracking folks – they need to step up with real solutions to energy beyond the standard activist idea of opposing something without a real alternative other than living in a cave … instead of using energy.

    I expect from the severest critics – obvious counter-proposals – OR just admit that your complaint is partisan without any real alternatives. Just take pot-shots at things you don’t like without any real better way…

    like I said – some folks and I won’t name names here – they’re not out to fix anything – just affix blame… i.e. counting coupe…..

  8. JB,
    “Larry, you have fallen into a pattern of chastising me because I don’t present “solutions” to every problem that I write about.”

    You too? I thought it was only me!

    17 posts before mine, 9 belong to you know who, or should I say he who knows all. I keep hoping he will start his own blog, “The Larry Gross I know it all” blog.

    • not too surprised that Hill City “it’s the genes, we can’t help it ” Jim has that view…

      birds of a feather… no solutions – just problems.. we can’t fix. why even comment?

      🙂

    • HCJ – it’s actually in discussions with you and JimB on the racial gap I started to realize that ya’ll have no solutions – your commentary basically is to affix blame and walk away – like there are no real consequences to doing that.

      I had already started feeling that Conservatives had no real solutions for health care and immigration, mixed-marriages, etc..

      but then it starting to dawn on me.. that there is a pattern now days with those who are quick to identify problems and affix blame usually towards liberals and progressives but then the folks on the right have no real solutions – they cannot even agree among themselves are what to do.

      but then that makes me wonder what their purpose is in commenting and affixing blame to start with.. what is their motivation?

      I’m not sure they even know themselves sometimes but it’s also apparent that finding middle ground -finding compromise – is also not acceptable.

      so then I go back to the UVA/RS mess and I try to visualize exactly what the right wants – beyond the laundry list of unhappiness.. they don’t like feminists, Sullivan, liberals, Obama, and God knows who else – but what would they do themselves other than just deny there is a problem at all?

      so HCJ lurks in his Lynchburg home on all of this and his first comment is not to offer his view of what he things should be done..

      nope.. it’s actually more of the same non-solution… blather.. just blame.. find someone to blame.. and be happy…

  9. Larry,
    I would NEVER make a mistake like this because I would risk being fired.

  10. Peter and Larry –

    Regarding any failure to knowledge the harm done by sexual misconduct at U.Va, the reverse of your charges are true. Our article and many earlier ones (including commentary) on this website have identified the real problem that is causing all this harm to students at U.Va., whether it range from the alleged crimes against Hannah Grahams to the sexual hysteria that now has been roaring across the University Grounds for many months.

    Specifically, we have identified the rampant Hook-up at U.Va. as the root cause not only of the vast majority of sexual assaults and misconduct on or around the Grounds, all of which are relatively in few in number compared to the far more prevalent psychological damage it reeks on a very substantial portion of all of U.Va.’s undergraduate students, including most particularly 1st and 2nd year women students who, along with its other victims, are often scarred for the rest of their lives. Here the damage often ranges from failed marriages, to chronic inability to seek or find a suitable mate, and to lifetimes spent in abusive relationships in and out of marriage, not to mention a whole range of other debilitating psychological maladies that haunt its victims.

    Nowhere do we see anyone of authority at U.Va., or within state and federal government, willing to acknowledge this plague on U.Va.’s culture, much less willing to deal with it and it’s horrendous consequences that will reverberate down though the generations that follow U.Va’s graduates.

    • ” Nowhere do we see anyone of authority at U.Va., or within state and federal government, willing to acknowledge this plague on U.Va.’s culture, much less willing to deal with it and it’s horrendous consequences that will reverberate down though the generations that follow U.Va’s graduates”

      that’s fine.

      what would you do instead?

  11. As to charges against us of partisanship, I draw your attention to the following interview that aired on December 1, 2014, 12 days after the Rolling Stone article was published and thus largely discredited:

    http://www.msnbc.com/politicsnation/watch/solving-uvas-sexual-assault-problem-365790787845

    http://uvasexualassaultcoalition.wordpress.com/tag/emily-renda/

    Please bear in mind that Emily Renda is an current employee of the University of Virginia.

    • Reed – partisanship is when there is a problem – and it is attributed to the politics of one side or the other and no no-partisan solution is given – just a commentary that how the other side does business on that issue – is wrong.

      there is no attempt to say ” we should handle this problem this way – and it’s without regard to your political views”.

      if your intent is to 1. – point out how the “left” does business “wrong” and 2. – have no alternative better way – then it’s just plain partisan with no intent to actually deal with the issue other than to affix blame.

      and in this case, it’s not like women are not long-time victims of sexual violence – in the general population, in the military and to possibly on college campuses but some Universities want to claim that they’ve not had a single reportable incident in over 10 years – that’s hard to believe…

      saying that’s hard to believe and advocating changes to require reporting is NOT a liberal or partisan concept IMHO.

      but being opposed to that, claiming it’s a liberal concept, affixing blame and refusing to offer any alternatives is – in my book epitomizes our politics these days on a number of controversial issues.

  12. Reed,
    I really fail to see how Hannah Graham’s murder relates to the “rampant hookup culture.” From what we know about her case, the young girl had a few drinks in downtown Charlottesville and seemed to get lost while walking alone at night. Her remains were found weeks later in southern Albemarle County.

    Where is the hookup here?

    One problem I have with you and Jim is that you keep wavering between social conservatism on sex and young people and a kind of weird libertarianism that liberal demagogues (presumably Teresa Sullivan) are somehow threatening people’s right to chose. Example: Jim chooses to illustrate one of his posts with a somewhat pornographic shot of sweaty, smiling young people partying in their underwear. At the same time, he’s trying to fend off some idea that thought policemen and women are foisting their standards on the rest of us. If you are truly a Libertarian, as Jim purports to be, why shouldn’t young people cavort in their underwear if they want to?

    There an inherent conflict here. You seem to be a prudish moralist when it comes to sex. During the early 70s, during the hippie and free love years, promiscuity was supposed to be at a high point. An older dean told me that it was actually much worse in the 1920s. The so-called “hook up” culture of today actually dates back to the 1990s. It goes against quaint notions of holding “mixers” and having the guy later call for a date. Today they text. So what?

    Reed, you try unsuccessfully to make a link between the morally vacant “hook up” culture with the death of puritanical values such as traditional marriage. I do not see the link. As the father of two daughters in their 20s, I really know a little about it and I don’t see that big a shift in overall values. Of course, neither child was ever a big fan of the Greek scene. One, at UVa, was rather turned off when she went to a sorority rush and the girls secretly went through everyone’s coat labels to get an idea of their net worth to see if they were worthy of a pledge offer. (Now THAT should raise some issues about values).

    Meanwhile, you really are off the mark in trying to link the awful Graham murder to a “hookup” party scene when it appears that a girl had too much to drink at a bar late at night, got lost walking alone on unfamiliar streets and ended up — her body largely decomposed and picked over by wildlife, in a shallow rural grave.

    Please spare us your moralism when it is so wrong and irrelevant.

    • yes I think Peter has it it’s time a bunch of really disparate things together conflating them into some sort of a central theme that somehow involves the government also

    • pardon the above response – sent from a phone – badly….

      but yes… for some like Reed and Jim – this is some kind of a multi-ingredient enchilada that they see as linked together by morality and politics… and a “hook-up” culture.

      But like Peter – I think it is a stretch to include Hannah Graham in this…

      and to be perfectly honest – I think it would be enormously helpful if someone would lay out the essential problem in ONE sentence.. distill it down to the essence and then tel us how to fix it especially if you don’t like the “Obama” approach.

      here’s what NOT to do. Don’t go on and on and on and on and on about who is to blame… don’t blame “who” – state the problem in non personal and non blame terms…

      over and over – here lately – what we hear is a complaint.. blame assigned.. and then nothing else… as if the issue is “solved”.

  13. I’d ask that everyone practice a forgotten virtue: patience.

    Let’s see what the conclusions of the committee are and what, if anything, they propose.

    • Cville Resident – who is the “committee”?

      thanks..

      • I used the term “committee”, but Mr. Bacon refers to it as the “ad hoc” group.

        I’m withholding judgment until I see their recommendations.

        • still not sure who they are… or if they are a group that has promised recommendations and folks are waiting for them

          or you are just talking about – in general… as the whole shebang evolves?

          • The ad hoc group to which I referred is a group pulled together by the university administration — and referred to, incidentally, as an ad hoc group — of students, faculty, administrators and other stakeholders.

          • formally codified group with a formal charge?

            AdHoc does not necessarily mean informal… but not sure if they are informal – how they would operate or who would pay attention to their work product…

    • Okay, thanks.

      two questions:

      1.- what are they supposed to generate – i.e. work product

      2. – when is it supposed to be delivered?

      my impression of committees without marching orders and drop dead dates is that they really are not responsible for anything in particular – anytime…in particular…

      further – if they are not really identified .. don’t have agendas and minutes – the are more a paper creation than anything real..

      so .. am I wrong?

      • Another way of asking the question is whether the “ad hoc group” is window dressing. Will the group simply endorse and provide cover for an agenda that Sullivan has already determined to implement?

        • well.. if there are no marching orders and no date certain to deliver – then why would anyone counsel – “patience” to start with?

          you hammer the administration for laying out it’s objectives and process then you show support for one that does none of it – and, worse, you offer nothing of your own to show you are looking for answers – and ones different from the POTUS-led … one..

          and oh by the way – you say this;

          ” Emily Renda, an employee of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, testified on sexual assault issues before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. ”

          without really talking about what you might expect from the Senate Committee – either…

          why not? why hammer the POTUS and say nothing about your expectations from Sullivan’s Ad Hoc or the US Senate?

          This is why I say you guys are all about affixing blame and really not interested in advocating your own preferred approach.. since you obviously dislike the POTUS approach.

          step up here Jim… get off the blame game and get into the game with your own contributions…

  14. Peter –

    Re your comment to me above – As usual, you are so lost in your stereotypes, your class warfare, and your various other pathologies, that you can’t think straight, and you have not the foggiest notion about which you speak. So carrying on a dialogue with you is a waste of time. Also, regarding your comments above try to educate yourself on the subject.

    Should you wish to know what you are trying to talk about before you lecture on the subject, read the following fine books on the subject:

    Hooking Up (sex, dating, and Relationships on Campus by Kathleen A. Bogle

    Unprotected by Miriam Grossman

    The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy

    Hopefully then, Peter, you will be able to discuss these matters with some degree of intelligence.

    • Good Lord Peter.. I had NO IDEA just how ignorant and unwashed you are.

      Bad. Bad. Peter!

      you are now officially a clueless Obama “leftist”…

      😉

      now . watch your tongue Lad – you’re dealing with a REAL Master in Reed – don’t underestimate!

  15. Unfortunately, too, Larry, on certain subjects, including this one, you run a very close second to Peter. It gets very tiresome to everyone but you.

    • Reed – I just never understood how the hook-up culture was caused by leftists like Obama…and those nasty feminists it was a real shocker for you and Jim to clue in the rest of us and we will be forever in your debt…

  16. Pingback: INDEED THEY DO: In Wake of Rolling Stone Fiasco, UVa Officials Also Have Some Explaining to Do…. | CRAGIN MEDIA

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