The statement from the fraternity outlines how the Rolling Stone story, viewed by millions, has affected members of Phi Kappa Psi at U.Va..\ Fraternity members were "ostracized," the fraternity house was vandalized, and national media cast the fraternity as "the iconic symbol of this troubling issue" of sexual assault, the statement says. "Clearly our fraternity and its members have been defamed, but more importantly we fear this entire episode may prompt some victims to remain in the shadows, fearful to confront their attackers," the Virginia Phi Kappa Psi chapter's president, Stephen Scipione, said in the statement. "If Rolling Stone wants to play a real role in addressing this problem, it's time to get serious."
The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism on Sunday night released a report on the story blasting Rolling Stone for rampant failures in reporting and editing the story, "A Rape on Campus." The magazine sought the independent examination after details of the gripping article, published in November, failed to hold up under media scrutiny. Eventually, local police also failed to find any evidence supporting the claims made by a student identified as "Jackie."
The magazine issued an apology in December. Author Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who defended her reporting when the controversy first blew up, now also has apologized.
"The report by Columbia University's School of Journalism demonstrates the reckless nature in which Rolling Stone researched and failed to verify facts in its article that erroneously accused Phi Kappa Psi of crimes its members did not commit," Scipione said in the statement. "This type of reporting serves as a sad example of a serious decline of journalistic standards." (Excerpted from USA Today for educational purposes; byline: John Bacon and Emma Hinchliffe)