- Associated Press - Monday, March 23, 2015

The University of Virginia was under fire for student safety issues and how it had handled sexual assault allegations on campus well before the Rolling Stone article about an alleged gang rape on campus was published in November.

But the story, which police on Monday said they could find no evidence to support, ensured that the spotlight would remain on the Charlottesville campus. Here’s a look at some of the events that transpired over the last year nationally and at U.Va. in connection with sexual assault and campus safety:


The University of Virginia hosts “Dialogue at U.Va.: Sexual Misconduct Among College Students,” bringing together national experts and professionals from about 60 colleges to discuss best practices and strategies for prevention and response.

MARCH 2014

A lawsuit is filed in federal court accusing the Education Department of dragging its feet on resolving a Title IX complaint brought against the University of Virginia in 2012. The complaint focused on an alleged 2011 rape at the university and how the school’s sexual misconduct board handled the case.

APRIL 2014

White House task force issues final report ‘Not Alone,’ providing series of steps that colleges can take to address sexual assaults, including surveys to gauge how significant a problem sexual assaults are on each campus.

MAY 2014

The Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights unveils a list of 55 schools it is investigating for possible violations of Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. The University of Virginia has been under investigation since 2011.

JUNE 2014

The University of Virginia decides to participate in an anonymous sexual assault climate survey in April 2015, with results expected a few months later. The effort is spearheaded by the American Association of Universities and 27 other universities agree to participate.

JULY 2014

Sen. Claire McCaskill releases survey results showing that many colleges had not conducted a single investigation of sexual assault in the past five years. McCaskill later joins other senators in sponsoring legislation that mandates sexual assault surveys and implements stiffer financial penalties for universities found to violate federal law. The legislation is reintroduced this February 2015.


Students return to the University of Virginia, where a new sexual assault prevention coordinator had been hired. The university launches a campaign “Not On Our Grounds: A University of Virginia Initiative to End Sexual Violence.” It includes a bystander intervention program for freshman during the first few weeks of school, when they’re most vulnerable to assault.

School President Teresa Sullivan addresses sexual assault in a speech to students and parents during move-in weekend.


Weeks after classes start, a first-year University of Virginia student goes missing from downtown Charlottesville after a night partying with friends. Hannah Graham’s disappearance results in massive public searches and vigils.

The White House launches a public awareness campaign titled ‘It’s on Us.’ Nearly 200 campus leaders from around the country pledge to bring the campaign to their campus, including the University of Virginia.


Graham’s remains are found outside of Charlottesville in a rural area of Albemarle County, a few miles away from where the remains of a Virginia Tech student who went missing in 2009 were found. The man police charge in Graham’s disappearance and killing is a taxi driver who never attended Virginia. He is a former football player at Liberty University and Christopher Newport University. He left each school after being accused of committing sexual assaults there. Victims declined to prosecute in both cases.

Weeks later, the University of Virginia announces plans for more police patrols around campus and to eventually open up a police substation on campus across the street from a popular strip of bars and restaurants known as “The Corner.”


Rolling Stone Magazine publishes a scathing article describing a gang rape at University of Virginia fraternity house and a culture of sexual violence at the school that is tolerated with indifference.

The university promises an investigation, and Sullivan suspends all social activities at Greek organizations. Sullivan acknowledges she’s been told by alumni much of the culture described in the article has been entrenched for years.


Student fraternity leaders begin crafting new agreements with the university that govern their parties, which include rules banning kegs and serving pre-mixed liquor drinks. Sullivan forms a committee of students, alumni, administrators and others to take an in depth look at the university’s culture. The final report is set to be issued April 30.

News outlets begin publishing stories casting doubt on the gang rape accusation in Rolling Stone. The magazine later acknowledges mistakes were made.

MARCH 23, 2015

Charlottesville police release the results of an investigation into the Rolling Stone article and find no evidence that the attack occurred. They suspend the investigation.

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