University of Virginia Statement Regarding City Report
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Dec. 1, 2017 — The University of Virginia issued the following statement today regarding the “Independent Review of the 2017 Protest Events in Charlottesville, Virginia” report. The report, commissioned by the City of Charlottesville, was released earlier today.
It has been more than three months since the horrific events of Aug. 11 and 12 when white supremacists and neo-Nazis descended upon our community with their bigoted and hateful messages and acts of violence. The University of Virginia and Charlottesville communities continue to recover from the tragic loss of life and resulting distress those events caused, and we remain focused on healing as a diverse, inclusive and unified community.
The University has acknowledged that its response to the horrific and unprecedented events in August should have been better. President Teresa A. Sullivan formed a Working Group and charged it with the responsibility to look critically at ways in which our response to the Aug. 11 torch-lit march on our Grounds could have been more effective, and to institute practices that will prevent violence of this sort from happening again.
The University has taken immediate steps to make UVA and the surrounding areas safer. These steps have included:
- Extending the Ambassadors program to provide on-Grounds coverage, including the Lawn and residential areas;
- Increasing safety and security personnel at large public events;
- Hiring Margolis Healy & Associates to conduct a comprehensive review of our safety and security infrastructure, policies and tools;
- Hiring MSA Security to provide a security-risk assessment for large events such as athletic events, “A Concert for Charlottesville,” Bicentennial Launch Weekend, and Lighting of the Lawn;
- Setting new Scott Stadium and John Paul Jones Arena bag policy and entry procedures; and
- Implementing new regulations that govern both open flames on our Grounds and the designation of the historical Academical Village as a facility.
The Working Group is also currently considering additional changes to policy, including time, place and manner regulations, and related approval procedures.
The events of Aug. 11 and 12 were a threat to our safety. We remain steadfast in our institutional values and mission. In response, the group is also contemplating a number of long-term investments and initiatives to advance our commitment to being a diverse and welcoming community.
The University remains confident these efforts will further enhance its learning and living environment as we move forward.
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