Announcements

Announcements

University Of Virginia Policy On Protests, Demonstrations And Other Expressive Activities During Finals Weekend

May 15th, 2015

The University of Virginia respects and encourages free expressive activity by its students, faculty, and staff. At the same time, consistent with its educational mission, the University has established reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on such activities on University Grounds to assure that such activities are undertaken in ways that avoid disruption of University operations, and are consistent with its educational, employment, and safety responsibilities to its students, faculty, and staff.

Finals Weekend always creates special challenges for the University because of the great number of activities occurring during that period across University Grounds, and the large number of people attending them. Because of this the University has created the following policy that is specific to Finals Weekend. During Finals Weekend, this policy supersedes all other policies regarding use of University Grounds and facilities to the extent such policies may be inconsistent with this one.

  • Attendance at Finals Weekend events and activities is by invitation only unless otherwise noted. Those in attendance without having been invited or otherwise having been authorized to attend may be asked to leave if their presence creates disruption, impedes movement of invited guests from place to place, or otherwise creates unsafe conditions for participants or invited visitors.
  • Because of the large crowds and multiple venues that are typical of Finals Weekend, activities that otherwise may be consistent with University policy may be impermissible during that period.
  • Items currently approved and authorized to be carried in the Academic Procession are placards that are not attached to sticks, and balloons (including inflated surgical gloves), as long as those placards and balloons are not so large or unwieldy as to obstruct or impede the procession and do not otherwise pose a safety risk.
  • Items held or carried must not obscure the view of participants or invited visitors or interfere with the ceremonies.
  • Activities of participants or invited visitors must not interfere with Finals Weekend events and activities.
  • No non-University commercial solicitation will be allowed on University Grounds during Finals Weekend.
  • Protests, demonstrations, and other expressive activities may take place during Finals Weekend within the following area of University Grounds :  in the area bounded by Alderman Library, Monroe Hall, Peabody Hall, Special Collections Library, and McCormick Road (subject to space needed for emergency medical services). If Valedictory Exercises or Final Exercises are moved to the John Paul Jones Arena, the designated area is the grassy area outside the north entrance of University Hall.
  • Even within this designated area, protests, demonstrations and other expressive activities, including distribution of leaflets or other written materials, may not:
    • Block or impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic along streets and sidewalks;
    • Involve placement of tents or other temporary structures;
    • Interfere with or impede Finals Weekend events and activities;
    • Use sound amplification devices; or
    • Violate applicable law or University rules, regulations, or procedures.
  • Persons in violation of this policy either will be instructed to bring their activities into compliance with the requirements set forth above, or asked to leave. If such persons do not comply with the University’s request, they may be arrested and/or charged with violating the University’s Standards of Conduct, if applicable.

Spring Break Safety

March 2nd, 2015

Dear Students:As you prepare for Spring Break, I am writing to remind you about the importance of personal safety, whether you are heading home, traveling somewhere else, or staying in Charlottesville.

Before You Leave (or Even if You Stay)

  • If you are staying on Grounds or in Charlottesville, recognize that fewer students in the area may invite more criminal activity. Report suspicious activity by calling 911. Be familiar with altered schedules for UVa buses and UVa Dining.
  • Before leaving town, lock the doors and windows of your apartment, house, or room. Draw the curtains or shades so valuables will not be visible. If feasible, take valuables with you. Leave an external (porch, deck, etc.) light on for security.
Work Hard, Play Smart
  • A significant number of students choose not to drink alcohol, especially when under the legal age. For those students who do choose to drink, the ADAPT peer educators are rewarding students who sign the pledge not to drive after drinking and look out for their friends. “Safe Spring Break” packs are available until March 6 for students who sign the pledge. Packs will be available during lunch hours on the second floor of Newcomb Hall and at the Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (lower level of Student Health, 400 Brandon Avenue).
  • Please see the infographic below for more safety tips.
Risks of Illicit Drugs, including “Molly” (Ecstasy)

Use of illegal controlled substances is not only against the law, but also brings considerable health risks. In fall 2013, the University lost a student as a result of use of the drug “Molly,” also known as Ecstasy or MDMA. This drug is also believed to be responsible for the hospitalization of 11 students at Wesleyan University in Connecticut last month. Dr. Christopher Holstege, an expert in toxicology and executive director of Student Health at UVa, created a brief video describing the risks associated with “Molly,” as well as other illicit drugs. Numerous studies show that drugs sold as Ecstasy/Molly vary significantly in actual content, with an average of only 21 percent of drugs tested containing pure MDMA and one-third containing no MDMA at all. (See chart.)
If my colleagues or I can be of assistance to you, please feel free to contact me at odos@virginia.edu. Best wishes for a fun, safe, and restful Spring Break.

Sincerely,
Allen W. Groves

Spring Break Infographic

The Gus Blagden Room Selection Committee

February 11th, 2015

The Committee to select an individual to live in the Augustus Silliman “Gus” Blagden, III, Room 15 West Lawn, is soliciting nominations from the University community. The Committee is looking for an undergraduate student in their fourth year of study at the University. The Scott family, who endowed the room in 1968, characterized the desired recipient as someone who:

  • Selflessly commits their time to serving the University community;
  • Maintains good moral character;
  • Conducts themselves according to a high standard;
  • Displays genuine concern and care for fellow students;
  • May be distinguished by academic merit (but need not be);
  • May be in a recognized position of leadership (but need not be); and
  • Carries these fine qualities with the utmost humility.

Gus was a student at the University in the early 1960’s. During these years, he was beloved and admired throughout the University community. Gene Corrigan, past athletic director at Virginia, knew Gus very well. He wrote that “Gus was a very average student and a mediocre athlete, at best, but was so well respected by his teammates that they chose him to be co-captain of the 1963 Lacrosse Team. He was, above all, a kind, generous and gentle person.” Gus died only a few years after graduation, but he had so affected the people with whom he had contact that this room was endowed and dedicated to his honor.

Nominations for the Gus Blagden room should include a letter describing the characteristics and qualities of the nominee that make them worthy of this high honor. All members of the University community are invited to make nominations. Please include any personal stories that shed light on the character of the individual. Letters of nomination must be at least 250 words and should not exceed 500 words. Letters must be sent electronically as a Word attachment and e-mailed to rfs@virginia.edu no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 25, 2015. Nominations must meet the above criteria or they will not be accepted.  These letters carry an especially heavy weight as they will be the starting point of consideration for all nominees.

Sincerely,

Joseph Martin, on behalf of the Gus Blagden Selection Committee

Ambassadors Program to Begin Monday on the Corner

January 28th, 2015
Beginning next Monday, Feb. 2, you will see uniformed ambassadors working in the commercial and residential areas on and around the Corner. The ambassadors program is one of several new measures the University is taking to improve student safety.

Initial plans call for eight to 10 ambassadors to work daily in two shifts, from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. and from 5 p.m. until 3 a.m. During the day, the ambassadors will have fixed posts at two locations: 14th Street at University Avenue and Wertland Street at 10th Street. They also will be moving throughout the Corner area on foot and bicycles. At night, ambassadors will be located at two additional fixed posts: Beta Bridge at Rugby Road and 14th Street at Grady Avenue. Please see the map showing the areas that ambassadors will be covering.

Ambassadors will be easily identified by uniforms that will include neon green vests for high visibility, reflective stripes, and AMBASSADOR lettering. The primary duty of ambassadors is to approach students and members of the community to offer assistance. They are there to assist you or any community member who asks for help. Ambassadors will be unarmed and will work closely with University Police and Charlottesville Police.

The ambassador program is being managed by University Police through a contract the University has arranged with G4S, an international security firm. G4S is hiring the ambassadors from the Charlottesville area, following stringent standards and screening. The company already works with Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech as well as other universities outside the Commonwealth. Over time, the ambassador program is expected to expand at UVa.

Please also remember the options available to you for safe transportation:

  • UTS Bus Service, including extended late night service on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights
  • Safe Ride (434-242-1122)
  • Yellow Cab Charge-a-Ride (434-295-4131)
Because ambassadors are unarmed and not sworn police officers, you should continue to call 911 if you or anyone else needs police assistance.

I encourage you to use the ambassadors as another important resource in watching out for the safety of yourselves and your friends. Please also follow the active bystander approach to community safety, consistent with our “Hoos Got Your Back” and Green Dot campaigns. Safety requires everyone’s active participation.

Sincerely,

Allen W. Groves
University Dean of Students

Reaching Out in Difficult Times

December 4th, 2014

Dr. Tim Davis, director of Counseling and Psychological Services, offers thoughts on how students can be supportive of one another as we conclude a truly difficult semester.

Reaching Out in Difficult Times from UVa Student Affairs on Vimeo.

Apply to Live on the Lawn (2015 – 2016)

November 17th, 2014

Applications are now available to live on the Lawn. Learn more here.

Personal Safety on Halloween

October 28th, 2014

Dear Students:

As October comes to a close and just over six weeks of classes remain in the semester, I’m reaching out to briefly discuss two important issues. I respectfully ask that you take a quick five minutes to read what follows.

The first issue is alcohol. I recognize that most students do not engage in hazardous drinking. Those who do place their own health and safety at risk, and also impact their friends around them. Each year at this time, we see an increase in alcohol consumption and the often serious consequences that follow.

You’ve heard me (and others) talk about the importance of being an engaged bystander—intervening when a friend’s alcohol consumption has placed him or her at risk. We know from the 2013 Health Survey that 90 percent of UVa students believe that it is their responsibility to intervene when they see a problem unfolding (unsafe alcohol consumption, potential sexual misconduct, etc.). I am grateful that so many of you understand the importance of being an active bystander and of calling 911 or seeking other assistance when you see someone at risk.

At the bottom of this email are resources and tips provided by your peers on the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT) and my colleagues in the Gordie Center at Student Health. For information on the Halloween safety campaign, go to the ADAPT website. The first 500 people to sign the ADAPT/One Less pledge to be an active bystander this Halloween will receive a free light-up wand and cup of candy.

The second issue I want to discuss with you is the increased stress many students feel as the semester winds down. We are already seeing higher incidents of students feeling anxiety or even depression, and it is very important that you learn to recognize the signs of this in yourself and your friends.

Symptoms of excessive or unhealthy stress include irritability, self-medication (using over-the-counter medications, alcohol, or food to combat stress), a compromised immune system, feeling unable to relax, exhaustion, lack of energy or a sense of dread, memory problems or inability to concentrate, poor judgment, seeing only the negative in events, high anxiety or racing thoughts, and constant worrying. In the most extreme cases, there can be thoughts of harming oneself (or others). While such thoughts may not manifest in action, it is still important to recognize these thoughts (especially if recurring) and seek assistance at the Counseling Center in Student Health (CAPS) or the Emergency Room.

Please know that you should always call 911 in an emergency situation, as the police are trained to help get a person safely to the resources needed. You can also call:

  • The Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) at 434-924-7133 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday)
  • The dean-on-call after hours and on weekends (reachable by calling the University Police at 434-924-7166)
  • The professionals at CAPS at 434-243-5150 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday) or after hours at 434-972-7004

Important tips for reducing stress are listed at the bottom of this email. I hope that you will hold on to them in case you need to refer back in the future.

Halloween Safety

  • Always carry a photo ID and a fully charged cellphone and make sure your friends do the same in case you become incapacitated for any reason.
  • Consider your costume and avoid wearing one that does not allow you to see and move freely. Stop and make sure motorists see you before you cross the street. Be sure the material is nonflammable (and don’t burn candles at gatherings – use flameless ones).
  • Some people with harmful intentions may take advantage of being unrecognizable in a Halloween costume. Stay in an environment where you can easily get help or move away from someone who is threatening your safety. Be aware of your surroundings.

Tips Around Alcohol

If you choose to drink, several simple precautions can minimize risks to yourselves and others.

  • Pace and Space: Sip your drink instead of chugging, alternate with water or soda, and have no more than 1 drink per hour. On average, it takes nearly 3 hours for most people to eliminate the alcohol in 2 standard drinks.
  • Eat before and while drinking: Alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream more slowly when there is food (especially protein) in your stomach.
  • Avoid mixing alcohol with other drugs: Some prescription and over-the-counter drugs (antihistamines and sedatives, for example) can increase alcohol’s effects. Caffeine and other stimulants can trick you into feeling less impaired.
  • Use caution when sick or tired: When you’re sleep-deprived or ill, alcohol leaves the body more slowly.
  • Be alert when drinking in a new environment: The effects of alcohol within your body can vary when you are in unfamiliar settings.
  • Avoid “punches” and other drinks you did not make yourself. They often include high-concentration alcohol masked by a sweet taste.
  • Stay in a group in which at least one person remains sober.
  • Consider using a smartphone app such as CircleOf6 (free) to enable you to quickly alert friends to your location and need for assistance.
  • Look out for your friends who are drinking. Use “PUBS” as a guide to the symptoms of alcohol overdose:
    • Puking while passed out
    • Unresponsive to stimulation (pinch or shaking)
    • Breathing (slow, shallow, or no breathing)
    • Skin (blue, cold, or clammy)
  • If you see even one sign of alcohol overdose, call 911. If you are unsure, call the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for confidential, expert advice. Students will not face reprisal for seeking medical help, and there is no charge for the rescue squad.
  • Concerned about your drinking? Hoos in Recovery can help. This student group meets weekly to share a meal and provide support for students interested in living sober.

Tips Around Stress

  • Eat healthy foods, strive for at least seven hours of sleep each night, and keep up a regular exercise routine.
  • Minimize your use of alcohol. Hazardous alcohol consumption puts you at risk of illness, injury, arrests, or assault. Alcohol may appear to ease stress in the short term, but alcohol’s depressant effect increases both depression and stress symptoms by interrupting sleep patterns and taking the place of healthier stress-management strategies.
  • Only use prescription drugs as prescribed by your doctor. Take only drugs prescribed for you, and take them according to your doctor’s directions. If academic stress leads you to consider asking a friend for his or her psychostimulant drugs, such as Adderall® and Ritalin®, know that it is illegal to use these drugs without a prescription. The drugs also have a potential for abuse, and many students report negative effects.
  • Maintain your personal safety as daylight hours shorten and the weather turns colder. Walk with friends late at night or call Safe Ride at 434-242-1122 or Charge-a-Ride (Yellow Cab) at 434-295-4131. Add these numbers to your phone contacts for easy access.
  • Look for perspective and balance in your life. If you find this difficult, or if you are unable to talk with family or friends, then call one of the resources listed above. Your value as a person lies in much more than a grade on a test or a paper.

Sincerely,

Allen W. Groves
University Dean of Students

Applications for the Blueprint Emerging Leaders Program

October 16th, 2014

BLUEPRINT is the premiere leadership development program for first and second-year students and transfer students at the University of Virginia. It is designed for those students who demonstrate leadership potential and interest in developing their personal organizational skills in an intentional, educational, and reflective team environment.

The Blueprint Emerging Leaders Program is a seven-week program running on Wednesday evenings from 6-8 p.m. during the spring semester.  Attendance at all sessions is required.

Program Highlights Include:

  • Weekly meetings/seminars featuring distinguished guest speakers
  • Small group interaction, facilitated by Peer Leaders, allowing for reflection and meaningful discussion
  • Opportunities to develop your own leadership style, priorities, and portfolio
  • A chance to network and make new friends!

Seminar Topics Include:

  • Self-Knowledge- discovery of personality
  • Communication and Conflict Management
  • Leadership Styles
  • Student Self-Governance
  • Citizen Leadership and Global Stewardship

Please submit an application here

A message from Dean Groves on Community Resources and Safety

September 16th, 2014

Dear students:

The University of Virginia community has been deeply affected by the recent report that a fellow student, Hannah Graham, has been missing for several days. Our thoughts remain with her family at this difficult time. Please know that the University is supporting them. Yesterday morning, you received an email from University Police Chief Mike Gibson, and Vice President Patricia Lampkin wrote to your parents to also inform them of this concerning case.

I have heard from a number of students in the past two days, offering their hope that Hannah will return safely (I share this hope) and also expressing their own concern and anxiety over Hannah’s disappearance. The UVa community is a tight-knit family, and an event like this touches a great many of us quite deeply. At such a difficult time, I want you to know that there are resources available to assist you if needed.

The Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) department in Student Health has trained clinicians who can help you manage stress, anxiety, or other emotions you may be feeling. You will find them very welcoming and helpful. You may call CAPS at 434-243-5150 to schedule an appointment during the daytime, or at 434-972-7004 after hours if you need help in a crisis situation. CAPS is located on the street level in the Elson Student Health Center, 400 Brandon Avenue, just off JPA.

In addition, our professional staff in the Office of the Dean of Students is available to assist you. Our main office is located on the second floor in Peabody Hall, upstairs from the Office of Admission. You can stop in or call 434-924-7133 to schedule an appointment. In addition, if you live in a University residence hall, you should feel free to approach your RA and seek his or her support and a referral to other services. The main office of the Housing and Residence Life unit of the Office of the Dean of Students is located on the lower level of the Kent/Dabney residential community in the McCormick Road first-year living area. Professional staff located there are available to support and assist you as well.

I also want to make certain that you are aware of safe transportation options that exist in the area surrounding the University, particularly late at night on weekends.

Safe Ride operates up to three vans that provide door-to-door transportation for current students with a valid student ID who would otherwise have to walk alone at night. Hours of operation are Sunday through Wednesday from 12 midnight until 7 a.m., and Thursday through Saturday from 2:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. The service area includes most student housing areas in the vicinity surrounding the University Grounds (Safe Ride Map). A ride can be arranged by calling 434-242-1122. One Safe Ride van picks up passengers near the Alderman/Clemons Library every half hour during operating hours, when the library is in operation, Sunday through Thursday mornings.

University Transit Service (UTS) offers extended late night service on the Outer U-Loop and theNorthline routes on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 12:30 a.m. until 2:30 a.m. The charts below show the locations and schedules for extended late night service:

Outer U Loop Northline

In addition, if you are unable to wait for a Safe Ride van pickup, are not near a UTS bus route late at night, or otherwise feel unsafe, please remember that you may call Yellow Cab Charge-a-Ride at 434-295-4131 to travel by taxi. If you do not have the money to pay for the taxi at that point in time, you need only show a valid student ID to the Yellow Cab driver and sign the document they will provide to you. You will then be billed through your student account.

Lastly, I want to stress the importance of being an active bystander at all times. Walk in groups, step in if you see a peer in a potentially unsafe situation, call 911 if you observe a situation that appears to require immediate police action, and always ask for help or assistance if you need it yourself. Charlottesville Police and University Police officers maintain an active presence in the area surrounding the University Grounds, and they will be promptly dispatched when 911 is dialed.

The police welcome any and all information that may be helpful in finding Hannah. If you have any information, however insignificant it may seem, please call a newly dedicated tip line at 434-295-3851 at the Charlottesville Police Department.

Please be safe, look out for each other, and help keep UVa the caring community we know it to be. #hoosgotyourback

Sincerely,

Allen Groves
University Dean of Students

University Of Virginia Policy on Protests, Demonstrations and Other Expressive Activities During Finals Weekend

May 15th, 2014

The University of Virginia respects and encourages free expressive activity by its students, faculty, and staff. At the same time, consistent with its educational mission, the University has established reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on such activities on University Grounds to assure that such activities are undertaken in ways that avoid disruption of University operations, and are consistent with its educational, employment, and safety responsibilities to its students, faculty, and staff.

Finals Weekend always creates special challenges for the University because of the great number of activities occurring during that period across University Grounds, and the large number of people attending them. Because of this the University has created the following policy that is specific to Finals Weekend. During Finals Weekend, this policy supersedes all other policies regarding use of University Grounds and facilities to the extent such policies may be inconsistent with this one.

  • Attendance at Finals Weekend events and activities is by invitation only unless otherwise noted. Those in attendance without having been invited or otherwise having been authorized to attend may be asked to leave if, in the judgment of the University, their presence creates disruption, impedes movement of invited guests from place to place, or otherwise creates unacceptable conditions for participants or invited visitors.
  • Because of the large crowds and multiple venues that are typical of Finals Weekend, activities that otherwise may be consistent with University policy may be impermissible during that period.
  • Items currently approved and authorized to be carried in the Academic Procession are placards that are not attached to sticks, and balloons (including inflated surgical gloves), as long as those placards and balloons are not so large or unwieldy as to obstruct or impede the procession and do not otherwise pose a safety risk.
  • Items held or carried must not obscure the view of participants or invited visitors or interfere with the ceremonies.
  • Activities of participants or invited visitors must not interfere with Finals Weekend events and activities.
  • No non-University commercial solicitation will be allowed on University Grounds during Finals Weekend.
  • Protests, demonstrations, and other expressive activities may take place during Finals Weekend within the following area of University Grounds : in the area bounded by Alderman Library, Monroe Hall, Peabody Hall, Special Collections Library, and McCormick Road (subject to space needed for emergency medical services). If Valedictory Exercises or Final Exercises are moved to the John Paul Jones Arena, the designated area is the grassy area outside the north entrance of University Hall.
  • Even within this designated area, protests, demonstrations and other expressive activities, including distribution of leaflets or other written materials, may not: o Block or impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic along streets and sidewalks;
    • Involve placement of tents or other temporary structures;
    • Interfere with or impede Finals Weekend events and activities;
    • Use sound amplification devices; or
    • Violate applicable law or University rules, regulations, or procedures.
  • Persons in violation of this policy either will be instructed to bring their activities into compliance with the requirements set forth above, or asked to leave. If such persons do not comply with the University’s request, they may be arrested and/or charged with violating the University’s Standards of Conduct, if applicable.