Support for Students

May 7th, 2010

A Message from Patricia M. Lampkin, Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer

Dear Students:

Today I am writing you with the same sadness and grief that so many of you are feeling as the result of Yeardley Love’s death. I want to reassure you how much we care about you – your health, safety, and how you go about dealing with the emotions of this tragic event. I also want to remind you that members of my staff, as well as other resources, are available to you if you need support.

This is a difficult time for the University community, especially for those of you who knew Yeardley as a friend, sorority sister, teammate, or classmate. You may be having trouble understanding how such an unthinkable act could occur in our midst. You also may be concerned about yourself or your friends if you have experienced or witnessed abuse in a relationship.

We recognize the stress you are under right now with exams and the end of the school year. As you deal with both academic stress and the emotional trauma of this week, some reactions and processing on your part may be delayed until the coming weeks, perhaps well into the summer when you are not at the University.

This message is long, but I hope you will read it carefully and find it useful for your own individual situation. Included are practical guidelines should you need them now or in the future. You will find the following information:

Dealing with Grief

We recognize that other students have passed away this year as the result of tragedy. Anyone affected by these losses will likely feel saddened and grieved. Grief is personal and occurs at an individual pace, but friends, family, and clergy can be extremely helpful during the grieving process. It is important to seek comfort and to maintain your own health during this time. Some suggestions:

  • Spend time with people who bring comfort to you. Your friends are most likely at the top of that list at this stage in your life. Talk to your parents, too, and let them know how they can help. When you are most comfortable, you can best care for yourself.
  • Remember other sources of comfort, such as pets, music, and art.
  • Find healthy ways to have fun. This is a basic human need. Don’t let feelings of guilt (“How can I have fun at a time like this?”) deprive you of this key element in your life.
  • Let the grief unfold in the way that feels right for you. It’s OK to think about the tragedy, or not to. Try not to judge your own reaction or that of others.

Signs of Depression

If grief becomes depression, then it is important to seek professional help. The signs of depression include:

  • Changes in sleeping and eating habits.
  • Increased irritability.
  • Withdrawal from others.
  • Worsening concentration.
  • Getting stuck in sad or stressful thoughts.
  • Constant worry.
  • Predominant sadness.
  • Physical symptoms, such as fatigue, anxiety, frequent headaches, muscle soreness, and gastrointestinal distress.

IMPORTANT: Thoughts of harming yourself or others need immediate attention. If you are thinking about harming yourself in any way, you should get help right away – call 911, call a clergy member, call a physician with whom you are close, call a family member or trusted friend. If a friend is talking about harming him/herself or ot hers, do what you can to get that person to reach out to professional resources, ideally a mental health professional.

Signs of an Abusive Relationship

If you, a friend, or an acquaintance is in a relationship that could involve abuse, you may experience or witness one or more of the following:

  • Social withdrawal of the partner who is under duress.
  • Efforts by one partner to seclude or control the other (for example: criticizing friends; restricting or taking access to passwords, cell phones, computers, keys, money, etc.).
  • Frequent and intense arguing.
  • Physical marks.
  • Experts point out that an individual who is enduring abuse may not necessarily exhibit a stereotypical demeanor, such as being shy or meek. Likewise, those who appear socially comfortable or confident can still be experiencing mistreatment.

Where to Call When You Need Help

These University resources are available to you at any time you feel your safety is threatened, you witness others being harmed, or you or a friend is dealing with emotional difficulties:

  • Call 911. Wherever you are, whether at UVA or far from the Grounds, your first instinct should be to call 911 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.
  • Office of the Dean of Students : 434-924-7133. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; after hours, call University Police (434-924-7166) and ask to be connected with the dean-on-call who is available 24/7.
  • Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) : 434-243-5150 for appointments; 434-972-7004 for after-hours emergencies. For more urgent needs, walk-in services are available Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. See the Web site for resources about depression, suicide and how to get help during a crisis.
  • UVA Women’s Center: 434-982-2252. The center provides counseling services to women who are experiencing domestic or intimate partner abuse. See the center’s Web site for a variety of related resources.
  • Medical Emergencies: Always call 911. This reminder bears repeating: Students who call 911 for medical emergencies will not face any disciplinary action for doing so. It is critical that you always get immediate help for yourself or your friends. Even a brief delay in calling 911 can be critical.

Other University Resources

  • Just Report It: If you witness an incident of bias or abuse directed toward a student, you are urged to report it to an authority. One way in which you can do this is through “Just Report It,” the University’s online bias incident reporting system. The system enables you to report any situation in which you see a student treated wrongly – whether verbally, physically, or in writing — by another individual. The perpetrator may or may not be a student.
  • SAPA (Sexual Assault Peer Advisers) : This group of trained U.Va. students maintains a list of resources and ways to help friends involved in abusive relationships. Contact the group at
  • One-in-Four: This all-male peer advocacy group at U.Va. provides resources and educational programming about sexual violence to student groups and survivors.

Getting Help When You are No Longer in Charlottesville

The effects of this tragedy are likely to continue into the summer, when you may be away from the resources available on Grounds. If you are at home, your family can be an obvious source of support. As mentioned before, talk to your parents, and let them know how they can help. The same is true for friends.

Here are some additional ways you can find support if you get overwhelmed when you are no longer in Charlottesville:

Call CAPS (434-243-5150). They can help you find a mental health professional in your area by talking through options with you and often making a referral.

  • Talk to your primary care physician, gynecologist, or any other health care professional. Often he or she can provide excellent support and medication, if necessary. You can also receive a referral to a mental health professional, if appropriate.
  • Go to your insurance company’s Web site to find a list of providers in your area.
  • Talk to someone in your church, temple or mosque.

Resources in the Greater Charlottesville Area

  • SARA (Sexual Assault Resource Agency) : This organization helps those who are experiencing intimate partner abuse. They also have a 24-hour hotline available to any student or community member who feels unsafe or who just needs someone to talk to confidentially. You can call the hotline anytime at 434-977-7273.
  • SHE (Shelter for Help in Emergency) : SHE provides a variety of services, including a 24-hour hotline, similar to SARA for anyone who feels unsafe and needs a kind, confidential ear. You can call the SHE hotline anytime at 434-293-8509.

Other Health Reminders

  • Use of alcohol or other drugs worsens depression and anxiety. It also can increase the risk of both depression and physical/emotional abuse because it reduces impulse control and impedes judgment.
  • Look out for one another. Think about what support truly entrails and try to support your friends’ health. Don’t hesitate to say something to a friend if you witness interactions that you would define as troubling and damaging from a health standpoint.
  • Be mindful of each other’s alcohol and drug use and how that can affect judgment.

Candlelight Vigil

May 5th, 2010

Student Council is holding a Candlelight Vigil on Wednesday evening (8 pm, Amphitheatre) to bring the University community together following the sad and disturbing news about the death of Yeardley Love. This is an event for students, faculty, staff, and members of the community at large.

President John Casteen, Fourth-Year Class President Sarah Elaine Hart, and Colin Hood will offer brief remarks, accompanied by musical tributes and the candlelight vigil. The program will last about an hour and is open to all.

Wednesday, May 5
8:00pm | Amphitheatre

A Message from President Casteen

May 3rd, 2010

To the University Community:

Earlier today, we released a statement about a Charlottesville Police investigation of an apparent homicide in which the victim is a University of Virginia student. A just-released update of an earlier Charlottesville Police statement about this investigation identifies the victim as Yeardley Love, a fourth-year student from Cockeysville, Maryland, and a Varsity lacrosse player. The updated Charlottesville Police Department statement appears just below this one along with advice to students from University Police Chief Michael Gibson. The Charlottesville Police statement also discloses that George Huguely, a fourth-year student from Chevy Chase, Maryland, and a Varsity men’s lacrosse player, has been charged with First Degree Murder, and is in custody at the Charlottesville/Albemarle jail. We urge all students and faculty/staff to read both of the following statements with care.

Although we know nothing other than what appears in the Charlottesville Police Department’s more recent statement, this death moves us to deep anguish for the loss of a student of uncommon talent and promise, and we express the University’s and our own sympathy for Yeardley’s family, team-mates, and friends. That she appears now to have been murdered by another student compounds this sense of loss by suggesting that Yeardley died without comfort or consolation from those closest to her. We mourn her death and feel anger on reading that the investigators believe that another student caused it. Like students who have contacted us in the last few minutes, we know no explanation of what appears now to have happened.

Police investigators and the courts will eventually determine what happened and make judgments on the basis of evidence submitted by the police and the Commonwealth’s Attorney. Meantime, along with all in the University and family members and friends elsewhere, we grieve and ache for this loss. It is easy to imagine that professional counseling services may prove useful to any number of students as we try to assimilate this information.

If you wish to meet with a counselor or one of the deans, call the Office of the Dean of Students at (434) 924-7133, and if you believe that a friend or acquaintance needs support and is not asking for it, call the same number, and explain what you have seen. Don’t hesitate to call. Don’t feel embarrassment about calling. Don’t keep quiet about a grieving friend who seems to need assistance but to be unable to request it.

And let us all acknowledge that, however little we may know now about Yeardley Love’s death, we do know that she did not have or deserve to die—that she deserved the bright future she earned growing up, studying here, and developing her talents as a lacrosse player. She deserves to be remembered for her human goodness, her capacity for future greatness, and for the terrible way in which her young life has ended.

John Casteen

A Statement from the Charlottesville Police Department

Monday, May 3, 2010
University Student Found Deceased


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA—Regarding the death of a University of Virginia student occurring at 222 14th ST N.W. apartment number 9, the victim has since been identified as 22 year old, Yeardley Love. Ms. Love was a fourth year University of Virginia Student from Cockeysville, Maryland who played on the Women’s Lacrosse Team.

Preliminary investigation by detectives revealed that Ms. Love is the victim of an apparent homicide. She suffered visible physical trauma, however the specific cause of death is undetermined pending an autopsy.

George Huguely, a senior at the University of Virginia from Chevy Chase MD who plays for the UVA Men’s lacrosse team, has been charged with First Degree Murder and is in custody at the Charlottesville/Albemarle jail.

According to witnesses, Huguely and Love had a past relationship.

Charlottesville Police are continuing to investigate the case and will provide more details as they become available.

Anyone with additional information about this incident is asked to call Charlottesville Police Sergeant Mark Brake at (434) 970-3970 or Crime Stoppers at (434) 977-4000.

A Message from Mike Gibson, Chief of University Police

Monday, May 3, 2010

While Charlottesville remains a relatively safe environment, crimes do occur in our community. The best defense is to be prepared and to take responsibility for your own safety and for that of your friends and fellow students. A few key reminders:

Trust your instincts about a person or situation. If you feel uncomfortable, immediately report your concerns to police by calling 911.

If you are on the Grounds and need help, pick up one of the blue-light telephones. You will be immediately connected to University Police. Be aware of your surroundings. Do not let a cell phone conversation or listening to music distract you when crossing the street or in any type of situation that calls for your full attention.

Avoid isolated areas and walking alone at night. Use SafeRide (434-242-1122), walk with friends, or take a late-night weekend bus.

Keep your doors and windows locked.

Never allow strangers to follow you into a locked building and gain entry by “tailgating” you once you swipe the card reader in a residence hall. Also, never prop open card-reader doors.

If you see any of the following, immediately call the police at 911: a prowler, someone peeping into a residence, an individual watching, photographing or filming an area, or any other suspicious behavior.

Work with your neighbors and fellow community members to ensure a safe environment.

Additional safety tips from University Police

Ice Cream Social

May 3rd, 2010


Join the Office of the Dean of Students for our annual Ice Cream Social.

Tuesday, May 4
2:30-4:00 PM
Outside Peabody Hall

(Rain Site: Student Activities Center, Newcomb)