Statement from Dean Groves on Bias-Related Incidents
Civility and respect are cornerstones of the community of trust at the University of Virginia. We strive to provide an environment that celebrates the differences that come from being a diverse community as well as the many facets of life at UVa that we share in common. One of the strengths of attending this great University is the opportunity to be surrounded by peers who cause you to challenge and reflect upon your own views, theories, and beliefs, just as you cause them to do the same. It is within this community of diverse scholars that true citizen leaders are born.
Occasionally, incidents occur that breach the bonds of our shared community of student scholars, faculty, and staff. These may include, by way of example, slurs based on one’s race, gender, national or ethnic origin, or affectational orientation. If you have been the victim of or have witnessed an act of bias or disrespect in our community, I hope that you will use the “Just Report It” system provided by the Office of the Dean of Students to alert us of the incident. Your report will be confidential and read by one of my professional staff, who is serving as the dean on call and will follow up promptly. Some bias-motivated or otherwise disrespectful acts may be constitutionally-protected speech and thus not subject to University disciplinary action or formal investigation. Indeed, as our founder Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “For here we are not afraid . . . to tolerate error so long as reason is free to combat it.” However, we should do all that we can to foster a good dialogue on what is appropriate in our community of peers.
Also, do not hesitate to contact us at 434-924-7133 or visit with one of my staff in the Office of the Dean of Students, located in Peabody Hall, second floor.
Allen W. Groves
University Dean of Students