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Re: Upcoming Trial

February 1, 2012

Dear Colleagues:

The trial of George Huguely will begin in Charlottesville Circuit Court on Monday, February 6. As the trial gets under way and the national spotlight focuses on our community once again, nearly two years after the death of Yeardley Love, the effort to create a caring community that we began with the Day of Dialogue will become more important than ever.

As the trial proceeds, details emanating from the courtroom may create or compound emotional distress for our students, faculty, and staff, and demonstrating support for one another will become especially important. During this period, I encourage you to use the resources available at the University. These resources include Office of the Dean of Students, Counseling and Psychological Services in Student Health, the Faculty and Employee Assistance Program, and other services. Some 150 reporters are registered to cover the trial, so we will also see a significant media presence arrive in Charlottesville in the next few days. Reporters will likely seek out interviews with students, faculty, and staff members. Students will soon receive a detailed message from Pat Lampkin, VP for Student Affairs, describing the many resources available for personal support and advice for dealing with media inquiries. This will be available at http://www.virginia.edu/vpsa.

As the trial draws near, we have an opportunity to learn about criminal law and procedure in Virginia. U.Va. Law Professor Anne M. Coughlin will lead a discussion tomorrow evening, February 2, at 6 p.m., in Wilson 402. The program, co-sponsored by several student organizations, is open to all students, faculty, and staff. I hope you will attend and encourage others to attend, especially students. More details are available at http://www.virginia.edu/vpsa/coughlin.html.

Nearly two years ago, our University community came together to grieve the loss of Yeardley Love. The coming days will be a challenging period for our community, as the trial of George Huguely begins and the details of Yeardley's death re-emerge. We will leave the judgment in this case to the justice system, and direct our energy toward creating a truly caring community. Doing this will be the best tribute to Yeardley's life and her memory.

Terry Sullivan
President