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Statement from UNiversity President John T. Casteen III

U.Va. President John T. Casteen IIITo: All Members of the University Community

From: President John T. Casteen III

Feb. 26, 2003 — An incident reported last night involving one of our students has left many, African American students in particular, feeling vulnerable and afraid.
This intolerable act insults and offends this community's core values, including racial tolerance, civility, and mutual respect. Our first obligation is to close ranks around our students to ensure their safety and to reassure them of the community's protection and support.

I ask all members of the University to raise their voices against acts of intolerance and violence - whether they are committed by one member of the community or by many. 

Last night's setback notwithstanding, we continue our work to create an open and civil community. That work now takes on a new urgency to which we will respond with renewed resolve and vigor.

The University Police Department is investigating this incident, and we are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

This is not the first reported incident in recent months of intolerance of this general kind. The decades-long efforts to make this University an authentic cross-section of what we are as a people, and the hard-earned progress made toward this goal, are too important to be cast aside by senseless acts.

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