26, 2003 — I write to you with a deep sense of anguish. Early
this morning, a member of our community was attacked near her car
parked in Poe Alley. The victim was Daisy Lundy, a second-year student
who is one of the two candidates for Student Council president.
After being treated at the U.Va. emergency room, Ms. Lundy was released
and is now recovering from what were diagnosed as minor injuries.
University is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to
an arrest. Due to the circumstances of the attack and the racially
derogatory statement made by the attacker at the time of the crime,
University Police are investigating it as a hate crime. They have
issued a press release stating that the assailant is reported to
be a heavy-set white male wearing a dark coat, light pants and a
dark hat. The police are aggressively investigating the crime and
urge anyone with information to call 924-7166.
word of this horrific incident has spread, members of the University
community are shocked and outraged that such a cowardly, apparently
racially motivated act could occur in our midst. Ms. Lundy, who
is African American and Korean, had been involved in a highly publicized
election for Student Council president. In the past few days, she
had experienced an increasing sense of concern after receiving hang-up
telephone calls, one of which included intimidating language and
profanity. She had reported the latter to the police.
morning’s attack draws anger and sadness. It should. Our institutional
values do not condone physical violence, racism, stealth, intimidation
or terror. Yet, we must realistically admit that something very
wrong and terrible has occurred in a place we believed to be reasonably
secure and above such baseless, violent acts.
African-American students, I want to acknowledge the range of emotions
you may be feeling right now – anger, hurt, powerlessness,
isolation. You may also feel unsafe or even unsure of your role
as a student of the University. We are committed to providing whatever
support you want or need right now. If you need to talk, if you
need to be angry – we will not turn away. We (and I am especially
talking about the professionals in Student Affairs) will listen
because we all need to learn from this incident and fully deal with
the ugliness it represents. This incident potentially changes us
all, but it does not change the initiatives and goals we already
have begun working on to make this a more tolerant, multicultural
community – one that embraces differences and recoils at the
mere suggestion of violence or terrorism directed at any of its
coming weeks, we cannot freeze one another out or allow existing
divisiveness to grow deeper. We must channel the anger in constructive
ways, toward the diversity work that now demands our attention in
a new way. Each of us has a responsibility to extend a hand, to
seek ways to bring our community together and bridge the divides
that we know exist.
incident has saddened and angered many throughout the community.
Those emotions were evident this morning as I met with the University’s
academic deans to brief them on what had happened. Student leaders,
including the current leadership of Student Council, have expressed
the same reaction and are deeply sorrowful that a fellow student
would be victimized in this way.
a means of expressing reactions to this incident, a community meeting
– “Community Reflection and Response” –
will take place this afternoon from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Newcomb Ballroom.
Karen Holt, director of Equal Opportunity Programs, will moderate
the session. Following the community meeting, small group sessions
will be available at 6 p.m. for those who wish to continue the discussion.
offices within the Division of Student Affairs, including African-American
Affairs, Dean of Students, Residence Life, Fraternity and Sorority
Life, Newcomb Hall and the Center for Counseling and Psychological
Services, will be available to students for small-group and one-on-one
discussion or counseling.
have some hard work ahead, but people at all levels of the institution
are committed to bringing about positive change that goes beyond
mere talk about diversity. With safety and support as first priorities,
my office will be working with President Casteen, the vice presidents,
deans and leaders throughout the University to address your concerns
and ensure an environment that is as safe and civil as possible.
Patricia M. Lampkin
Vice President for Student