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A Statement from Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer Patricia Lampkin on Recent Racial Incidents, September 20, 2005

This message was approved for distribution by Patricia M. Lampkin, Vice President for Student Affairs.

Dear Student,

Education is an important component in addressing and ultimately eliminating racial incidents that violate our community of trust. As part of this effort, I want to remind you of steps to take if you become the victim of harassment, racial or otherwise, or if you witness such harassment. By acting immediately, you can help University officials identify the perpetrators and also ensure that those individuals affected receive the support they need.

Please remember these basic guidelines:

  1. First, call 911. Do not lose valuable time by initially calling anyone else.
  2. Contact your RA or RC if you live in University housing. The resident staff in your building will know whom to contact in time of crisis.
  3. Call the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS): 924-7133. After business hours, a dean on-call can be reached by contacting the University Police non-emergency number at 924-7166 and asking them to have the dean on-call contact you.
  4. If you experience a written slur, do not erase the text. The police will want to see it for evidence.
  5. If you have a camera or cell phone camera, take a picture of the evidence, license plate, or anything else relevant.
  6. If the abuse is verbal, write down exactly what was said to the best of your recollection.

Accuracy and speed are important, so please focus on facts and report the incident as soon as possible.

I also urge you to contact law enforcement officials if you have information on any of the racial incidents recently reported. The Alumni Association of the University of Virginia is offering $5,000 as a monetary award for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons who have engaged in racial acts of vandalism, threats, or other criminal misconduct on or adjacent to University property during the fall semester directed against any minority student of the University because of his or her race. Anyone with information regarding such incidents should call the University Police or Crimestoppers at (434) 977-4000.

Finally, I want to encourage you to join President Casteen and other members of the community in support of those students who have been victimized, by wearing a black ribbon throughout this week. The ribbons outwardly signify our solidarity as a community. Students are distributing the ribbons, and they are available in various offices (e.g., offices of the Dean of Students, Vice President for Student Affairs). On Saturday prior to the home football game, ribbons will be available at the entrances to Scott Stadium.

President Casteen, joined by the rector and other members of the Board of Visitors, spoke from the steps of the Rotunda last Friday afternoon to re-assert his commitment to diversity and to standing in unity and solidarity as a community. To hear or read his remarks, go the U.Va. home page and click on "New: Statements on Diversity" in the lower left-hand side of the page.

Thank you for your support in showing we will not tolerate acts of ignorance and cowardice. Working together, we will preserve our community of mutual respect and trust.

Sincerely,

Patricia M. Lampkin
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer

September 20, 2005