Date: August 23, 2012
To: All U.Va. Students
From: Patricia M. Lampkin, Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
Re: Welcome to a New Year; Updates and Safety Reminders
First, welcome to all of our new students and welcome back to everyone who is returning. I hope your summer was both productive and enjoyable.
As I do at the beginning of every new year, I am writing with important reminders about your personal safety. In a community of our size, as openly as it operates, it is important that we all be committed to maintaining a safe environment for ourselves and for those around us. Although Charlottesville is relatively safe, serious crimes do occur here, and perpetrators often see students as easy and vulnerable targets.
Please take a moment to review these updates and reminders as you begin the new year:
Construction on Grounds
An especially active period of construction will continue into the fall in many areas of the University. Please obey all cautionary signs and remain away from all restricted areas. In particular:
Do not climb onto scaffolding or any temporary structures. Doing so could lead to serious injury and you also could be charged with trespassing. If you witness someone attempting to gain entry into restricted areas, you should call 911.
Do not take shortcuts through construction areas, especially after dark when visibility is limited. Remember, the inconveniences are temporary, and taking a risk or a dare is never worth the potential for serious injury.
Along the same vein, I urge you not to initiate or go along with so-called "urban exploration" of the Grounds or surrounding area. Going into the steam tunnels, climbing onto rooftops, scaling water towers, and related activities are not only dangerous but also against the law. Two years ago, we tragically lost a student as the result of a fall from the rooftop of the physics building.
University Transit System Detours
UTS will be running modified routes during the 2012-2013 academic year. These changes are the result of the Virginia Department of Transportation posting an 8-ton weight limit on the McCormick Road bridge over Emmet Street. The weight limit does not affect normal passenger cars and trucks - only large vehicles such as buses and larger cargo trucks.
You can learn more about these changes and tips for making transit connections at www.virginia.edu/parking/uts/transit.
More Details: Only service from the bridge to University Avenue will be relocated, which includes Northline, Inner and Outer University Loops, Central Grounds Shuttle, Colonnade Shuttle, and Hereford/IRC Shuttle. In addition, Charlottesville Area Transit's Free Trolley route will not travel on McCormick Road during the 2012-2013 academic year. Passengers can catch the trolley on Alderman Road and eastbound University Avenue.
Some UTS routes are not affected, including the Green Route and Stadium Hospital Shuttle. Also, service will remain the same on the west end of McCormick Road (Alderman Road to the bridge).
Summary of the modifications:
To shorten the walking distance to destinations on the south end of Central Grounds (i.e., Clark, Kerchoff, Halsey, Maury, Minor, Bryan, Brown, Monroe, etc.), two new UTS stops have been created on McCormick Road at Thornton Hall and the physics building.
- UTS stops that were located at Monroe/Garrett and Library/Chapel have been eliminated. This portion of Grounds will be served by two stops along Emmet Street (U.Va. Bookstore and tennis courts) and a relocated bus stop on eastbound University Avenue.
- To shorten the walking distance for most routes to destinations on the north end of Central Grounds (i.e., Alderman and Clemons libraries, Newcomb Hall, etc.), the University Avenue stop at the tennis courts has been relocated to the University Avenue/Newcomb Road intersection. The Outer University Loop coming from Rugby Road toward Central Grounds will continue to use the regular westbound University Avenue bus stop located near the Culbreth Road intersection.
- A new stop has been added on Culbreth Road near the parking garage, creating a transit link to the Arts Grounds.
The modified routes were created to provide the maximum amount of access and minimum amount of walking distance possible. If you are a regular UTS or Free Trolley rider, please review the website. If you still have questions, contact Parking & Transportation at 924.7711 or email@example.com.
Important tips and reminders, especially for new students who are becoming familiar with a new environment:
- Walk with others at night. Avoid dark, deserted areas.
- Use the University buses, SafeRide or a taxi. The buses will run on a holiday schedule on Sunday evening, Aug. 26, after 8 p.m. and resume regular, full-time service on Monday morning, Aug. 27. See schedule details at www.virginia.edu/parking/service/schedule.html.
- For convenience, keep numbers for SafeRide (434.242.1122) and Yellow Cab (434.295.4131) in your phone. With Yellow Cab, you can show an active student ID, sign documentation, and be billed for the ride - with no questions asked.
- Develop your own plan for staying safe. When you go out, especially to parties, develop a plan with your friends for getting there and getting back safely. Check in with your friends before the evening ends to make sure everyone either leaves together or has a definite plan for getting home safely.
- If you notice individuals or situations that seem suspicious, do not delay in calling the police at 911. You will not be bothering them if you do this. In fact, the information you provide may be vital in helping them connect the dots with leads they already are working on.
- Keep your doors and windows locked.
- Use caution when crossing the street, especially in the dark. Cross only in designated areas, and do not let music or a cell phone conversation distract you.
- Likewise, use caution when bicycling. Wear a helmet and reflective clothing, and follow all rules of the road, whether you are a biker or motorist. Serious accidents involving bikers and motorists have occurred in recent months.
Just Report It
Students who experience or witness an incident of bias or abuse directed toward them or another student are urged to report the incident through "Just Report It," the University's online incident reporting system. Operated by the Office of the Dean of Students, the system enables a student to report any situation in which she or he sees a student treated wrongly by another individual, whether verbally, physically or in writing. The perpetrator may or may not be a student. Learn more at www.virginia.edu/justreportit.
New Blue-Light Telephones
One important step toward greater security on The Corner was accomplished this summer with the installation of seven blue-light telephones (and an eighth one at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation office near Stadium Road). Although the phones are prevalent on Grounds, this represents the first time that the phones have been installed off Grounds where students live or frequently gather. The phones, which were purchased and installed through the joint efforts of the University, the city of the Charlottesville, and the U.Va. Parents Committee, can be found in the following Corner locations:
- 12th and Wertland
- 12 ½ and Wertland
- 14th and Sadler
- 14th and St. John
- 15th and Virginia
- 15th and Gordon
- 15th and Sadler
Monday, Aug. 27, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Student Activities Building parking lot.
A bike is one of the easiest and quickest ways to get around Grounds. If you would like to purchase a bike, several vendors will be available at Monday's sale to help with fitting and testing. Safety equipment, such as helmets and reflectors, also will be on sale. To learn more, see
In closing, I wish you a successful start to the new year and remind you to contact me or my colleagues in Student Affairs if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for all you do to maintain a safe community built on civility and mutual respect.
Patricia M. Lampkin
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer