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Alumni Forum

It’s time

Submitted on Mar 26, 2015 by Mike Walters (Col ’69)

One shudders to catch the phrase “University of Virginia” coming from a national news broadcast these days. Apart from sports, I have heard three stories in such broadcasts recently: one a murder, one an alleged rape and the latest one an unfortunate beating. Only one of them had anything to do with the university: the…more >

Comments (1):

  1. Belinda M. Barham on said:
    Mr. Walters, With all due respect to your stated opinion, all of the stories involve UVA as they each include either living or dead student(s). President Sullivan is privy to large amounts of data for which others do not have access. Your description of a "grotesque" overreaction to horrific stories/events/crimes (not circumstances) is more...more >

Ethics and Humanity

Submitted on Mar 24, 2015 by Belinda M. Barham (Col ’84)

Do you believe that every individual has the right to voice their own truth without fear of ridicule, malice or hatred — even when they disagree with your truth? Example: Can we, as human beings, establish a safe forum of tolerance and respect to freely utter a response to a horrific photo or story? If…more >

Comments (6):

  1. Randolph Rains on said:
    We don't need ABC police. Do they make you feel safer?
  2. Belinda M. Barham on said:
    Do we need alcohol at universities and colleges? Does alcohol edify us or add positive value to the purpose of such institutions? What does alcohol make us feel? Nothing (numb), smarter, braver, cooler, like we fit in with the pack?

Chief Longo

Submitted on Mar 23, 2015 by Jim Sherlock (Col ’66)

Just watched the press conference in which Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo showed how an incident can be handled professionally and thoroughly as he shared his assessment of the facts surrounding the slanderous Rolling Stone article. He did not say that the University made his job harder and unwittingly enabled the slander by not sending…more >

Comments (6):

  1. Mark - College 96, Law 99 on said:
    I saw the report as well. It seems that Ms. Sullivan owes an apology to every student and alum who is a member or was a member of a fraternity. It also seems to me the additional restriction she imposed should be lifted. If she fails to do these things, it seems...more >
  2. Mike Fitzpatrick (Engr '72) on said:
    While I can certainly see where the request for an outside investigation could be viewed as a put down to the local police, there is the possibility of other motives. I have not lived in C'ville since attending UVa, so I don't claim to be an expert regarding the current local political and racial "climate". Perhaps...more >

In addition to facts, how about a little humanity?

Submitted on Mar 22, 2015 by Dr. Jennifer Rachford (Col ’95)

I want to express my support for President Sullivan’s response to the Martese Johnson arrest in its immediate aftermath and also my profound dismay over the tone-deaf comments of some of my fellow alumni.

Facts are important, and as I write this, they are still emerging in this case.  President Sullivan acknowledged as much in her…more >

Comments (1):

  1. Gregg Simmons on said:
    While we are using the history of the ABC board as a it pertains to the past treatment of students as a barometer for present and future treatment, let's not forget the past accusations that were made by other media organizations that were later revealed to be false. President Sullivan immediately rushed in...more >

Disappointed with Alumni Response

Submitted on Mar 21, 2015 by Joe Roth (Engr ’10)

After reading through all topics and replies regarding the Martese Johnson incident, I feel incredibly disheartened by the alumni feedback. As I read it, most people malign administrators for coming out against the ABC without waiting for a thorough investigation. I completely disagree with this consensus.

First, the facts. Martese Johnson attempted to enter Trinity Bar,…more >

Comments (6):

  1. Steve Johnson on said:
    Teresa Sullivan needs to move on. Her hiring at the U was a mistake. Let's hope our next(very soon) President will do better.
    • Ralph Noyes on said:
      It is not NEARLY that simple. We Alumni need to take a keen and persistent interest in the independent investigation that the Governor has ordered.
  2. Ralph Noyes on said:
    I have heard NO pretext of justification for the actions of the alcohol police in the first instance, much less the use of force. It is a GOOD thing that the Governor has ordered an investigation that will run independent of this police force, which is known for previous heavy-handed behavior in Charlottesville. Let the investigation run...more >

Who was in the wrong? Get the facts.

Submitted on Mar 21, 2015 by Mike Fitzpatrick (Engr ’72)

When making decisions, we should do the best we can to contain our gut emotions and rely on the facts to draw the appropriate conclusion.

From media reports, it appears Mr. Johnson attempted to enter an Irish bar on the Corner during the evening of St. Patrick’s Day. He was carded and because he was underage…more >

Comments (2):

  1. Tammy on said:
    Well said, Mike. It's a shame at least two university personnel (Martin and Apprey) did not take that advice.
  2. Shawn on said:
    According to the bar owner, he did leave peacefully.

What Honor Code?

Submitted on Mar 20, 2015 by Eugene Horn (Engr ’63)

What has happened to the Honor Code at UVA? My father, wife, sister and I are all graduates of the University. During our time any student found drunk and belligerent in public while confronting a police officer after being denied service at a bar would have immediately been dismissed from the University. He surely would…more >

Comments (12):

  1. Mahlon E. Arnett, II on said:
    I know nothing more than what has been stated in the media or shown in videos so it is hard to make a judgment but it would appear excessive force was used. It is not clear if the student was actually drunk, whether he tried to use a false ID or what started the incident,...more >
    • Tammy on said:
      Until we know whether Mr. Johnson was forced to the ground, or whether he fell as a result of trying to escape custody, I don't believe we can even say that "it would appear excessive force was used." It's all part of the mystery and why it's so grossly inappropriate for university personnel such...more >
  2. Joe Littleton, Engineering '72 on said:
    Adult Leadership Needed! One would expect that an institution of higher learning that stresses the application of critical analytical skills to a well researched body of facts, and that had been recently dragged through the Rolling Stones “rush to judgement” debacle would be a bit more measured and even handed in its response to a preliminary...more >
    • Tammy on said:
      I agree completely, Joe. I was appalled, disgusted and ashamed by the responses of Martin and Apprey. They jumped to a conclusion that was being pushed hard by a certain group at UVA. This is the time for calm and investigation. I'm not saying they may not be right, but at...more >

Petition to Reform VA ABC Law Enforcement Powers

Submitted on Mar 20, 2015 by Sam Shirazi (Law ’15)

I have created a petition calling on our elected leaders to reform ABC by removing its law enforcement powers

https://www.change.org/p/terry-mcauliffe-virginia-state-senate-virginia-house-of-delegates-reform-va-abc-law-enforcement-powers?just_created=true

You can also directly write to the Governor on this issue

https://governor.virginia.gov/constituent-services/communicating-with-the-governors-office/

Comments (16):

  1. Briordy Meyers Class of '99 on said:
    Can I ask why Sam? Do you know that improper ABC or general arrest technique is what led to the wounds during arrest, or are you just assuming that because of the video of the portion of the arrest you did see? Are you upset that they arrested a student who was drunk...more >
    • Sam Shirazi on said:
      Thank you for you comments. You raise several valid points. I would just say that ABC had a similar incident in 2013 with Elizabeth Daly and was forced to pay over $200,000 in a settlement. Also there is the broader question of whether we want a regulatory agency enforcing laws against after college students, or...more >
      • Ben E, COMM '13 on said:
        The student arrest could have been completely justified and the petition would still be valid. The ABC is a prohibition-era legislative relic - having armed state officers routinely enforcing minor laws on Charlottesville City streets is bizarre and anomalous in 21st-century America.
        • Sam Shirazi on said:
          Thank you, Ben, I totally agree. The investigation has to happen, but we need to have a discussion of ABC's role. As you suggested, I don't think it makes sense for them to have law enforcement powers these days.
  2. J. Walker, college on said:
    We need to get the facts before we make any more statements. Was the student intoxicated and abusive to the police and perhaps others? Did he resist restraint? Or did the police go out of their way to attack him inappropriately? I do now know, but I suggest we get the...more >
    • Sam Shirazi on said:
      Certainly we should allow the investigation to go forward. Regardless of the outcome, however, we should think about whether a regulator agency with a narrow mission should have law enforcement powers.

Get the complete facts before ‘fanning the flames’ !!!

Submitted on Mar 20, 2015 by David Morthland (Law ’65)

Dear Ms. Sullivan,
After reading your letter below and the accusatory statements of Mr. Martin as you have suggested, It is clear that his staff and department is in as much or more need of investigation as anybody else involved for having completely and with the utmost bias, prejudged the incident before anybody has any clue…more >

Comments (18):

  1. Bruce E. Hague on said:
    I agree with David Morthland's letter.
  2. James St Clair on said:
    Great Comments, David. Students have, from time to time, had issues with authority. We had the great "undergrad car riots" in the 50's. What is different with the students occasionally getting their heads "cracked' back them for failure to comply, then now? Maybe it is the "professional" agitators on and off the Grounds and some...more >

Arrest of Person for Underage Drinking in Charlottesville

Submitted on Mar 20, 2015 by James Sherlock (Col ’66)

I think that the University President has made a serious mistake by aggressively linking directly to the University the March 18, 2015, incident in which Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agents arrested third-year student Martese Johnson. I do not know all of the details of what happened, but I respectfully suggest that neither does Theresa Sullivan.…more >

Comments (9):

  1. Carol Allen on said:
    Yet another example of the out of control drinking at UVA. Rape, beat them up. What next for the drinking ...murder ? Going to college ..yes even at UBA needs to be about something other than drinking and partying. Voted best party school for 'drinking'. Clean it up.
  2. Joe LaBella on said:
    Mr. James Sherlock is certainly entitled to his Jim Crowe opinion. My 21st century opinion is that our female UVA president is entitled to stand up for UVA students, whether they are on grounds, around the corner, or anywhere on planet earth. And any UVA student, with white, black or green skin, is entitled to...more >
    • David A Gambiill on said:
      Mr. LaBella People might take you a little more seriously if you knew that the "Jim Crowe"(sic) that you invoked is actually spelled C-R-O-W.