Dear UVA Parents and Families:
Our community continues to grieve following the shooting deaths on Sunday evening of students Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr., and D’Sean Perry. This has been a sad, traumatic time for all of us, and I recognize how difficult it has been for our students.
We cannot begin to count the emails, texts, voicemails, and phone calls of support and encouragement we have received from many of you, as well as from our colleagues at colleges and universities across the country. I want to express sincere thanks to the University Police Department and our many Student Affairs staff and partners who spread out across Grounds in the early morning hours Monday during the lockdown and thereafter during the week to protect and support students, as well as to organize programming and resources.
The Division of Student Affairs will continue to offer counseling services for those who would like to talk with someone. Being in lockdown for a long period, I recognize, was part of the trauma our students experienced. As you might guess, this week our staff’s time and energy have been focused on supporting our students who have been affected by this tragedy in multiple ways. By now your student has received correspondence from the President Jim Ryan and Provost Ian Baucom regarding classes.
The central Support for Students website provides a detailed list of on-Grounds and community resources. Updates will be posted on the site as scheduling or availability of resources changes. Additionally, you may find the UVA Today article, Moving Forward: How Should Parents Interact with Their Students over Break? a source of helpful advice.
Throughout this week many faculty, staff, and community partners have supported our students as they returned to classes on Wednesday. Gathering spaces were set up across Grounds at the Lawn Pavilions, Newcomb Hall, the 1515 student center, Gibbons Residence Hall, and Carr’s Hill, the President’s Home, among other places. We are continuing to maintain an assistance station where students may walk in and speak with a counselor. Therapy dogs have been on site every day as well, and hundreds of students have found them to be a source of joy and comfort. The support website mentioned above will be updated as sites and resources shift in the coming days and weeks.
Other services are available through Counseling and Psychological Services (in person) and TimelyCare, a free, 24/7 telehealth service associated with CAPS. If your student is having difficulty, please encourage them to take full advantage of our resources. We are here to offer support and help our students in this time of distress.
As you may have heard by now, Saturday’s last home football game against Coastal Carolina has been cancelled. However, our fourth-year class will still lead us in the traditional Fourth-Year 5K. More than 1,250 people have registered for the run/walk so far, with proceeds benefitting those most seriously affected by this tragedy.
Later on Saturday, at 3:30 p.m. in John Paul Jones Arena, we will celebrate the lives of the students we have lost through a University Memorial Service and Reflection. The public is welcome to attend. You may also watch the service via livestream.
We hope that your student and your family will have some measure of rest and peace as we break for Thanksgiving beginning Tuesday evening. This is definitely not the week we had planned, but we have persisted in spite of this tragedy. We look forward to students and staff returning to Grounds after the holiday break and completing the fall semester in community.
Robyn S. Hadley
Vice President and Dean of Students
Chief Student Affairs Officer