Petition update

Updates from the University Re: Email

Tori O
Charlottesville, VA, United States

Feb 18, 2021 — 

Hello! First off I just want to say thank you for the support, over 1,800 people signed which is incredible and I encourage everyone to keep sharing with fellow students and community members. Secondly, the University just sent out an email with the text at the end of the this update. 

 

It is clear that this is not enough! The University needs to have a third party investigate the impact that IFC and ISC activities had on the COVID spike. It is not okay they have not even considered looking at the data. The University has money and resources to launch an investigation but they are unwilling at this time!

So what is next? 

The following email was sent out to students on 2/18/2021 at 1:27PM

"We are aware of the disappointment and frustration that many of you are experiencing as a result of climbing COVID-19 cases and increased restrictions, particularly in an environment where conditions are changing rapidly. University leaders and public health officials will hold a town hall to answer questions about the virus, these restrictions, and other issues on Friday, Feb. 19, from 3 to 4 p.m. (click here to register). In this email, we’d like to address a few key points.

Most importantly, we know and regret that these new temporary restrictions are a hardship for students who are already struggling to cope with all of the other ways this pandemic has disrupted their lives. Our goal is always to strike a balance between protecting public health and allowing people to live, learn, and work here as easily as possible. Presently, maintaining that balance requires the types of restrictions we have in place. If followed, these new policies will reduce cases and pave the way for a less restrictive approach to the remainder of this semester.

We’d also like to address questions about recruitment activities at University fraternities and sororities and whether they relate to rising cases. It is important to know that UVA’s health and safety guidelines apply to all individuals and organizations equally, including off-Grounds fraternities and sororities. Like all other students and organizations, those organizations were permitted to gather in groups of 6 or fewer as long as everyone was wearing masks and spaced at least 6 feet apart. We do not, and should not, impose different restrictions on different groups of students.

"In the event that any group or individual violates our policies, we have a compliance reporting process that enables University officials to investigate and take disciplinary action where appropriate. That process is an important tool in protecting public health as well as assuring that we know the facts before we take disciplinary action. We regularly follow-up on emails and social media posts in an effort to investigate a possible violation; many of those communications, however, lack the specific details that are necessary to initiating action. The University also regularly increases the presence of UVA Ambassadors in areas where we are seeing increased cases or reports of noncompliance. If you are have evidence of policy violations by a specific group or individual, and can provide details such as location, date and time, please file a complaint immediately.

At this point, speculation that Greek organizations, or any other single group or part of our community, are solely or primarily responsible for rising cases is not supported by evidence. Transmission and noncompliance are widespread across our community, which is why our public health experts made an unequivocal recommendation to enact the community-wide restrictions announced on Tuesday.

We know these new restrictions are especially frustrating for people who are following the rules closely. The unfortunate reality is this virus spreads quite easily when small numbers of people let their guard down, but stopping the spread requires increased sacrifice from all of us.

We use the word community so much we risk losing the meaning: “A group of people living in the same place or having the same characteristic in common.” In this moment, many of us are living in the same place and we have many characteristics in common, including a shared desire to stop the spread and keep each other healthy and safe. We are a community – and bringing our case numbers down will require all of us to sacrifice over the next eight days and keep our focus for the rest of the year. We know you are frustrated; we know you are tired – but we remain in this together. So let’s come together and get our semester back on track.
 

Liz Magill
Provost

J.J. Davis
Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Mitch Rosner"


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