University of Virginia’s Swift Response to the Violence in Charlottesville

Amanda Kohn by on Aug 28, 2017

Following a violent white supremacist rally at the University of Virginia and the subsequent murder of a counterprotestor, schools are addressing their communities, students, parents and alumni across email, social media posts, magazine articles and press releases. UVA addressed the violence on its campus immediately, assuring alumni and supporters that the campus is a safe space for peaceful expression. The university’s outreach consisted of press releases from university leaders, Virginia Magazine articles and social media posts with a message of solidarity, condemning violence, bigotry and hatred.


Sample UVA Facebook Post

Jenifer Andrasko, president and CEO of the UVA Alumni Association, responded with a short letter, sent on August 12, that emphasized the importance of UVA as a diverse community and argued that the recent violence, hate and intolerance does not represent the values of the alumni community.

UVA Alumni Association President Letter

The Virginia Magazine article, An Outpouring Pours In, provides 14 alumni reactions to Andrasko’s letter, from classes ranging from 1966 to 2016. So far, UVA is the only school in the Alumni Monitor coverage group to publish alumni reactions to the racist violence.

An Outpouring Pours in Article (Truncated)

Alumni Monitor has been tracking coverage group schools’ responses to the Charlottesville violence, with most colleges and universities posting presidents’ responses on social media and some schools releasing statements via alumni email. Statements from alumni associations, university presidents and alumni can be an effective way to promote healing and recommit to school values of tolerance.

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About The Author

Amanda Kohn

Amanda is a Senior Research Associate for Alumni Monitor at Corporate Insight. Read more