Committee Releases Statement on Response to Attack
The Committee for Progress on Race at the University of Virginia School of Law
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: March 11, 2003
"UNIVERSITY-WIDE MARCH TOMORROW NIGHT TO CONDEMN HATE: March Against Racial Hatred Will Culminate at Rotunda with Speakers, Speak-Out"
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — Organizers of the March Against Racial Hatred expect several hundred University of Virginia students and Charlottesville community members to march to the Rotunda tomorrow night to express their condemnation of racial hatred. At 8 p.m. at the Rotunda during a candlelight vigil, a group of speakers composed of student leaders and faculty members will call for renewed efforts to address racial problems at the University. The event will end in a student-led speak-out.
Speakers will include Tim Lovelace, a fourth-year College student and the University's student member of the Board of Visitors, Law professor Anne M. Coughlin and Kwesi Smith, a fourth-year Commerce student and president of Brothers United Celebrating Knowledge and Success (BUCKS).
Students and community members will collect for the march at three sites spread across University Grounds. The March will start at the School of Law at 6:30 p.m., at the Runk Dining Hall at Hereford Residential College at 7 p.m., and at the Lambeth Residence Hall colonnades area at 7:30 p.m.
The March is sponsored by the Committee for Progress on Race at the University of Virginia School of Law and organized with help from students from the School of Medicine, the College of Arts and Sciences, and various University cultural organizations.
ABOUT UVA CPR: The Committee for Progress on Race at the University of Virginia School of Law (UVA CPR) is a new advocacy group composed of over 100 Law students as well as several administrators and faculty. The group raises awareness about problems surrounding race at the School of Law and the University community and proposes institutional changes to address those problems.
"LAW STUDENTS, FACULTY UNITE AGAINST HATE:
CPR to raise awareness of racial and legal issues at U.Va."
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA — Outraged students and faculty members from the University of Virginia School of Law formed an on-campus coalition today to decry an assault on a minority candidate for president of U.Va.'s Student Council. The group immediately announced plans for concrete actions against racially motivated hate crimes, as well as an awareness-raising campaign about problems surrounding race at U.Va.
In its first hours of existence, the School of Law's Committee for Progress on Race (UVA CPR) collected over 200 signatures supporting a public statement condemning hate crimes and expressing outrage at the assault yesterday on Daisy Lundy, a second-year undergraduate student running for president of U.Va.'s student council. The committee also collected over $750 from law students and faculty to add to the reward leading to the apprehension of Lundy's assailant or assailants.
"This gut-wrenching event is as shocking as it is eye-opening," said Michael Signer, the committee's coordinator and a second-year Law student. "We're forming UVA CPR not just to channel the reflexive horror we've all felt, but to provide a strong, sustained response to this breach of our common values and shared community."
Composed of over 100 law students as well as several law school administrators and faculty members, UVA CPR announced today multiple initiatives it will take to combat the threat of racial violence, including:
- A march from the School of Law to the Rotunda that will end in a candlelight vigil,
- A letter to the Commonwealth's Attorney urging him, if and when a suspect is located and charged with the assault, to prosecute it as a hate crime pursuant to Virginia's hate crimes statute, Va. Code § 18.2-57(B) (2002),
- A ribbon-wearing campaign that will allow law students to publicly denounce hate crimes,
- A published statement signed by law students and faculty condemning acts of hate, and
- A brochure to be distributed to prospective Law students describing the law school community's response to this event.
"Hate crimes are an especially ugly violation of the individual victim's rights, but they also inflict a unique injury on the community," said Anne M. Coughlin, a Law professor. "Our community must stand together and denounce this hate crime and all hate crimes. And that is exactly what we are going to do."
In addition to funding an increase in a reward, the committee is also raising money to support hate-crime awareness initiatives among Law students and to support University-wide education efforts. The Student Bar Association, the primary student government group in the School of Law, announced today that it would contribute to the committee's fund.
"As the Law School counterpart to Student Council, SBA wants to do everything in its power to express our student body's outrage and sadness at this terrible attack," SBA President Rees Morgan said. "We hope this is just seed money to help jumpstart CPR and the Law School community's response."
The committee's operations are being funded partially by the School of Law's office of student affairs.
CONTACT: CPR Coordinator Michael Signer, (703) 587-1870. Professor Anne M. Coughlin, (434) 924-3520. SBA President Rees Morgan, (434) 924-4533. CPR members are available to be interviewed in the School of Law at Hunton & Williams Hall.
Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.