Love case prompts policy change at UVA

news-lacrossedeathIn the wake of the slaying of lacrosse player Yeardley Love, UVA students will now be required to actively report any arrests or convictions at registration, new UVA president Teresa Sullivan explained in an August 5 press conference.

According to UVA spokesperson Carol Wood, a requirement to report any such offenses has existed since 2004; the change in the policy means that a student must give a yes or no answer to the question. A lie would be a direct violation of the school's single sanction honor code, punishable by expulsion.

UVA athletes continue to be required to report any arrest to their coaches within 24 hours, according to Wood. As has been widely reported, prior to Love's slaying, Huguely had been arrested near Lexington after an altercation with a female police officer. Lacrosse coach Dom Starsia has said he was not made aware of that arrest.

August 10, 2:47pm: This story has been expanded upon to clarify the history of the UVA's crime reporting policy. Original headline: Love case prompts new policy at UVA


Old timer what did the coach do that was the proximate cause of this murder?- Two guys have a fight and the coach should have known he was a killer? Even if Huguely wasn't on the team the result might have been exactly the same. You nor anyone else can proof any differently. Getting arrested in Lexington seemed to make no difference. I don't think anyone believes that his prior arrest caused the murder- so really what is your point?

Why can't anyone accept that Huguely is at 99% of the fault here. There will never be a perfect system- by the logic here we should take away anyone's licence for a first offense- it would certainly make the roads safer.

Does anyone here really think that if Huguely hadn't been arrested in Lexington that would have made any difference? I wait for the folks building their zero tolerance world to go after the schools, parents and friends of those poorer murders amongst us.

Haven't public schools failed us all when one of it's dropouts commit a crime? Should we not take Charlottesville to task for readmitting students who were involved in fights back into to school. Let' have a a one and done FOREVER policy involving any violence in any public school in the country. It's better to make an example of the violators then to take the slightest chance with the safety of our children.

There is no doubt that the harsher and less tolerant we become of even a minor transgression the safer we can make it for those who follow the rules. Let's start by doing the same for all those who violate our immigration laws- better safe than sorry. Isn't that what we want our country and legal system to be about.

redemption and mercy is for sissies.

admiral halsey says:
"What if Starsia had dismissed the killer when he got in a fight?
Unfortunately Yardley would probably still be dead. Blaming the coach for the evil of another is wrong, lazy , and evil"

I say...

"What if Starsia had dismissed the killer when he got in a fight?

Then just maybe the guy for the first time in his pampered life would have found out that actions have consequences and thought twice before he smashed this poor girls head against a wall.

The coach should quietly retire and disappear for lack of judgement. HP just fired a ceo for going out to dinner with a bimbo. Actions have consequneces and inactions should also.

... and get his smiling mug off the header and replace it with the mugshot that shows who this guy really is.

Old timer- why just the coach- what about his parents, friends, UVa professors? Aren't they in some cases more responsible then a single athletic coach?

You still haven't answered what would have happen if he had been kicked off the team? Do you really think that could have prevent the murder? Based on what?

You are blaming the wrong person and leaving others more responsible a free pass. I really think that's sad to blame one athletic's coach as the only person who should have "seen" it coming.

@Bloom - understanding your feelings about Ken and his statements, but I THINK he wants to make sure anyone reading with a similar issue will take actions that Yeardley did not ie: recognize a potentially toxic situation and seek the help needed...however, as in my above post, I don't think the help needed with GH would have been legal...he desparately needed a taste of what he was dishing out on a grand scale and contacting police, filing charges, etc. would have only fueled the was obvious from the lack of actions from other people (friends, family, classmates, coaches, faculty, staff) they just did not see him as the threat he was. In closing, let's just stop blaming (except for GH) and roll forward.

Sticking my two cents in here...All of us would like to feel the world (town, city, state) we live in is safe and we KNOW who all the bad guys are ... We would like to feel we can send our children to college and feel safe about their well being while on campus...unfortunately, this will never be the case entirely. We can, however, know that the people that represent the University from faculty and staff to students are doing so in an honorable manner. So a background check would not be out of the question. We can at least KNOW beforehand if the person has issues and deal with them in a proactive manner. Any company is going to run that background check on them when they get out in the "real world" so let's just get them used to it now. On the flip side, I do believe that people can and do change. If they have paid their price to society, then let the "experts" decide if they will offend again and proceed accordingly. I certainly don't want to be the one to make a judgement that would affect someone for a lifetime for something that was done when they were 16. Let's face it, NONE and I do mean NONE of us are squeaky clean...

S Jones, I'm confused. Are you claiming that all pre-August 10th comments are reasonable and on-target, but that the August 10th comments up through mine at 11:21 AM comprise a circus?

Seems like a circus was inevitable once this blurb was published!

@manbearpig...good points..but society wants two things 1. accountiblity 2. a rule (law) in place to make sure this NEVER happens again (we both know that's a pipe dream, but what the hey, we like to FEEL safe). So how do we find a middle ground? I have my ideas but would love to hear others.

Maybe if...
Then maybe...
Blah blah blah. The problems didn't lie in the system they laid in Huguely. Why did no one step in to 'help' George? He was in legal trouble a couple of times before, many of them alcohol triggered, and he obviously had anger issues (which his father obviously witnessed when he he got into a fight with him and jumped off their boat in Florida). Yet no one stepped in to talk to him and get him help? If they had been concerned about him and tried to genuinely solve his issues this would have never happened. He would have been a happier, more normal adult.

Well Bloom, I guess after reading all the news reports I would say that she was largely responsible for her own murder.

Since the murder of Love, every time I go to have any service in the UVA Health System one of the questions I am asked when the nurse does my pre-evaluation is: "do you feel safe in your home?" or something like that. Sometimes I think this is intrusive, but I can understand why a medical professional at UVA might ask such a question.

Maybe trying to see if students felt safe, and setting up mechanisms to assure that they are safe, would be a better way to approach the situation than another rule about declaration of criminal activity when there is already a rule in place that requires a person to state previous criminal activity.

And, monitoring past and repeated offenders is what trained law enforcement personnel and the justice system are for, not University Administrators.

Because this prevents violence and future infractions how?

some people will complain if uva takes no action. some people will complain if uva takes action. some people will complain to complain.

There's some real, prospective utility to this policy.

But it is also part of larger pattern of administrators usurping student-held authority (e.g., the honor code, the judiciary committee) to try to manage the behavior of adults. There's nothing new about this; it's been a increasing trend since the late 1950s. But it's worrisome all the same.

But to whom must the student disclose her/his arrest and convictions?

Who makes the decision whether a student should be suspended or expelled? How do they make that decision? Is there any liability incurred to UVa if a student makes them aware of a arrest or conviction that should make a reasonable person worry, and that student commits another related offense?

How does the University record this information? Is this FERPA material?

Are Americans no longer innocent until proven guilty? Why then make students disclose arrests?

"Can U.Va. get someone with a real academic background to be president, please?"

Right on! Perhaps they can find somebody who's spent their entire career in academia, say...somebody who spent 27 years at the University of Texas, including four years as chief academic officer for the Texas system's nine campuses, then spent about five years as provost at the University of Michigan. If only there were such a person out there - she'd be just about perfect for the job!

I suggest incomming freshmen as well as returning students be reminded regularly that their personal safety is mostly their own responsibility.
Safety reminders may seem boring but they have proven to decrease accident/incident rates.
Hugely was nothing but a hazard that miss Love did not recognize.
Mandatory attendance at personal safety forums as a requirement at the university could help remind naive students of the dangers of this world.

Why are athletes required to notify coaches of arrests?

"University officials said Huguely likely would have been suspended or expelled had they known of the arrest. Huguely was required to report it to the university under a 2004 U-Va. rule, stated in the student handbook, which requires students to report any arrest or conviction. Huguely never did."

If they are already required to tell the U, why make another rule that they wouldn't follow? If they are following the rule why require an athlete to tell someone else??

Correction - The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior

If an employer can ask job applicants about any criminal record its not unreasonable that a college admissions office be allowed to do the same.
But there are some problems. What about juvenile records? Aren't those sealed and confidential?
And is the University going to run criminal background checks on all its applicants? That would be the only way to be sure the information they are giving is correct? And the same with asking at registration. If a student got involved in some barroom fracas in say Casper, Wyoming over the summer, he or she might feel perfectly safe in not disclosing it, knowing that the University would not be checking. Admittedly would be more difficult to conceal if it happened in Charlottesville as the University could make arrangements with local LE to be informed of any student arrest.
Other potential problems, like if a student was arrested at some political protest and the University decided it didn't want to allow an "agitator" to enroll. That might not be an issue now- but it would have been in the old days of the conservative coat and tie "old U" where protesting anything was seen as "ungentlemanly conduct."
I have a feeling this policy is going to receive considerable inspection from legal scholars.

@ just sayin'

But we're not referring to just any "convicted criminal" . . . these are young men and women who have met the requirements to attend UVA! One would hope that these students and their parents are of the very highest calibre--or so we've all been told.

maybe if the Coach had kicked him off the team he would have found out for once in his life that actions have consequences.

Better to have learned it then rather than the present circumsstances.

And I think the parents should live in shame for the rest of their lives too. They are most certainly culpable, as is every other person who let this kid slide.

and that picture on the header is insulting to the love family.

It is called deter boys and girls(not sure on that spelling but I do know its meaning....Think about it...if someone knows you have done something in the past you may be less likely to do it in the future.Reason,,,they know where to look for the culprit because they have a record of you stealing that snickers,,,,

if UVA is serious about its Honor code, and its more than just a Jefferson relic, then kids should be required as part of this code to share that info. it must be kept confidential, have no role in admission and if the conviction has been expunged, it should not have to be disclosed.

What is the policy if the student does have a previous arrest or conviction?

Well, if I'd only read the washington post article:

"University officials said Huguely likely would have been suspended or expelled had they known of the arrest."

Good idea for studennts, faculty, administration, and all other UVA employees. Already required for hospital staff. Any prior convictions should be factor in admissions, hiring, and retention. After all, the best predictor of futher behavior is past behavior.

@chouva, the Honor System applies to lying, stealing, and cheating. It does not apply to violent or other criminal behavior. There is a separate Judiciary System that is supposed to take care of non-honor offenses. Now, if students lie about having been arrested or convicted of a crime, that would be an honor offense, and they could be expelled.

I agree that administrators have been gradually usurping UVA's student-run disciplinary systems, but from where I sit, 25 years after graduating, it seems to me that students don't take the Honor Code as seriously as they used to. At the same time, athletics are being given way too much prominence, and athletes are cut too much slack. It's sad.

Jenny, that question is supposed to be asked to every patient before the Love case. At least in the Emergency Department.

clearly you've never looked at the requirements to receive a chp in the state of va and clearly you don't understand that "weapons" is a term that contains more then just guns. Thanks for playing though.

Why has Starsia not been fired / forced to resign? If UVA is to make an actual philosophy change and move forward after the incident, Starsia must go. He resided over a culture within the lacrosse team that pushed aside the misgivings of his team as long as the wins kept coming. It seems a good opportunity for Sullivan to step in and assert real control over the University.

It was extremely depressing to see the combined reaction of Starsia and Littlepage to the Love situation. I will forever disagree with the decision to allow the men's lacrosse team to continue their season. For the athletics department to fully move forward with change beyond students stating their criminal backgrounds, these two men should be removed from the institution.


"Without a doubt, this is against state and federal law, and goes against the principle of due process."

It most certainly does not. All kinds of jobs, Federal or otherwise, require you to disclose this type of information.

taxpayers absolutely have a right to know where there tax money is going, and to require a safe environment for those attending state institutions.

What really hope will come out of this though is heightened awareness of the abuse and violence in our society, and how our daughters can avoid being the victims. This is no different that the Harrington case, in that regard. At least here it sounds like the University is taking steps on that account, where the Harrington followers seem bent on brushing it under the table.

Bloom I think you missed my point and are getting just a little too excited when making yours.

Seems I have an imposter. Though I do have to agree with his argument. The fact that federal and other jobs require criminal records is because they have a legitimate interest in not hiring those people. Unless the school is going to say that they're not going to allow individuals with criminal records to come back, then they don't have an interest in the criminal records. What are they going to do? Force each student to have counseling? This plan reads like this:

1. UVA students submit criminal records
2. ???

Wait, wasn't there a movie about this? Oh wait, Minority Report.

It certainly would have been nice for a precog to "see" YL's murder when GH was tazed in Lynchburg and alert a Precrime officer to then arrest GH back in 2008 for murder. It's clear that UVa now has this advanced and prescient technology--in the form of a rule for students to self-report arrests and convictions.

The UVa honor code is dead. Yes, it used to be something - and it should be something - but the honor code is abused by students daily - sadly it is a relic of the past. We can debate as to why this is so - but as to IF the honor code works - I can say with total certainly it does not.

"An individuals personal safety is largely their own responsibility."

No Jamme, I just don't like you blaming Love for her own murder.

The murder was at the hands of hugely.

Hugley becoming a murdering animal is at the hands of those who raised him (or obviously didn't) and the fact remains that one of his "boys" bashed a girls skull in and the signe were there.

The question the Coach needs to ask himself is if he sees the same traits in another one of his players will he speak up or not.

If he says that he would speak up then that means that he missed something the first times and should step aside out of shame.

If he says no then he should be fired for incompetence.

Either way he should move on.

@Jamme: "Well Bloom, I guess after reading all the news reports I would say that she was largely responsible for her own murder."

That's loathsome.

I don't mean to sound harsh, just realistic. I have a 19 year old daughter and it breaks my heart every time I hear about abuse of a young woman.
I thought long and hard before I made any comments about this case. Love was a beautiful flower of a young woman and she trusted too much. She had the forgiving and caring nature that so many people have lost. I just wish she could have found a way to erase this monster from her life.

Bloom, you can't face reality

This young woman was choked by the beast at a public gathering and took no action legal or otherwise to have him reigned in.

@Hollowboy, good points! Glad to see someone bringing things into a real prospective.

@Ken Jamme - while I understand your point, unless you have worked with battered spouses, girlfriends, etc. I think it's hard to see that side of it. Actually pressing charges and taking legal action would probably not have "reigned him in" either...just made him angrier. This young woman needed help that I'm not sure was available, much less legal. GH needed a taste of his own abuse.

Such a tragedy. I doubt that UVA would have suspended Hugely as a "star" athlete in a varsity sport at UVA. This was a train wreck just waiting to happen. Somebody (his family perhaps?) must have known of his substance abuse and volatile nature. Was no one around before he went to her apartment? Who had he been drinking with? His coach had no idea? Speak up, people, if you know of similar situations. Let's not look in the rear view mirror to remind ourselves what "should" have been. She could of, should have, would have been saved this tragic death had people just said "Enough, George!!"

Full disclosure for the faculty too?

Who has and has not done this and that?--could liven-up the cubicle farms a bit.

Jack M - good questions....wonder if that will be reactive too.

Students are required to report arrests as juveniles or arrests that did not lead to conviction? And GH V would have been suspended or expelled for public drunkedness and resisting arrest?

Can U.Va. get someone with a real academic background to be president, please?

I do not agree with this. It is a misuse of the 'HONOR' system. This will not prevent violence, it will only intrude on individual privacy.

so reactive....

K, yea, let's turn the UVA campus into the Wild West. Many students do not have the training, the maturity or the common sense to be packing heat on campus. And if one student starts shooting, then others follow not knowing who the original shooter was. I can only see bloodshed and chaos from your proposal.

how about allowing students to be armed to protect themselves?

kids on campus with guns, what a brilliant idea. booze, girls, frats, fights .... and guns. brilliant.

Those who have nothing to hide shouldn't mind answering the question. If you want your history hidden for some reason, then attend a different school. I'm glad for the new policy.

Well I'd lie. And unless I killed someone UVA would never know.

I think you'll find that a person's word means a lot in this ole world; and to those who don't learn that lesson, life has a way of tripping them up eventually.

UVa must be in need of another lawsuit. Without a doubt, this is against state and federal law, and goes against the principle of due process. If they want to do their own background checks they may, but to have to disclose information that may affect some other part of your education/opportunities at this or any other stop in your future is ludicrous. I feel sorry for all of the victims of crime on grounds or anywhere else, but this is still America. Or have we lost all control of the moral high ground that this country and it's founders once represented.

On a second note, don't take that last post as I am in favor of a slap on the hand for GH...he needs to spend some time getting to know himself and what his issues are, so a stiff sentence would be in order. Sooooo... we will see how this case is handled and how close the judge in question and the defense attorney are by the outcome....I know that I, for one, will be watching this case VERY closely.

Anonymous, what did Starsia do wrong? You are simply a reactionary look for a scapegoat. The Coach isn't it.

What if Starsia had dismissed the killer when he got in a fight?
Unfortunately Yardley would probably still be dead. Blaming the coach for the evil of another is wrong, lazy , and evil

@very old timer...I agree with the mugshot thing...let us see who this guy really is...not his photo op with his lacrosse uniform on, still seeming representing UVA...

Jake, violation of federal, state or local laws is one of the standards of conduct, and violators can be brought before UJC. The university thus has a vested interest in students' records, both in Charlottesville and outside. Though normally cases are heard after the criminal cases are settled.

JJ I apologize for the confusion- I don't truly mean for zero tolerance in schools -just pointing out how absurd people who try a blame this senseless murder on Starsia are being. Reduction to the absurd should have come with a warning label.

The blame belongs with Hugley.

"Haven’t public schools failed us all when one of it’s dropouts commit a crime? Should we not take Charlottesville to task for readmitting students who were involved in fights back into to school. Let’ have a a one and done FOREVER policy involving any violence in any public school in the country."

So a 14 year old kid gets in a shovin match in the Gym locker room and he could potentially be expelled FOREVER from Cville public schools?

I got in a fight in 5th grade, should I have been permenantly expelled?

So violation of this policy will be an honor offense. Hold it. I thought the students ran the Honor System(which admittedly has problems nowadays) not the administration. That the Honor Committee had the full and final say as to whether an offense merited expulsion.
I remember years ago when a UVa student was arrested for shoplifting and a dean saw his name in the paper. The dean got him hauled up by the Honor Committee and convicted. The student raised a big ruckus over being expelled for something that happened off Grounds. Not sure what happened but he got to stay in school after a new trial. Doubtless he threatened a lawsuit and the University did not want to be bothered.
What if a student refused to answer the question on the grounds that what he or she did away from UVa was none of their business?
Asking applicants whether they have been arrsted or convicted is one thing. Asking someone who is enrolled and is registering seems like another entirely.
Criminal convictions are a matter of public record. Maybe if the University wants this information it should just run a criminal background check. Then it wouldnt have to worry whether people were telling the truth or not.
And what happens if a student is charged and the Honor Committee decides the offense is not serious enough to merit expulsion? After all they have for years considered lying about your age to buy alcohol not to be an honor offense. They might decide not telling the University about an arrest for something that didn;t occur in Charlottesville to be on the same level.

There are many questions that come to mind about this new policy, which will certainly be worked through in the future. One thing I don't think anyone has asked is even if a student does report that he or she has been arrested or convicted of a crime, does it really matter? Is there a policy that UVa students must be expelled for being arrested for a crime?

I mean, a student could be arrested for wreckless driving, but does that mean that student should be expelled? Even public drunkeness (for which GH was arrested) is a pretty minor offense (legally). Once you're convicted of a serious enough crime and you're off to the big house, the whole expulsion thing is moot.

I suppose if marking arrests/convictions on one's record without much consequence to that person makes us feel safer, I guess it's not the worst thing.

I hope Jamme is ignorant of the meaning of "largely," an adjective he's used twice here.

If not, he's saying that Love is more responsible for her murder than Hughley is. That's falls in company with sentiments like "she deserved it" that are maybe tolerable in tribal areas of Somalia but warrant total rebuke here.

I got arrested a week before entering UVa for my first semester.

I had to go see one of the Deans but was already aware that since it happened before I was officially a student and far away from Cville they culdn't do anything about it. I just sat there and listened to some clueless lady lecture me about something she knew nothing about nor could possibly understand, then I was on my way. I wonder if this new policy would have changed my situation.

As an aside, I never got in any trouble at UVa.

He said, "Kid, we only got one question ...

Have ya ever been arrested?"

And I proceeded to tell him ...

And we would trust a convicted criminal to be honest about their prior record because...they're such upstanding citizens?

An individuals personal safety is largely their own responsibility.

"An individuals personal safety is largely their own responsibility."

Then why incarcerate violent predators rather than, say, impose fines on them? Answer: because members of a society (=individuals aggregated) have an shared interest in locking up persons with known histories of violence. No amount of "personal responsibility" is more efficient.

Old timer - so if the coach had done exactly what you wanted the chance of preventing the murder only gets a "maybe" from you-( I think it probably wouldn't have made a difference but there is no way of ever knowing) sorry you don't get to slander a good man and great coach for only a tepid maybe- Starsia is not the issue here and it's really wrong of you to ever have insisted otherwise.

As for the Huguely's parents everlasting and enduring shame- I think that is a given.