UVA ousts for ‘honor’ only

A recent report in the Virginian-Pilot finds that UVA has not expelled a single student for anything other than infractions of the school's vaunted Honor Code in the past five years. The Pilot story, written to explore safety in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre, compares expulsions at various state universities. While UVA topped the tally with 115, tiny honor-infused VMI, with 67 expulsions, appears to have the highest rate. During the same time period James Madison had just one.

The numbers bolster fears that at UVA the notion of gentlemanly honor (lying, cheating, and stealing) still trumps more physically injurious offenses such as rape, assault, and perhaps knife-driven homicide.

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I have been saying this for the past three years on my website, www.uvavictimsofrape.com. Don't be mislead by UVA spokesperson comments that FERPA prohibits the release of statistics of SAB Boards. It is a documented fact that all students found guilty of sexual assault by a UVA Sexual Assault Board in the past seven years have remained on campus without sanction.

A student accused of rape in Atlanta (while representing the school) was an honor Trial Counsel, a member of the Lawn Selection committee, and now attends Law School.

UVA Campus Police continue to provide local prosecutors with sloppy investigations - their goal seems to be to reduce all rape incident reports into an "administrative matters". Even when the incident reports are proven to be false and misleading, the campus police consider the matter closed, leaving the victims with no alternative.

Various staff members, in particular, Sexual Assault Coordinator Kaplan, VP Lampkin, and President Casteen refuse to address this issue head-on. They turn a blind eye to victims, and define sexual assault as "conscensual but regrettable". Never once did I hear these people say "This will not happen on my watch - on my campus". President Casteen has never met with sexual assault survivors, though they have tried to meet with him. His actions show just how much he cares about these young crime victims.

How to solve this problem? Letters, protests, and media coverage may shame the school into some crumb of action. Parents group should demand answers. And victims of crime should not allow the school to continue to shame them into silence.

Single sanction all the way. It's a black and white issue with no Clintonesque waffling. VMI Class of 1982.

The students continue to debate the definition of "honor" as it applies to the single sanction. Integrity is non-negotiable. That is Honor.

UVA plays semantics with the honor code, what I liken to dancing around the mulberry bush.

All intr-university politics aside, honor is honor. Stealing means simplyu that. And cheating is an abomination that ultimately hurts the perpetrator the most.

To rape a woman is to be guilty of dishonorable conduct. Result? Pack your bags and get your ass elsewhere.

Steal a pack of gum from the local supermarket or waltz out of LittleJohns without paying? Pack your bags and get the hell out.

Crib a term paper, scope another student's exams or hire someone to do your academic work on your behalf? Pack your damn bags and get out. We have no place for you here.

These are straigthforward sanctions. By God, enforce them.

Ah, but a $3 billion capital campaign and all the good-vibrations politics that must come with maintaining a sterling image, well, we can evidently make exceptions for that.

There's a word for human beings who compromise such values for the sake of money and do it all with impunity and a stifling air of cynicism.

And they are called whores.

I am ashamed of UVA more often that not. I will not help build their stadiums and academic facilities or their yeloow brick roads, nor will I pay for scholarships to lure potential victims to grounds -- not until they shape up, get their heads out of their collective asses -- where they evidently enjoy the view -- and start living by the words and deeds of the man who founded the damn school.

Until then, it is a farce highly ranked in the pages of glossy news magazines whose staff do not have the balls to seek out the essence and truth of just what they are writing about.

Yes.

And that's that.

UVA has the highest number of expulsions in the state, and "U.Va.'s total is among the country's highest" (quote from the Pilot story) yet this article criticizes the University of Virginia for being too lenient? Where's the outrage against the hundreds of other colleges and universities that don't punish anyone??

Thankfully, UVA does not expel students suspected of crimes (see Duke Lacrosse case). And if the City of Charlottesville Police fails to convict anyone of sexual assault/property crimes, then your problem lies with the police department.

UVA has not expelled anyone found guilty of sexual assault by the University Sexual Assault Board (an extension or their student judicial system) in the past 7 years. Not the same as Duke.

The City of Charlottesville does not have jurisdiction over Faulkner Dorms. UVA Campus Police do - and there's the problem. UVA refuses to allow the local police to investigate these crimes - and that stance requires explanation.

One Sunday morning, while my car was parked in the Hench Dorm parking lot, a car backed into my van and put an $1800 dent in my fender. The car that hit my van was still in the lot; the occupants were emptying the car trunk of boxes for their son.

The car that hit my van did damage to their bumper and rear tailight - as a matter of fact, the tailight was laying on the ground under my van. I picked it up and questioned the student and his parents if they hit my van - they shook their heads and said no, obviously lying since the evidence was in my hands. I called UVA Campus Police and they responded. When the Police Officer assessed what had occurred, she walked over to the student and his parents, who were still hanging in the parking lot, and asked them if they hit my car. They shook their heads and said no. The Police Officer wrote up the incident as a hit and run, even though it was obvious they had hit my car, then lied to her about it.

What did the young student learn? He learned that the honor Code was just a bunch of words, that you can lie and get away with it. Several months later there was a shooting in that student's apartment. I was not surprised.

It's not just felony crimes that are a problem on campus - it's all levels of crime. When you review the UVA crime log, the new buzz phrase is "suspicious circumstance in XX Dorm". That phrase refers to stealing, assault, rape, and more. UVA has figured out how to be compliant with the Clery Act yet continue to mask the type of crime students experience on campus to keep benefactors happy. Is anyone surprised??