Dear UVA Colleagues and Students:
I write this morning following a week marred by distressing events, from the horrific acts of terror in Paris last night to recent acts of bigotry, whether they were committed in Missouri or elsewhere. We begin this weekend as many members of our community here in Charlottesville and around the world are angry, fearful, and confused in reaction to these acts that have shaken confidence in our most fundamental value of human respect.
All of us are deeply disturbed and saddened by the violent acts of terrorism that occurred in France just hours ago. We are reaching out to our students from France to offer help and support. And we have confirmed the safety of all UVA students registered for study in France this fall, as well as five students in UVA programs in other countries who happened to travel to Paris for the weekend. We are also communicating with the staff of our study-abroad program in Lyon and monitoring updates from Paris institutions where UVA students are involved.
Acts of hatred and violence can cause distress and anxiety even for those who are not directly affected. Remember that support is available through UVA Counseling and Psychological Services (434-972-7004; http://www.virginia.edu/studenthealth/caps.html).
Today and in the difficult days ahead, we will hold our French students and their families and friends in our thoughts and prayers. We are aware that terrorist attacks have occurred recently in other parts of the world, along with other forms of violence, bigotry, and suffering in our own nation. We condemn intentional violence against the innocent, and we stand together to oppose any attack on the values and basic human rights that bind us together as people. In this distressing hour, let's come together with a renewed commitment to respect and care for one another as we know we should.
Teresa A. Sullivan