Jefferson created U.Va. as a separate entity from Charlottesville. When the City proposed that the free trolley run through the University's Central Grounds, the students were livid. While the trolley is a great opportunity to allow students to get beyond Grounds and explore the Downtown Mall, the trolley is free, allowing just anyone to route directly through the heart of U.Va. Who are the ones riding for free? Why are they riding the trolley? Where are they going?
Education is one of the most important elements of our lives whether or not we realize it or want to admit it. I believe education should be available to all and ideally at no cost. The U.Va. libraries are free and open to members of the Charlottesville community. But why are they coming to the libraries? Are the community members really coming here to get educated or to do research? I know of a handful that do. Many have heard of the alleged library sexual harassment incident(s), and it would be a shame to close the libraries to the Charlottesville community and deepen the ever-present divide between Charlottesville community members and U.Va. students. Unfortunately, it only takes one person to ruin it for everybody (the greater community of Charlottesville, that is). Could we possibly have swipe access to libraries after 8 p.m.? I'm willing to gamble a relationship with Charlottesville for student safety, especially for that of women.
Libraries are a safe haven, a place of learning. Once you settle down in your favorite spot, you shouldn't have to be concerned with anything else - this means getting checked out or being the victim of inappropriate comments. Women should not have to deal with sexual harassment in libraries; we should not be thinking, "I hope no one makes an inappropriate comment, gives me a look, or I catch someone looking at my rear."
It saddens me that there are people in our society who think that it's permissible to treat women so poorly. The more reports, the better: The police will be responsive and take action. If there's no official report, it's simply hearsay among us.\n\nLauren Ulmer\nARC III