I am writing in response to Emily Churchill's Feb. 29 column, "Fairy-tale Charlottesville." As much as I appreciate the flowery fair-words from a "first-year," I have just a few objections to her fervent fairy-tale fantasy. To put it simply, the University is a diverse place. The pretty scenery and abundance of students wearing designer clothing may be important factors which draw some students to our University, but as a second-year graduate student I care much more about the large number of professors here who are both renowned researchers and wonderful educators. As safe as parts of Charlottesville usually are - I usually see a "Crime Prevention" vehicle outside my neighborhood at night - it is misleading to say that "it appears completely safe to walk around Grounds alone, late at night." There are certain areas around the University, especially around the Corner, which at certain times can be very dangerous if you are not careful. Crime logs are important resources to check before entering any community regardless of how safe it looks.
I will not even get into the disparaging remarks Ms. Churchill makes about my undergraduate university Virginia Commonwealth University, and what she seems to suggest about members of the Richmond community. I will only say that stealing is wrong no matter how well-versed students are in the honor code. And opening a lost backpack just might help you identify the owner and get it back to them sooner than otherwise.
Richmond, as well as Charlottesville, has a lot to offer in terms of arts, music and culture. It is up to students to go out and find it. Being able to discern what is of value in a particular area and being able to deal with unfamiliar circumstances sometimes are important life-skills which students even at the University can acquire. Your bubble is only as small as you make it.
Peter Moody\nGSAS II