A second-year international student at the University filed a report with the University Police Department Tuesday night claiming that eggs were thrown at her and a friend near the Aquatic & Fitness Center. UPD is currently investigating the incident.
In an email sent to University President Jim Ryan, the student said two eggs were thrown out of a car window, neither of which hit the students — both of whom are Chinese.
The student wrote in their email to Ryan that they “highly doubted this attack was due to racism against Asian students or specifically targeting Chinese student[s] due to coronavirus.”
“We hope you pay serious attention to this case and in some way prevent any means of future occurrences of cases like this,” the email read. “We are worried about other Asian students’ safety on Grounds.”
The Asian Student Union issued a statement on Facebook Wednesday afternoon in response, calling the attempted assault “deeply disturbing to Asian students.”
“Although we cannot be absolutely certain that this incident was a targeted racial attack, the circumstances are too unusual for it to be dismissed as a coincidence,” the statement read. “This attempted assault is deeply disturbing to Asian students at U.Va. and warrants serious action by the University.”
The Office of the Dean of Students and the Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights have reached out to the impacted students to offer support, according to Wes Hester, director of media relations and deputy University spokesperson.
Student Council’s Executive Board strongly condemned the incident as “racist” and “xenophobic” in a statement Thursday night.
“We recognize that the University and world are entering a confusing time and that many are concerned about their well-being and the well-being of their loved ones,” the statement said. “However, we must emphasize that now, more than ever, is the time to care and look out for our fellow community members, particularly our community’s most marginalized groups.”
Student Council encourages students to report incidents of bias through the University’s anonymous Just Report It system. According to the Centers for Disease Control, race and ethnicity do not play a factor in contracting or spreading coronavirus.
This article has been updated to include Student Council's statement.