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In early February, Charlottesville City Council discussed a report of data from 2014 through 2016 that highlights the disparities that exist between black and white residents in the Charlottesville and Albemarle County criminal justice systems. These disparities have been blatantly apparent for generations and have yet to be fully addressed.
Over the past couple weeks, the Honor Committee has met to discuss a proposed bylaw concerning Title IX cases and their investigations, which are cases regarding sexual and gender-based harassment and violence. There is no clear majority opinion within the Committee for several reasons — the most important of which is the lack of expertise and resources that Honor has to hear cases of this magnitude. Despite this agreement within the committee, the bylaw has not yet been rejected by Honor representatives. As the possibility of a change is discussed this week, it has become clear that Honor should not hear these cases. Rather, the Title IX office should step up its game so that Honor does not need to absorb this heavy responsibility. If not, many of these students will be failed twice — first by Title IX and then again by Honor if a decision is made to hear their case.
Only two days after The Cavalier Daily published that CollegeNet had ranked the University within the bottom 15 percent of American colleges and universities for social mobility, President Jim Ryan unveiled his “Inclusive Excellence” framework as a part of his 2030 plan. IE programs are not unique to the University — they have been integrated into many post-secondary education programs across the country since 2005. Although the program is intended “to facilitate collaboration between the Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and other offices and organizations across the University,” it does not seem to propose any particular means of pursuing this goal or what kinds of diversity will be prioritized.
University Police Department Chief Tommye Sutton was placed on administrative paid leave in September, only to resign two weeks later. Shortly after, Gloria Graham, associate vice president of safety and security, resigned. The University subsequently failed to provide reasons for both resignations and disciplinary action.
The Board of Visitors approved a 3.6 percent tuition hike last month which will affect students entering and continuing studies next fall in the School of Architecture, College of Arts & Sciences, the McIntire School of Commerce and the Curry School of Education and Human Development. Students entering the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Nursing next fall will be charged between $1,000 and $2,000 more than students who are already enrolled in these schools following several financial plans approved by the Board in December 2017.
Since the start of Donald Trump’s presidency, the number of international students studying at American universities has dropped precipitously. In the 2018-19 academic year, the number of international students declined by 0.9 percent, which “was smaller than declines of 6.6 and 3.3 percent reported the two years prior.” Though there could be a number of reasons for this decline, the Trump administration's restrictive visa policies as well as negative perceptions of the United States’ political environment, have certainly contributed to the problem.
Following a Board of Visitors meeting in September about sustainability and infrastructure around Grounds, The Cavalier Daily reported that the University is nearly six years ahead of schedule in its initial plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent. Coupled with U.Va. diverting “6,500 tons from landfills by recycling 44 percent of its waste,” it appears as if the University is a poster child for sustainability. But, after digging further into the fate of these recycled materials after they leave Grounds, it is questionable whether the University is actually reducing its carbon footprint to the extent that they claim.
Last week’s general election was historic as Democrats swept state and local races across the Commonwealth, regaining control of the General Assembly for the first time in almost 20 years. Now entrusted with a clear mandate, these newly elected policymakers are tasked with upholding the very campaign promises that paved the way for their victories. Given that students represent an increasingly important constituency across the Commonwealth, elected officials must focus on the issues that disproportionately affect them.
As a part of The Cavalier Daily’s 130 year anniversary, we are republishing articles from our archives. This article originally ran in The Cavalier Daily March 23, 1979.
The College of Arts & Sciences faculty approved the adoption of the New College Curriculum on Friday, a decision that will completely transform the College’s general education model. Whereas students could formerly choose between the Traditional Curriculum, the Forums Curriculum and the New College Curriculum, students will no longer have a choice, as all students will automatically be required to take the latter. Composed of three main parts — Engagements, Literacies and the Disciplines — this New College Curriculum allegedly aims at providing a “innovative, comprehensive and interdisciplinary general education.” While it is concerning to us that the implementation of this program may be costly, we are skeptical that the New College Curriculum offers a dedicated commitment to intellectual excellence that is worth pursuing.
President Jim Ryan announced last week that he revised his living wage plan to raise the minimum wage for full-time contracted employees to $15 an hour. Previously, the starting wage for contracted employees was $10.65 per hour, making the new minimum a significant increase. This new wage floor is an extension of an earlier plan in which Ryan applied a $15 minimum wage to University employees. The addition of contracted employees to this plan is a very important step for the University, as it will bring better wages to over 800 employees. Ryan’s dedication to the living wage issue demonstrates his continued commitment to the University’s workers.
According to the Office of the President, the Board of Visitors is the University’s “highest oversight body.” Considering 17 of the 19 Board members are appointed by the governor, it is no surprise that appointees are often wealthy political donors with little, if any, experience in higher education. Additionally, this politically appointed board has sole authority in appointing one student and one faculty member to serve non-voting, advisory roles each year. Given the immense decision-making power of the Board, it is essential that the student and faculty advisory members be given a vote to tilt the balance of power back toward the community the Board should be serving.
In light of the recent reporting that uncovered the aggressive debt collection tactics employed by the U.Va. Health System, the University has announced changes it will be making to the billing process. These reforms include revised financial assistance guidelines which will allow more low-income patients to get partial or complete relief from their medical debt. However, the University stopped short of ceasing all lawsuits against indebted patients, citing legal obstacles. It instead opted to institute a threshold that limits lawsuits to only debts above $1,000 and against patients who earn at least 400 percent above the federal poverty line. We praise the University’s quick adoption of new policies to redress the problematic practices of the hospital, but we also urge the administration to work diligently to end all debt collection lawsuits.
Following recent reporting about the University’s use of a “watch list,” which aids well-connected students with their applications during the admissions cycle, the Student Council Executive Board issued a firm statement condemning the practice.
In the spring of 2016, a referendum to allow the use of a multi-sanction system in Honor trials was 2 percent shy of reaching the 60 percent threshold for passing. This close vote gave momentum to representatives who wished to craft new sanctioning policies to replace single sanction. Much of this research took place in the Alternative Sanction Working Group, a committee within Honor that considered potential replacement options for the current single sanction policy. In 2018, some in the Honor Committee floated the idea of creating a non-binding poll with potential options for a multi-sanction system to be voted on during student elections.
President Jim Ryan’s 10-year strategic plan includes a proposal to require all first- and second-year students to live on Grounds. This initiative intends to “establish a series of residential communities … and provide ways for third- and fourth-year students to stay connected to their residential communities.” While this plan could lead to a much needed increase in on-Grounds housing, the difficulties associated with its implementation outweigh the perceived benefits.
The affordable housing crisis in Charlottesville is demonstrative of a serious contradiction among liberal cities in America, whose officials always pay lip service to racial equity but hardly ever deliver. In Charlottesville, exclusionary zoning laws, density requirements, unaffordability and irresponsible economic planning have made it nearly impossible for middle class and low-income residents to find affordable housing. While many may defend existing laws as necessary to preserve the character of particular neighborhoods within the city, a deeper dive into the history of these ordinances reveals the racialized nature of Charlottesville’s housing market that continues to segregate the community.
A man opens his fridge, takes out a beer and starts to drink it. He then walks across the street, sipping his beer along the way, to talk to his neighbor about the upcoming football game against Florida State. Under current Virginia law, this man is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor, and if convicted of the offense, he could be fined up to $250.
Over the summer, Vice President for Administration Taylor Overton resigned from his position due to personal issues. Aug. 27, Student Council President Ellie Brasacchio nominated former Chief of Cabinet Ellen Yates who was later confirmed by the representative body to the role. A similar incident occurred in 2018, when Sydney Bradley resigned as VPA and former Student Council President Alex Cintron nominated Overton to take her place.
Almost 200 cases of potentially vaping-related illnesses have been reported, many involving teens and young adults, The Washington Post reported Saturday. One of the victims, 20-year-old Alexander Mitchell, is in critical condition, requiring two machines to pump air in and out of his lungs and oxygenate his blood outside of his body. Mitchell lived an otherwise healthy lifestyle and was described as a hiking enthusiast.