I, like so many of you, am horrified by what occurred in Virginia over the weekend. Today, I join with millions of others to condemn the reprehensible acts of the racist groups that brought violence and mayhem to Charlottesville and to the University of Virginia campus.
We must now come together to oppose what are dangerous threats to the values we hold dear as a democracy and as a nation. Our shared belief in reason, diversity, equity and inclusion is what animates and supports our campus community and the university’s academic mission. Now, more than ever, those values are under assault; together we must rise to their defense.
Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Heather Heyer, whose life was senselessly and cruelly cut short by an act of unimaginable hatred. We also send our sincerest condolences to the loved ones of the two state troopers, Pilot Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, who also died Saturday, when their helicopter crashed en route to the scene of the violence.
On behalf of our campus community, I send wishes for a speedy recovery to those who were physically injured in the mayhem. I also send a message of support and unity to the members of the campus and civic communities who have been deeply shaken and traumatized by these events, and must now begin the difficult process of healing and recovery.
As many of you already know, planning is now underway for potentially controversial events on our campus this fall. Paired with our commitment to the First Amendment is an equally firm commitment to the safety of the members of our campus community and their guests. We believe deeply in the value and importance of non-violence, and we will make every effort to deter, remove, or apprehend those who seek to cause harm to others, as well as to provide the resources, support and guidance that can help make events on our campus safe and successful.