Student Council Statement on the Future

In the weeks following the Board of Visitors’ decision to reinstate President Teresa Sullivan and the reappointment of Helen Dragas, much of the controversy surrounding the Board’s decision has subsided. The University of Virginia Student Council would like to thank all of the members of the University Community that brought this to an amicable conclusion. However, we would be remiss if we did not take this opportunity to remind the University community that recent events raised serious concerns about our governance and that all UVa stakeholders need to remain attentive and assertive to ensure that nothing like this summer’s controversy ever happens again and that our University’s mission and goals gain new transparency.

Student Council thanks the Board of Visitors for rectifying its mistakes and admitting wrongdoing. We also welcome the new members of the Board and thank them for their willingness to serve our great institution. Student Council hopes that the new Board members will carefully analyze and familiarize themselves with our University’s values and traditions. It is necessary for leadership to revere these two paramount aspects of our University while making decisions. We would like to note that when our leaders lose sight of the essence of this institution, the results, as we have seen, can be disastrous.

Student Council emphasizes that a higher standard will be imposed upon the Board of Visitors than ever before. The subsidence of controversy and attention should not be equated with apathy. As students’ elected representatives, we will ensure that students stay involved in the continued conversations about our University’s future and, consequently, the value of our education. Ultimately, students are the most important stakeholders at the University of Virginia. We therefore pledge to do all that we can to ensure that our input is valued and that our interests are being respected. In the fall, Student Council will introduce legislation that works towards a set of student guidelines and expectations for leadership at this University. They will aid by serving as a metric in evaluating the University’s leadership and help to forge a lasting, amiable relationship between students and University leaders.

Our community has been presented with a unique opportunity to improve and to innovate. It is Student Council’s hope that the renewed energy and attention on our University will leave us better off than we were before. With the right action our future will be brighter than ever. It is this promise of a bright future that inspires us, as we hope it inspires all of you.

Sincerely,

UVa Student Council

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