STUDENT COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY PASSES RESOLUTION ASKING STATE GOVERNMENT TO VOTE DOWN DRAGAS REAPPOINTMENT
January 18th, 2013 — Stepping up to the plate, Student Council takes a firm stand on behalf of the students of the University of Virginia, with a resolution, introduced by Vice President for Organizations Neil Branch, asking that Rector Helen Dragas not be reappointed to her seat on the Board of Visitors after she “acted in a clandestine manner to force the resignation of University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan in June.” Students at the University, founded by Thomas Jefferson, deeply value what they call a “community of trust,” or the expectation that all those who reside within its so-called “Academical Village” be transparent, honorable, and forthright in their actions.
The unanimous passing of this Resolution follows a vote of “No Confidence” in the Board of Vistors by the Faculty Senate, as well as a grassroots movement by students, faculty, staff, and alumni, in reaction to President Sullivan’s ouster by the Board, which ultimately culminated in Dr. Sullivan’s reinstatement. Over 88% of students who responded to a poll in the College of Arts and Sciences yesterday and this morning believed that Dragas should not be reappointed. In recent months, many state legislators have openly spoken out against Rector Dragas’ actions and pending reappointment to the Board. Senator Janet Howell of Fairfax County has expressed “it is my conclusion that [Helen Dragas] does not comprehend the damage done to the University of Virginia, nor does she accept responsibility beyond having poorly managed the President’s removal.” The actions of the Board of Visitors led to the The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to place the University on a 12-month accreditation warning; an exceedingly rare occurrence for a institution of its caliber.
Eric McDaniel, the Director of University Relations for Student Council and a College of Arts and Sciences representative, states of the resolution, “The actions of Rector Dragas last summer fly in the face of who we are as an institution, and I believe this resolution responds to that. The University of Virginia is a place of Honor. […] We stand for transparency, and even more so, we stand for shared governance. The events of this summer reflected none of those things. […] Today, Student Council called upon the Governor and State Legislature to defend the University of Virginia from further turmoil and uncertainly, as this is a juncture at which we cannot defend ourselves.”
Student Council is made up of over 225 students in eighteen different committees which are dedicated to improving all aspects of student life at UVa. Council regards the voices of the University’s students in utmost importance. To add your voice to the conversation, visit Speak Up UVA.
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