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UVA Student Council Opposes Dragas Re-appointment - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

UVA Student Council Opposes Dragas Re-appointment

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The University of Virginia's student council is taking a stand to block the re-appointment of rector Helen Dragas.

All 225 members of the council voted to tell the general assembly Dragas must go so the university can move on from last summer's failed ouster of president Teresa Sullivan. Members from the student council say they didn't think the idea of reappointing Rector Dragas would be popular in the legislature.

But when they returned from winter break they learned that's not the case.

The resolution passed by the student council this week says Helen Dragas' actions are not in line with the values of the university community.

It says Dragas, "Acted in a clandestine manner to force the resignation of University of Virginia president Teresa Sullivan in June."

The resolution also states Dragas has jeopardized the university's academic accreditation. Student council members say Dragas isn't being transparent.

"She's turned down meeting with student council to discuss and present her ideas and her reasoning behind the events of the summer," said Neil Branch, sponsor of the resolution, vice-president for organizations.

A recent poll found 88 percent of students in the College of Arts and Sciences were opposed to Dragas being reappointed. The survey was also taken by students from the Curry School. Of more than 1,000 Curry School students that took the survey, 96 percent said Dragas should not be reappointed.

"I actually hope that this resolution will help really encourage more student leaders to come to the university because they realize how strong the tradition of student self-governance," Branch said.

Student council director of university relations Eric McDaniel said he hopes this vote of no confidence will make an impact.

"We're a university founded on values of academic integrity, trust, transparency and the honor system and many of us felt that rector Dragas went around those when she forced the resignation of President Teresa Sullivan over the summer," McDaniel said.

McDaniel said a recent poll found 88 percent of students in the College of Arts and Sciences were opposed to Dragas being reappointed. He said so far student council has received positive feedback from the UVA community.

He also said because of the short time frame, as a minimum, the student council would like to see the General Assembly delay a decision on Dragas which still has to pass a majority vote in both the House and Senate.

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