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UVA Students Hope to Move Past RS Article as New Semester Starts

Posted: Updated: Jan 12, 2015 05:52 PM
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Students at the University of Virginia are back for the first day of classes after break. Their last semester ended with controversy after allegations of a fraternity gang rape came out in Rolling Stone magazine.

Professor Ricardo Padron is hoping the long winter break helped the university heal.

"We can't keep up that level of emotional intensity. A lot of anger, a lot of tension, a lot of anxiety," he said. “So far the atmosphere seems like the start of a normal semester

Some students say the dark, dreary weather isn't stopping them from staying positive about academics.

"Yeah it's great, we've already been to our first class today," said UVA student Pablo Echeverria

But they are still talking about the Rolling Stone article.

"Knowing that it brought about some really important issues that need to be addressed. And I think UVA is going to bring some really good things from it," said UVA student Libbie Hamner.

Professor Padron agrees, hoping interest and energy for positive change will carry on.

"That people will stay involved, and that the institution will continue towards making this a safer place for everyone, especially for female students," he said.

Fraternity rush is scheduled to start Thursday, and houses have until Friday to sign an agreement saying they'll have three sober brothers at each party, well as security.

"I definitely think having security guards will help, and having sober brothers is going to be really important,” Hamner said. “Speaking from experience, if you have somebody you know you want to go to with a problem, with a friend, it's going to be helpful to have a sober brother."

Other students say they also feel the commitment to safety on the UVA Corner.

"There's a lot of police and a lot of security here. Everyone is looking forward to helping you if something is wrong,” Echeverria said.

The university is also in the process of setting up a separate police sub-station on the Corner, and adding bike cops to keep the area safe.