UVA Student Responds to Letter from UVA President Sullivan
Following a tumultuous weekend at the University of Virginia, university president Teresa Sullivan is asking students to end their annual block party.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Following a tumultuous weekend at the University of Virginia, university president Teresa Sullivan is asking students to end their annual block party.
Sullivan says first responders have dealt with enough this month, but some students say they have no plans to stop the event.
One UVA student said that email rubbed her the wrong way: "I think crass is a good word. I think insensitive is another one,” said Virginia Chambers.
In the email, Sullivan asked students to consider the "immeasurable stress and emotion" first responders faced after the Unite the Right rally and the three people that died as a result.
“We're definitely tired. We've been up-staffing for a lot of these different events,” said Harrison Brookeman, a volunteer with the Charlottesville Albemarle Rescue Squad.
But, Chambers said the president’s approach was off: “It seemed a little gauche to go from Heather has died to also you should kill block party,” she said.
Brookeman said responders understand both Sullivan and the student's stance on the event: “It’s hard to tell people not to go out and have a good time, especially a separate event from the university. There's not a whole lot they can do,” he said.
“At least my friends are going to be more cognizant of it, and no one wants to be a strain on public safety officials, public health official, but I also know that a lot of people are planning to go out and have a good time with their friends the first weekend that they're back,” said Chambers.
In the end, the event is pretty routine for EMTs once students return to town: “There's definitely a higher amount of transports from that area, but honestly there hasn't been as many as just a normal Friday night usually,” Brookeman said.
NBC29 reached out to UVA President Sullivan's Office for a response to the criticism, but haven't heard back.
Many students will return for Wertland Street’s annual block party held Saturday, August 19.