UVA Issues No Trespass Warning for Jason Kessler
The University of Virginia is issuing a no-trespass warning to Jason Kessler, the man who organized the Unite the Right rally and a torch-lit rally by white nationalist on UVA.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Unite the Right rally organizer Jason Kessler is no longer allowed to set foot on University of Virginia property. He will still be able to go to the UVA Medical Center, as well as attend paid events on university property.
The university announced Friday, April 27, that it is in the process of serving Kessler, a UVA alum, a no trespass warning. The university made its decision after hearing multiple reports that Kessler threatened students in person, targeted them through cyber-bullying and cyber-harassment, and targeted them based on protected characteristics.
The university also believes Kessler intentionally and purposefully misled the UVA Police Department regarding the torch-lit white nationalist rally on August 11, 2017, held by members of the 'alt-right' and white nationalists. Kessler had helped to organize that event, as well.
Kessler was at the Law School library on Wednesday, April 25, when protesters and students showed up and began arguing with him. According to the UVA School of Law, "Kessler was invited into a librarian’s office while getting assistance with a research question. A man, later identified as Eric Martin, entered the office uninvited and was asked to leave. After refusing several requests to leave, Martin was arrested by university police. The police later escorted Kessler out of the Law School."
Some students then began calling on administrators to take action by banning Kessler from UVA. "How can the university boast a community of trust when it prioritizes Kessler’s safety over its own students, faculty and staff?" Sarah Pade asked.
Some students rallied outside the UVA Rotunda during the Board of Visitors meeting Friday afternoon to demand that the university issue a no trespassing order against Kessler and anyone else who participated in that rally.
"Issue lifetime no trespass orders against the people who desecrated our sacred grounds; Jason Kessler, Richard Spencer, Eli Mosely, Christopher Cantwell and all other white supremacists identified from the August 11 torch rally," Pade said.
"Why wouldn't all the ‘alt-right’ figures who were carrying torches be banned for life? It seems there's a discrepancy here in terms of enforcement of the banning policy. We're asking UVA folks to catch up with that," said professor Jalane Schmidt.
The UVA School of Law’s director of communications tells NBC29 that effective this past Wednesday, April 25, the library is limited to law students, faculty and staff. Additionally, those people are required to have their UVA IDs on hand.
04/27/2018 Release from the University of Virginia:
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., April 27, 2018 - The University of Virginia today issued the following statement:
The University of Virginia issued a no trespass warning to Jason Kessler of Charlottesville on Thursday evening. The University is in the process of serving Mr. Kessler with the warning.
The warning was issued due to multiple reports from students that Mr. Kessler threatened them, targeted them through cyber-bullying and cyber-harassment, and targeted them based on protected characteristics. Kessler also intentionally and purposefully misled officers of the University Police Department regarding the torchlight rally that he helped organize on Aug. 11. His conduct on Aug. 11 threatened the health and safety of members of the University community. The warning is consistent with long-standing University practice and current policy [PRM-018]. The warning effectively bans Mr. Kessler from being on University property.
04/27/2018 Release from Concerned UVA Students:
A coalition of UVA student groups will host a rally outside the Rotunda during the Board of Visitors meeting today to demand that UVA issue a No Trespassing Order against Jason Kessler and all other white supremacists who participated in the August 11th torch rally.
Kessler has come to the UVa Law Library twice in the past week, harassing and threatening students, staff, and Charlottesville community members. UVA administrators have refused to kick him out, and in fact the University Police Department has protected him on both occasions; on the most recent visit, they arrested a peaceful community member for trespassing (for trying to sit and read in the same room in the Law Library as Kessler). The trespassing arrest included notice that this community member is no longer allowed on Grounds except as a paying guest at a public event, or at the medical center.
Comments from community members:
“Issuing No Trespass Orders against the participants of the torch-burning rally of August 11th is the first minimal step that UVA can take to demonstrate care for students and commitment to community safety. We must move forward with No Trespass Orders immediately." - Anne Coughlin, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
“As a UVA alum who witnessed the torch rally at the Rotunda on August 11th, hearing that Kessler was back was incredibly disturbing. The UVA administration thinks that if they just ignore white supremacists, the problem will go away. That’s not the case, and this past week is proof that ignoring the problem only makes it worse. UVA has more than sufficient grounds to issue a No Trespass Order to help protect the community.” - Ibby Han, UVA Class of 2017 and Charlottesville resident.