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How is the University responding to security concerns in light of the August 11 march on Grounds?

Generally speaking, what does the University do to protect students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the Grounds?

How does the University determine whether or not a safety alert should be sent?

What is the University’s firearms policy?

What is the University’s open flame policy?

What resources are available to help faculty foster an inclusive and respectful academic environment?

What counseling resources are available to members of the University community?

Where can I learn about future programming related to the August 11 and 12 events?

How can I share my ideas or concerns with the Working Group?

What should I do if I see something or hear about something suspicious?
 

How is the University responding to security concerns in light of the August 11 march on Grounds?

The University will use what happened on our Grounds to improve our preparation and response to emergencies and to enhance our safety and security efforts.  The University has assigned significant resources, additional staff members and police to ensure safety and security across Grounds as the semester begins:

  • The University has expanded police coverage across Grounds.
  • The University has extended the Ambassadors program to provide on-Grounds coverage.  These Ambassadors are now patrolling the Lawn and are assigned to residential areas of the Grounds.
  • The University Police Department (UPD) is coordinating closely with schools and units across the University in order to provide additional security support for upcoming events.
  • The University has hired Margolis Healy & Associates, a highly-respected higher education safety and security consulting firm, to conduct a comprehensive review of our safety and security infrastructure, policies, and tools.
  • UPD is continuing to collaborate with their counterparts in other agencies (e.g., Charlottesville Police Department and Albemarle County Police Department) to monitor activities and respond to emergencies.
  • The University is continuing to reach out to our students and employees who were injured. UPD is actively investigating several incidents that occurred on the evening of August 11, and the University is asking for the prosecution of any and all violations of the law.

 
Generally speaking, what does the University do to protect students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the Grounds?

The University has made significant investments in its safety infrastructure in recent years and was recognized in June 2017 as one of the “Safest Colleges in America” by the National Council for Home Safety and Security.  Despite this award, the events of August 11 and 12 underscore the need for us to reevaluate our safety and security practices and make any necessary adjustments.  We are committed to doing everything in our power to keep our community safe.  University safety resources include:

 
How does the University determine whether or not a safety alert should be sent?

The University administration works with the University Police Department to make decisions about issuing community safety alerts.  A number of people have raised concerns about the lack of an alert on the evening of August 11. The University is reviewing the application of its safety alert protocols in light of the August 11-12 events and will educate the community about such protocols and their application.

 
What is the University’s firearms policy?

University Policy SEC-030  prohibits members of the University community from possessing, storing, or using any weapon on University property. University policy also prohibits members of the general public and visitors to Grounds from possessing, storing, or using any weapon in any University facility or while attending sporting, entertainment, or educational activities.

Judicial decisions interpreting the scope of state and federal constitutional requirements generally prevent the University from imposing comprehensive restrictions upon members of the general public and visitors to Grounds in open spaces.  See, e.g., DiGiacinto v. Rector and Visitors of GMU, 281 Va. 127 (2011).  See also 2006 Op. Va. Att’y Gen. 116 (Op. No. 05-078).

University Counsel is reviewing this policy and other policies to determine whether changes can be made regarding activities that can be constitutionally proscribed on our Grounds.

 
What is the University’s open flame policy?

University Policy SEC-032 prohibits open flame devices (which includes but is not limited to candles and tiki torches) on University property and facilities unless that use has been (1) approved by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) or the University of Virginia Medical Center Fire Protection Inspector’s Office as appropriate; and (2) conducted in accordance with the Virginia State, County and City codes and regulations. 

The University did not approve the use of any open flame device related to the August 11 march.

Heretofore, the University Police Department (UPD) had not been informed when EHS has approved uses of open flame devices.  Going forward, UPD will be so informed and will take appropriate action against use that does not have such approval.

UPD is committed to full enforcement of section 18.2-423.01 of the Virginia Code, which states “any person who, with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons, burns an object on a highway or other public place in a manner having a direct tendency to place another person in reasonable fear or apprehension of death or bodily injury is guilty of a Class 6 felony.”

 
What resources are available to help faculty foster an inclusive and respectful academic environment?

 
What counseling resources are available to members of the University community?

The University encourages students to seek help and support through its Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) whenever needed. Located in the Elson Student Health Building, the outpatient clinic offers clinical services, suicide prevention and educational outreach.

To request an outreach program or training for your department or to partner with CAPS, please contact Nicole Fischer, CAPS Assistant Director for Outreach (434-243-5150) or visit the CAPS Outreach website.

The Faculty and Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) provides comprehensive, on-site assistance to employees and their families.  FEAP has already participated in several Town Halls for students, staff and faculty to reflect on the events of August 11 and 12.

Other resources:

 
Where can I learn about future programming related to the August 11 and 12 events?

Ongoing programming is being developed by the various schools, the Working Group, the Division of Student Affairs, the Provost’s office and faculty, staff and student groups and individuals.  Information about that programming will be updated frequently and will be available on this website.

 
How can I share my ideas or concerns with the Working Group?

To share ideas and/or concerns with the Working Group, please visit our Share Your Ideas page.

 
What should I do if I see something or hear about something suspicious?

  • The University has several channels for reporting crimes or suspicious activity, including:
  • Call 911 or pick up a blue light phone to report an emergency, a crime or act or threat of violence in progress.
  • Submit tips to the University Police Department through their website uvapolice.virginia.edu or use the TipSoft app.
  • If you come across information, including on social media, about something that concerns you, please share it so that University Police can investigate.
  • Use the “Just Report It” incident reporting system to file a complaint if you feel that you have been a target of bias. Complaints may be filed online, over the telephone, or in person. 
  • For more information about the University’s key emergency policies, strategies, plans and procedures across Grounds, please visit the Office of Safety and Emergency Preparedness website.