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Preparing for a New Academic Year

August 8, 2017
To: 
Parents of Third- and Fourth-Year Students
From: 
Patricia M. Lampkin, Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer

Dear Parents of Third- and Fourth-Year Students:

In a little more than two weeks we will begin a new academic year. I hope your student has enjoyed a productive and restful summer. We are looking forward to their return and the energy they bring to the Grounds. They are, after all, the reason we are here.

Students are presented with new challenges and milestones during each of their undergraduate years. By the third year, students are going deeper into their academic studies, engaging more fully in leadership roles with student organizations and community service, and considering myriad opportunities such as study abroad, January Term, and internships. By the fourth year, all of these activities intensify, with the recognition that two short semesters remaining at UVA will lead to Final Exercises and a new chapter in life, whether that's a job, graduate school, or another pathway.

As your student prepares for a new year at UVA, please remind them of the many resources available to help them with planning and decision-making. The UVA Career Center stands ready to help students at all stages of inquiry and exploration regarding internships, job searches, and graduate or professional school. In addition to their main office in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium, the center has satellite offices in Newcomb Hall and at 1515, the student center on the Corner, with office hours from 12 to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The parent handbook, newly updated for 2017-18 and available online in English, Chinese, and Spanish, describes many other resources for students.

Starting the new year in a positive manner is often a key to a successful year overall. With this in mind, I would like to remind you that an event that usually takes place the Saturday evening of Move-In Weekend, the Wertland block party, is not sanctioned by UVA and poses a number of risks for students. The combination of a large and open crowd and the significant presence of alcohol creates the potential for any number of high-risk behaviors and bad outcomes – injuries, sexual assaults, and arrests. We are concerned for the safety of those who attend as well as for the large number of first responders, including law enforcement and fire safety officials, that must be deployed for the event. Furthermore, as members of the Charlottesville community, students have the opportunity to demonstrate good citizenship by not engaging in activities that strain resources and disturb those who live and work around them.

A variety of events will be held on Grounds on Saturday evening, August 19, and into the early hours of Sunday morning. In addition to a concert featuring Future and Lil Yachty at John Paul Jones Arena, a carnival-like event will take place at the Aquatic & Fitness Center. The long list of activities there will include games, inflatables, food trucks, and crafts. In another area of the Grounds, "Late Night at Lambeth" will feature food and socializing. Some student-run groups, including Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, will be hosting social activities as well. Please make sure your student knows about these events and plans a healthy, safe Move-In Weekend.

If your student will be returning to Charlottesville prior to Move-In Weekend, she or he should be aware of a "Unite the Right" rally taking place on Saturday, August 12, in Emancipation Park in downtown Charlottesville. Several groups with a variety of ideologies and agendas plan to attend. Please urge your student to avoid the rally and avoid confrontation with these groups. President Sullivan sent a message with more details to the University community.

Best wishes for enjoying the remaining days of summer with your student. We are grateful for all you do as parents and for sharing your student with us. With you as our partners, we are looking forward to a safe, healthy start to the new year.

If I or a member of my team in Student Affairs can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Patricia M. Lampkin
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer