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Welcome Back from Student Council

August 21, 2017
To: 
All Students
From: 
Sarah Kenny, Student Council President

Fellow Students,

New students, welcome to Grounds. Everyone else, welcome back.

New students, while this is an extremely difficult and abnormal beginning to the academic year, we are all eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get to know you and welcome you into our home. You are the next generation of leaders at our University, and we truly welcome your fresh perspective into our continuous conversation about how we can better our school and our community. We would also like to invite you to today's Fall Activities Fair, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Lawn and in the Amphitheater. The fair is your best opportunity this semester to engage with every CIO on Grounds in one place. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to explore your interests and find your home on Grounds.

While we are excited to start the semester and school year, let us not forget the tragedy and terror that descended on our Lawn and our city just two weekends ago. Tragedies, while cause for fear and anger, have also served to unify our community. Students have already demonstrated such a spirit of togetherness through their efforts to coordinate a vigil last Wednesday evening, as well as plans for upcoming programming.

On Friday, President Sullivan announced the creation of a working group in response to this assault on our community. Bryanna Miller, the student member of the Board of Visitors, has been appointed to serve as the student representative to the group and can be contacted at studentmember@virginia.edu. Additionally, I have replaced tomorrow's Student Council meeting with a Community Town Hall. The town hall will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Newcomb Theater and will serve as a discrete opportunity for students to voice questions, concerns, and any other thoughts they may have to Student Council and the University community.

As we begin to heal and to incite positive change on Grounds, we must also look to the larger community we are a part of during our brief time at UVA. Student leaders have been working with Charlottesville counterparts on ways to bridge the gap between our two overlapping populations and to pursue sustainable, thoughtful change together.

This upcoming semester presents challenges unlike those of past years, but I am extremely grateful for and humbled by the leadership demonstrated by students during these past two weeks. Moreover, I am eager for our work to come over the course of the next year as we take back our school and our community. I look forward to seeing you all on Grounds, but in the meantime, please do not hesitate to give Student Council and myself honest feedback and ideas for the year. We were elected by you to serve your interests – your feedback is critical.

Regards,

Sarah Kenny
Student Council President
Class of 2018