Today marks a historic day for the University of Virginia. Our men’s basketball team’s win on Saturday night has put us in the national spotlight.
This evening, Hoos around the globe will be celebrating this remarkable team of student-athletes and Coach Tony Bennett. The largest viewing party in Charlottesville will take place tonight at John Paul Jones Arena. The event and parking are both free, with doors opening at 8 p.m. prior to the 9:20 tip-off. Standard venue security measures, including the clear-bag policy, will be in effect.
This past Saturday night, I enjoyed being with many of you in the Amphitheatre as we cheered on the “Cardiac Cavs” in their last-second win against Auburn. Both in the Amphitheatre and later on the Corner, in residential areas on and off Grounds, and around town, I was pleased to see the positive behavior of our students in celebrating that historic win.
Tonight, the nation and the world will be watching, and I ask you to show everyone how a world-class university celebrates its team. As citizen-leaders, you represent UVA now and in the future. Whatever the result of tonight’s game, please keep safety, community respect, and personal responsibility utmost in your minds.
This also includes seemingly small things, such as picking up trash in areas where you may be celebrating. It’s your responsibility – not our neighbors’ – to keep your living areas and any public community space neat and clean. Let’s not place the burden on others to come behind you and clean up.
With regard to safety, please plan intentionally for the kind of experience you want to have, whether that includes your choices around drinking alcohol if you are of legal age, the location where you want to be, and with whom you want to spend time. Watch out for each other, and remember our community pledge to be an engaged and active bystander if someone appears to be at risk. Tonight is a night to remember, and your choices will define this experience for you.
Immediately call 911 if you see concerning behavior or if you question whether you or someone else needs help. You should always err on the side of seeking immediate medical attention for someone in need.
Please watch out for your friends, drink responsibly if you are of age and elect to do so, and respect each other and the community we share with others in Charlottesville. We have a proud history of respectful behavior even in times of celebration, so let’s dedicate ourselves to showing the world what honor means both on and off the court.
One final point: Since Saturday’s victory, we have received a number of requests to cancel tomorrow’s classes, but the Provost has decided to maintain our regular operating schedule. One of the things that makes UVA special is its uncompromised commitment to excellence in academics and athletics. There is no better way to support our values and our true student-athletes than to cheer for them on the court, on the field, and on the water, and return to Grounds the next morning ready to contribute in the classroom.
I’m excited for tonight’s game, and I join with you in saying: Let’s Go Hoos! Wa-hoo-wa!
Allen W. Groves
University Dean of Students