I am disturbed by the reign of indifference and the culture of complacency about violence on campus, particularly at UVA. This most recent murder of a student in Charlottesville is being attributed to a breakdown in communication. That is simply blame shifting. What has occurred, again, is a breakdown in the policy of acceptance and the system of enabling that allows violence and assaults to occur unchecked.

Over the years many students’ lives have been devastated by predatory acts on campus. It’s a new day and our world is experiencing an escalation of violence everywhere- and on campuses now lives are being lost, not just disrupted. The body count is rising. When will that number be significant enough to provoke real, substantive, thoughtful introspection and accountability, not just platitudes that support the status quo?

It is a new day. It is a time for a different response. Ugly, tragic, violent things have happened in your community to precious young lives, on your watch. It is time to do the honorable thing and NOT turn aside.

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5 Responses to “Gil Harrington’s thoughts from May 12th, 2010”

  1. Michele says:

    Your words are very true. I have four children 12 years and younger. I find myself constantly thinking about how I can keep them safe. How can I keep them safe when they go off to college? There are so many terrifying “what-if’s” in this world. I would rather do something about it than worry all the time – what can we do to protect our children?

  2. W.C. says:

    “The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” – Albert Einstein

    Its a bit ironic that universities employ zero tolerance policies on drinking/drugs and even employ strict no re-admittance policies for arenas, yet our society can’t seem to support a zero tolerance attitude for cold blooded murder and assault. We need to stop this ambivalence.

  3. Jule says:

    A different response? Thanks to a corrupt government, I am sorry to say that the “change” that you refer to will never occur as long as the powers that be continue to operate in disguise and look the other way in an effort to fatten their wallets and manage damage control. UVA president does his damage control in the media but will predictably fall off the wayside with legislators within time, precluding any official, imminent ” legislative change” from occurring. Case in point: Yeardley Love is murdered by her fellow boyfriend UVA student, and what happens? Life goes on! Money has to be made–another Lacrosse game “in her honor”…gimme a break. It’s all about the almighty dollar. The only change that can occur is through parental reinforcement of the inherent dangers that lie within society. You missed it, I have missed it, and many others who have entrusted their children to an uncivilized society through naivite’. May the Peace of God Be with You.

  4. Karen from C'ville says:


    You made excellent points! My guess is money will be made at the Lacrosse game in honor of Love and if so, every cent made should go to the family!

  5. Betty Priest-Gustafson says:

    it’s preety sad when you send your children to collage for an education and have to wonder will they survive unscathed and go on to be normal productive members of society, Its all about the almighty BUCK and maintaining reputation with these Collage’s, how would they feel if it were there child, you can bet if something happened to the presidents kid or the dean they would be all over it like flys on you know what.

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