The recent killing of University of Virginia lacrosse player and student Yeardley Love, allegedly at the hands of her ex-boyfriend and fellow lacrosse player and student, George Huguely V, is a tragic chapter for my alma mater.Issues of dating violence, murder, sexual assault and stalking have long haunted the University of Virginia.
The next day, when I awoke wrapped in a bloody sheet, thrown on a sofa, I went through the man's mail. I sat across from the then Dean of Students, Robert Canevari, and told him what had happened to me.
I was told by the Dean of Students that the Charlottesville Police had no jurisdiction over Phi Kappa Psi and was ordered not to call them.
The deans said that they had spoken with the young man in question and told me "he said it was consensual." He, the rapist, withdrew from the University and was thus "no longer a danger" to me. Rape and murder are also not considered violations of the University's Honor Code, established 15 years after Thomas Jefferson founded the school in 1825.
He served less than six months for aggravated sexual assault.
I was told, in so many words and actions, to go away. The Honor Code's single sanction of expulsion is reserved for "lying, cheating and stealing." I would posit that rape or murder most certainly falls under stealing -- of a life, of one's dignity, of the promise of a life well-lived.
Most of the time, issues of violence between students are adjudicated by student-run boards and not via law enforcement.