September 16, 2005
The President of The University of Virginia addressed the recent string of racist incidents on grounds today.
Since the beginning of the school year there have been at least half a dozen racial incidents targeting black students.
On Friday, hundreds of students and faculty gathered to show solidarity. They wore black ribbons as a symbol of unity and peace. They say they want the community to know that racial intolerance will not be allowed
During his address to the crowd, President Casteen expressed his sadness and disappointment over the incidents. He called them acts of a coward who hopes to bring division in the University. He asked both students and faculty to support one another and fight back.
"This University is a single institution in which gender, or color of skin or sexual preference or ethnic origin or religion, or other elements that can be used or religion or other elements in which can divide a population do not divide us," said UVa President John Casteen.
Casteen also encouraged students to report these incidents as soon as possible and to be as detailed as possible. He said it's one of the key ways police may be able to close in on whoever is responsible.
To show their solidarity, students will pass out black ribbons at next weekend's home football game.