December 4, 2012
UVa students say the two hate crimes that have occurred on UVa grounds this semester, are two too many. Students say Tuesday's rally in front of the rotunda is to draw attention to those hate crimes and student safety.
"It's scary because it's not happening in back allies or frat houses," said second-year UVa student Blake Calhoun. "It's happening right here where we walk in broad daylight."
Dozens of students and community members of all different backgrounds showed up for the rally to show unity in the face of hatred. Survivors of hate crimes spoke to the crowd with a focus on uplifting.
"My message to victims is, keep your chin up and keep going," said fourth-year UVa student Reigna Beaux. "And to the haters, shut up because we don't want to hear it."
UVa officials attended the rally to show support for all members of the community.
"There is an intolerance of bigotry and hate here," said Dr. Marcus Martin, vice president for diversity and equity at UVa. "We are a diverse population becoming more diverse and when one member of our community is hurt or assaulted we are all hurt and assaulted."