UVA holds Day of Dialogue in honor of Yeardley Love

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The University of Virginia is beginning its new school year, by remembering Yeardley Love. The 22-year-old lacrosse player was found beaten to death five months ago. Today the campus held what's being billed as a "Day of Dialogue: Toward a Caring Community. The University's new president, Teresa Sullivan, says this is a day of healing and of frank discussions about ways to prevent violence.

Black veils now cover the University of Virginia's iconic Rotunda. A public art project, meant to symbolize the grief and mourning still present on the campus.

Yeardley Love's death at the end of school marked the end of a long and tragic year for the university. In all, 7 students died. Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington was also murdered in Charlottesville.

"For some of these deaths though we are left to wonder if we might have done something differently to change what happened, particularly in situations where students were victims of violence," said Sullivan.

Questions are what UVA's president encouraged Friday. She opened the campus to counselors and private discussion groups.

"Bringing everyone together to get everyone's opinion and to bring everyone to a consensus about what we wanted to do moving forward and how we were going to effect change in our community." said Danielle MacGregor, a UVA fourth year.

Students and faculty were asked to reflect, listen and think about personal responsibility as well as violence prevention.

"They wanted to promote a culture of respect and they wanted to help people realize when dangerous thing were happening in their community, understand how to react and to take appropriate action," said fourth year student Will Bane.

By day's end, the black veils on the Rotunda will be lifted.

"At the same time we want to channel our grief into energy. Energy that we can use to begin the work of building a stronger, more caring community," said Sullivan.

She says she hopes this conversation continues throughout the year, with students finding new and creative ways to listen and help each other.

Also tonight, a back up at the state lab will delay a hearing for the man charged in Love's death. 22-year-old George Huguely was supposed to be in court in October, but this afternoon a judge moved that hearing to January. Prosecutors say several key pieces of evidence are still be analyzed by the lab.

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