I had thought that perhaps the drama at the University of Virginia, my Alma Mater, was merely a local issue. But now I see that everyone is watching, from The Washington Post to Slate to The New York Times.
If you’ve not heard, the Board of Visitors forced our president, Teresa Sullivan to resign under very sketchy and secret terms, engineered by hedge fund billionaires.
The University should not be run like Goldman Sachs.
I was very proud that UVA had a female president (and a fellow sociology geek at that!) and I had only ever heard good things about her 2 years in that position. Regardless of her abilities in that role, the board has been elusive and has not acted in the manner that is expected of the institution.
I went to the Rally for Transparency yesterday and damn did it feel good. There are times in life when you get the opportunity to stand up for what you believe in, and it feels wonderful to not stand alone. 2,000 other people gathered in support of Terry Sullivan as she went to speak to the Board.
Truth, transparency, authenticity, justice; these are all things that are worth fighting for. I’d like to think that they would surface on their own, but honestly, that rarely happens without watchdogs. We can’t get lazy and assume that the good guys will win.
It felt great to do a little shit-disturbing. (Though I wasn’t able to fulfill my life-long dream of being arrested for a good cause.) I teared up as I sang The Good Old Song and cheered on Terry until I was hoarse.
It’s important to remember what you stand for. It’s important to know that you can make a difference.
As to what difference we really made yesterday, we have to wait and see. But in the very least — we didn’t sit idly by. We let Terry see that we stood by her and that the Board didn’t speak for us.
We let it be known that we will follow the truth.
I am only one
But I am still one
I cannot do everything
But still I can do something
And because I cannot to everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do
– Edward Everett Hale
If you are interested in a full explanation from the Board and the resignation of Helen Dragas, you can sign a petition here.
We have prevailed! Our President was reinstated by the Board and I could not be more thrilled. It’s amazing to know that truth and justice can win! For details, check out this NPR story.
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