Each set of questions in this section is based on a single passage or a pair of passages, derived from real communication(s) from the University administration to the student body. The questions are to be answered on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passage or pair of passages. For some of the questions, more than one of the choices could conceivably answer the question. However, you are to choose the best answer; that is, the response that most accurately and completely answers the question, and mark the corresponding space on your answer sheet.
Passage for Questions 1 and 2
Last Friday torch-bearing protestors marched on our Grounds prior to Saturday’s rally and protests in downtown Charlottesville. Emotions remain raw in our community. We all mourn the loss of life on Saturday, the injuries, and the resulting distress. And we feel anger and frustration at the hateful messages that were directed to valued members of our community. Beginning to heal as a community from this trauma takes time and energy. And we must do so together.
We have devoted much of our attention and effort thus far to continuing to respond to repercussions for our students, faculty, staff and others following the weekend. We are also preparing to welcome more than 4,000 new students, faculty, staff, and their families.
Many in our community have inquired about the University’s preparation and response on Friday evening. Important questions have been raised about the University’s ability and commitment to ensure a safe learning and living environment.
The University of Virginia is a public institution and as such must abide by state and federal law regarding the general public’s right to access outdoor spaces. This includes open spaces such as Nameless Field and our historic Lawn, where torch-wielding protestors gathered and marched to invoke fear and intimidation.
What did the University know about the gathering here? What actions did that prompt? What enhancements should we consider to further refine policies and improve existing safety programs and protocols? Part of our ongoing responsibility is to consider these questions with those involved to reach frank conclusions about them that may yield opportunities for us to further improve our efforts. As we do following every major event and exercise, we will look for opportunities to improve our communication and coordination across the Grounds and with local law enforcement agencies.
I write today to reassure you that your safety is our most important concern. UVA has a robust network of safety resources that we have expanded in recent years. I would also encourage students to read Seven Resources to Help Students Stay Safe at the University of Virginia. While no public space or environment can be completely safe all of the time, the University will continue pursuing that goal as a top priority.
I remain proud of the actions of our community, our public safety officials, and medical center staff in a tense, indeed unprecedented set of circumstances. I am deeply grateful that a volatile situation did not escalate even further on Grounds.
University Police arrested one protestor and charged the individual with assault and disorderly conduct. Several minor injuries were reported, including one University police officer who was injured while making the arrest. Several other individuals sustained minor injuries during the confrontation, none requiring admission to the hospital.
We are grateful for the efforts of University Police and our law enforcement partners during this very fluid and difficult event. I also want to express gratitude to members of the University and larger communities who came to the assistance of those injured on Friday.
A Call to Cancel all Wertland Block Party Plans
In consideration of my assurance that your safety and well-being remain our utmost concern, and given the immeasurable emotion and stress that first responders and community members experienced this past weekend, I am calling on our student community to put an end to the annual Wertland Block Party.
This private event occurs off our Grounds and thus the University cannot act directly to stop it. This gathering of students and the public has as its single purpose pursuing risky and harmful behavior including but not limited to consuming dangerous amounts of alcohol. This event threatens the general health of participants. It also places a tremendous strain on local law enforcement and health officials, all of whom have only begun recovering from the violence of this past weekend. Our students are prepared for leadership, and now is the time for leaders to step forward.
In the days ahead, you will be hearing more about planned activities for bringing our community members together to heal and support one another. I hope that members of the University community will participate in these activities and turn our collective focus toward the future.
Teresa A. Sullivan
Question 1: The passage provides evidence to suggest that the author would be most likely to agree with which of the following statements?
A. Everyone should attend the Wertland Block Party.
B. It is useful to have the university officially announce the time, date, and location of the Wertland Block Party.
C. Not enough students know about the Wertland Block Party.
D. The Wertland Block Party is a treasured UVa tradition.
E. The Charlottesville police are worthy of our gratitude because they absolutely did not stolidly refuse to intervene as a torch-wielding mob attacked UVa students or fail to confront a Klansman who fired his pistol into the crowd.
Question 2: Which of the following statements would follow most logically from this statement made in the first paragraph of the passage, reproduced below?
“Beginning to heal as a community from this trauma takes time and energy. And we must do so together.”
A. The Wertland Block Party must be canceled.
B. Underage drinking is bad.
C. The Student Safety Guide will be updated to include a section on responding to terror attacks on the Downtown Mall.
D. Safe Ride provides effective protection from the Klan.
E. The University will take concrete steps to address and remedy its history of institutional racism.