Broken Mirror UVA The Schilling Show

by: Hank Martin

Guest Editorial Graphic Schilling Show BlogThomas Jefferson’s intent for the University of Virginia reflected his vision for education, democracy, and the enlightenment ideals of the time. Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia (UVA) was the culmination of Jefferson’s lifelong dedication to the pursuit of knowledge and the promotion of civic virtue.

At the heart of Jefferson’s vision for UVA was his belief in the importance of education as the cornerstone of the American Republic. He saw education as essential for cultivating an informed and engaged citizenry capable of participating actively in self-governance. Jefferson believed that a well-educated populace was crucial for the success of our newly formed Republic, as it would facilitate the safeguarding of individual liberties and promote the common good.

Furthermore, Jefferson envisioned UVA as a place where students would receive a comprehensive and interdisciplinary education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences. He advocated for a curriculum that emphasized critical thinking, reasoning, and inquiry, rather than rote memorization. Jefferson believed that a broad-based education would equip students with the intellectual tools and moral principles necessary to navigate an ever-changing world.

Thomas Jefferson’s design for UVA reflected his commitment to academic freedom and the pursuit of truth and his vision for UVA was innovative and ahead of its time. He designed the campus to embody his ideals of harmony, symmetry, and beauty, with buildings arranged around a central lawn known as the Academical Village. Jefferson believed that the physical environment of UVA would inspire students and faculty alike, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose.

Overall, Thomas Jefferson’s intent for the University of Virginia was rooted in his belief in the transformative power of education, his commitment to a democratic constitutional republic and individual freedom, and his vision of a society guided by reason, enlightenment, and progress. UVA once stood as a testament to Jefferson’s legacy as a champion of education, democracy, and human rights. Sadly though, it no longer upholds his vision for excellence in learning and scholarship.

The University of Virginia has faced challenges regarding student safety, leading to concerns about a decline in safety standards on campus. UVA had been historically regarded as a prestigious institution with a strong commitment to student well-being. However, since 1970— when the first officially co-ed class enrolled and 450 women arrived on Grounds—UVA has had a string of serious and embarrassing events have highlighted areas of vulnerability and prompted calls for greater attention to safety measures. One significant factor contributing to the decline of student safety at UVA is the prevalence of campus crime. Incidents such as assaults, robberies, rapes and substance abuse have raised alarm among students, faculty, and parents alike. Reports of sexual assault, in particular, have garnered significant attention and have underscored the need for improved prevention, reporting, and support services for survivors.

The issue of campus security and policing has come under scrutiny, with questions raised about the effectiveness of UVA’s law enforcement efforts. Concerns have been raised about response times, communication protocols, and coordination between university police and local authorities. Inadequate lighting, insufficient surveillance, and gaps in campus security infrastructure have also been cited as contributing factors to the decline in student safety. Additionally, the culture and social dynamics on campus have played a role in exacerbating safety concerns. Instances of hazing, binge drinking, and reckless behavior have posed risks to student well-being and contributed to an environment conducive to accidents and injuries. Fraternity and sorority culture, in particular, has come under scrutiny for its role in fostering a party-centric atmosphere that prioritizes socializing over safety. Even now, thanks to Kappa Sigma’s hazing of a student by filling him with alcohol and watching him fall backwards down a flight of stairs leaving the student in a coma, has resulted in all 30 fraternities having their activities suspended until 20 March.

In response to these challenges, UVA has taken steps to address student safety concerns and enhance campus security. Initiatives such as increased police patrols, expanded resources for survivor support services, and educational campaigns on bystander intervention and consent have been implemented to improve safety outcomes. Additionally, investments in infrastructure upgrades, such as improved lighting and security cameras, aim to create a safer and more secure campus environment. To what avail? All of this is simply ballyhooed window dressing. How can such a statement be made one may ask?

One person’s name sums it up: Matan Goldstein.

As reported yesterday (6 March, 2024 CBS19 News) — The U.S. Department of Education is investigating threats against Jewish students at the University of Virginia. A University of Virginia student says these anti-Semitic acts started a week into school just weeks before Hamas attacked Israel.

“I used to walk around with a yarmulke. I can’t do that now,”

Matan Goldstein is a first-year student at UVA. The 18-year-old says his experience hasn’t been like that of other students. Goldstein says he’s a victim of hate speech and physical assault on Grounds. He says it’s at the hands of those who hate him for his belief system.

“My parents are Israeli and so I am a first-generation American,” Goldstein said. When he opened his acceptance letter to UVA, this wasn’t what he thought college would be. “I came here to study. I am 18 years old. But at the same time when my friends are being told that Hitler was right and when I am being pushed aside and slapped and then I’m later told that I’m a filthy Jew. What am I supposed to do?” he asks. UVA is one of many college campuses across the nation under investigation by the Department of Education for alleged antisemitism, anti-Muslim, anti-Arab, and other forms of discrimination in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war. Goldstein says instead of studying, he’s found himself fighting to get an education.

“My goal was not to be a politician, it was not to carry the cross for fighting against antisemitism,” said Goldstein. He says the university isn’t doing enough to help him protect himself.

“I was told by the administration about how I haven’t been reporting anything with the police but that’s not true. I have. After I was called a ‘filthy Jew’ on November 17th, I called the police and I filed a police report,” he said, as reported by Gretchen Stenger, CBS 19 News.

It’s saddening to see the utter and total abject failure that IS the University of Virginia. Were he able to observe what his institution of higher education has become, Mr. Jefferson would undoubtedly be discouraged. Jefferson himself wrote that “man can govern himself, and that religious freedom is the most effectual anodyne against religious dissension: the maxim of civil government being reversed in that of religion, where it’s true form is ‘divided we stand, united we fall.’ and am happy in the restoration, of the Jews particularly, to their social rights, & hopes they will be seen taking their seats on the benches of science, as preparatory to their doing the same at the board of government.” (emphasis added) -1826 January 6. (Jefferson to Isaac Harby).

Matan Goldstein, an AMERICAN CITIZEN of Jewish descent, is simply endeavoring to get the education that Thomas Jefferson designed HIS University to deliver. That Mr. Goldstein must instead, in his own words, “carry the cross for fighting ant Semitism” here, at the foot of Monticello and within the very cradle of the Republic, speaks volumes.

Sadly, as is well known, this is not UVA’s first action at being on the wrong side of a moral issue. UVA has a long list of failure in providing a secure and safe environment for its young scholars. Sigma Chi fraternity members Brian H. McKittrick and Christopher L. Meigs, lost their lives in October 1982 when the U-Haul truck they were crammed into with sixty other pledges, driven by an inebriated fraternity member, rolled over near Randolph-Macon in Lynchburg.

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1982/10/13/crowded-ride-in-fraternitys-truck-turns-into-tragedy/f46befa0-8824-4ea9-8bb2-b87cff13b6ff/)

In 1984, UVA’s then Dean of Students Robert Canevari failed to properly handle the assault and rape of Elizabeth Seccuro. And as one who recalls when the legal drinking age was eighteen, there were all too many known events back in the day, wherein underage high school girls were similarly assaulted and raped. Given the history, the treatment of Elizabeth Seccuro can be considered as UVA’s standard operating procedure, not an outlier. 

(https://www.theguardian.com/…/rape-justice-after-20-years).

As sad and as tragic as it is, having watched this ongoing devolution of Mr. Jefferson’s University for sixty years, I find that what Mr. Goldstein is being forced to endure is of little surprise. UVA is as consistent at failing to properly handle student safety and security as it is in losing football games, at least in this century.

That Mr. Goldstein and all other Jewish students on the Grounds, must live their lives as his ancestors did in Nazi Germany eighty-five years ago, is quite an indictment. It is an indictment against UVA’s president Jim Ryan, his staff, and faculty. It’s an indictment against both the University of Virginia and Charlottesville Police Departments. Both of which were seemingly far more animated when the three UVA athletes were shot and killed, (and there remains many unanswered questions regarding the hazing that was not dealt with which was a contributing factor). Lastly, it’s an indictment against the Charlottesville community at large. When any community that can foster the spiritual and emotional substances that allow for such anti-Semitic behavior to be tolerated, the true character and nature of that community is revealed.

The Federal Education Department of Civil Rights absolutely needs to investigate Mr. Goldstein’s case—and that of any other Jewish student who has been impacted by the University’s self-evident negligence and incompetence in providing an equal opportunity to learn. The firing and replacement of any and all individuals, regardless of position, who have failed Mr. Goldstein, and all other Jewish students, is certainly expected. Alas, as we’ve seen far too often, at UVA negligence and incompetence are usually rewarded, not punished.

Just ask SECDEF Austin.

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Rob Schilling is founder of the multi-award-winning Schilling Show Blog and News, proprietor of Schilling Show Media; host of both the Schilling Show Unleashed Podcast and WINA's The Schilling Show heard weekdays at noon; husband; father; worship leader, Christian recording artist and Community Watchdog.

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