Claire Kaplan’s position with the Sexual Assault and Education Office here at the Women’s Center was established in 1991 after a student campaign demanding the addition of a full-time coordinator for this essential part of the fledgling center’s work. The students’ campaign included a candlelight vigil held for 134 hours – an hour for each sexual assault reported at UVA that year.
I first heard of MLP during my third year from one of my fourth-year friends whom I admired greatly. The mere fact that this person, who was involved in so many things, and whose opinion I valued so much recommended this program to me inspired me to further look into it, which led me to apply to be a mentor.
When the safety and well-being of one member of our community is threatened, our entire community is harmed. Right now, we know, harms are coming from multiple directions, with competing demands for our attention. In addition to the immediate concerns of coronavirus and the sweeping protests against systemic racism, policy changes are coming to the ways that sexual misconduct complaints are handled.
In our culture, we experience moments in which violence and injustice are receiving intensive coverage in the news. During these times, conversations at home, at work or school, and in the media can be a strain on those in the affected communities. It is important to take care of yourself at times like this.
As the coronavirus crisis continues, the legal needs and resources of our community are evolving in response to the ongoing effects of the crisis.
I remember when I first came to the University of Virginia back in the Spring of 2016. Immediately, something clicked that this place, ranging from the rotunda to the lawn and down to the corner, was special. And, though I could not define it at the time, it was a place of laughs, smiles, motivated people and special places dedicated to giving back to the community. But, more important than any single attribute, this University was a HOME.
Seshi Konu graduated from the School of Architecture in 2020 after serving as a Women’s Center intern during her second year at UVA.
After graduating from UVA in 2014 with a degree in History and African-American and African Studies, Dejah Carter returned to UVA for her Masters in Higher Ed in Student Affairs and joined the Women’s Center as a Greer Fellow. The impact of her work with the center’s Women, Girls & Global Justice team that year is still felt today with the programs she helped build like the Black Womanhood in College Workshop. She is currently the Assistant Director at the Women’s Community Center at Stanford University.
Like everyone else who is currently teaching, I needed to revise the syllabus for my course mid-semester. As I did that, I inserted this graphic at the top as a visual reminder for my students. If we focus on the “moon,” its light can help us see the meaning and good we can find in this moment. But, we need a sustainable schedule to do that.
Content warning: these pieces of art, created by survivors of gender-based violence, convey a wide range of emotions and experiences. Some are raw and angry, full of pain. Others are hopeful and speak of healing. If you feel that the content of this display would be difficult for you, we advise that you consider viewing it on another occasion. If you do choose to view it, and you find that your emotions are elevated as a result, please find someone to speak with as soon as possible.