UVA Student Victim Of Campus Hate Crime

UVA Student Victim Of Campus Hate Crime

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.

The mood for University of Virginia students returning from Spring Break is likely to be somber as they attempt to grapple with the fallout from the latest of a string of divisive racial incidents: an assault on a minority student running for student council that left her with a mild concussion and knee and ankle injuries.

Daisy Lundy, a student of African American and Korean background, reported being assaulted early on the morning of Feb. 27 by a heavyset White male who told her, “No one wants a nigger to be president.” Lundy was in a runoff for the presidency of UVA’s student council. The vote was canceled after the assault and was to be rescheduled for some time during the week of March 10. Her opponent has since dropped out of the race.

According to police reports, the man approached Lundy from behind while she was searching her car for a cell phone, grabbed her by her ponytail and slammed her head against the steering wheel. Lundy managed to honk her horn several times before falling. She was discovered by a friend and student member of the board of visitors Tim Lovelace, whom she had been visiting before the assault.

The FBI is investigating the incident as a hate crime, and rewards totaling $22,000 have been offered seeking information on the assault.

The incident follows two racially divisive episodes on the 184-year-old campus in 2002: a “blackface” incident at a fraternity Halloween party; and a string of assaults on White and Asian students by Black high school students that occurred in January and February (see Black Issues, Dec. 19, 2002 and Jan. 2).

Dean M. Rick Turner of the Office of African American Affairs, said the incidents couldn’t help but cause concern among Black parents.

“Parents read those kinds of things. There’s no question why we’ve had a lower yield,” Turner said, noting a steady decline in Black enrollment since 1991. Black enrollment then was 1,698 students, compared to 1,436 in 2002.

— By Kendra Hamilton and wire reports



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