|UVa Student Council President Candidate Assaulted|
By Alexis Unkovic
The Cavalier Daily (University of Virginia)
February 26, 2003
Shortly before 2 a.m. this morning, Daisy Myong-Hui Lundy, Student Council presidential candidate and second-year College student, was assaulted in Poe Alley, directly behind the West side of the Lawn.
According to several sources who were nearby at the time, Lundy had just left the Lawn room of Tim Lovelace, student member of the Board of Visitors, to retrieve her cellular phone from her car, which was parked at the end of the alley, near Lovelace’s room.
While searching for her phone, an unknown assailant wearing “a hat and jacket” reportedly assaulted her, several sources said. Lundy was leaning into her car when the assailant grabbed her by the hair and slammed her head against the steering wheel. She subsequently fell to the ground, injuring her ankle.
Multiple sources, including Coalition Chair Ryan McCarthy, who was present when Lundy spoke to the police, confirmed this morning that Lundy told police the assailant said, “no one wants a nigger to be president.”
Police would not comment on any specifics concerning the investigation.
Lawn residents were alerted to the scene when Lundy repeatedly honked her car horn. Lovelace heard the honking and “decided to make sure things were okay,” said McCarthy, who lives two rooms down from Lovelace and has been actively involved in Lundy’s campaign. When Lovelace arrived on the scene, Lundy was laying on the ground and he began screaming.
Fourth-year Curry student Mary Ellen Bizzarri said she heard Lovelace scream and “walked down the alley, and Tim screamed ‘call 911.’” Bizzarri called the police at 1:53 a.m.
Police responded to the scene within 60 seconds, according to University Police Sgt. Dave Webb, who remained at the scene of the assault for several hours afterward.
Webb said there was only a vague description of the assailant, but that the Charlottesville and University Police had been notified. An ambulance soon arrived on the scene and carried Lundy to the University Medical Center.
Prior to the assault, Lundy had filed police reports regarding telephone threats she began receiving Sunday night.
As of 4 a.m., McCarthy said Lundy planned to leave the hospital, having sustained no serious injuries. She planned to stay with friends for the remainder of the night.
Response from UVa's Vice President for Student Affairs
I write to you with a deep sense of anguish. Early this morning, a member of our community was attacked near her car parked in Poe Alley. The victim was Daisy Lundy, a second-year student who is one of the two candidates for Student Council president. After being treated at the U.Va. emergency room, Ms. Lundy was released and is now recovering from what were diagnosed as minor injuries.
The University is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Due to the circumstances of the attack and the racially derogatory statement made by the attacker at the time of the crime, University Police are investigating it as a hate crime. They have issued a press release stating that the assailant is reported to be a heavy-set white male wearing a dark coat, light pants and a dark hat. The police are aggressively investigating the crime and urge anyone with information to call 924-7166.
As word of this horrific incident has spread, members of the University community are shocked and outraged that such a cowardly, apparently racially motivated act could occur in our midst. Ms. Lundy, who is African American and Korean, had been involved in a highly publicized election for Student Council president. In the past few days, she had experienced an increasing sense of concern after receiving hang-up telephone calls, one of which included intimidating language and profanity. She had reported the latter to the police.
This morning's attack draws anger and sadness. It should. Our institutional values do not condone physical violence, racism, stealth, intimidation or terror. Yet, we must realistically admit that something very wrong and terrible has occurred in a place we believed to be reasonably secure and above such baseless, violent acts.
To African-American students, I want to acknowledge the range of emotions you may be feeling right now - anger, hurt, powerlessness, isolation. You may also feel unsafe or even unsure of your role as a student of the University. We are committed to providing whatever support you want or need right now. If you need to talk, if you need to be angry - we will not turn away. We (and I am especially talking about the professionals in Student Affairs) will listen because we all need to learn from this incident and fully deal with the ugliness it represents. This incident potentially changes us all, but it does not change the initiatives and goals we already have begun working on to make this a more tolerant, multicultural community - one that embraces differences and recoils at the mere suggestion of violence or terrorism directed at any of its members.
In coming weeks, we cannot freeze one another out or allow existing divisiveness to grow deeper. We must channel the anger in constructive ways, toward the diversity work that now demands our attention in a new way. Each of us has a responsibility to extend a hand, to seek ways to bring our community together and bridge the divides that we know exist.
This incident has saddened and angered many throughout the community. Those emotions were evident this morning as I met with the University's academic deans to brief them. Student leaders, including the current leadership of Student Council, have expressed the same reaction and are deeply sorrowful that a fellow student would be victimized in this way.
As a means of expressing reactions to this incident, a community meeting - "Community Reflection and Response" - will take place this afternoon from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Newcomb Ballroom. Karen Holt, director of Equal Opportunity Programs, will moderate the session. Following the community meeting, small group sessions will be available at 6 p.m. for those who wish to continue the discussion.
All offices within the Division of Student Affairs, including the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, African- American Affairs, Dean of Students, Residence Life, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Newcomb Hall, and the Center for Alcohol and Substance Education, will be available to students for small-group and one-on- one discussion or counseling.
We have some hard work ahead, but people at all levels of the institution are committed to bringing about positive change that goes beyond mere talk about diversity. With your safety and support as first priorities, my office will be working with President Casteen, the vice presidents, deans and leaders throughout the University to address your concerns and ensure an environment that is as safe and civil as possible.
Patricia M. Lampkin
Lundy to Become Student Body PresidentBy Kate Andrews
The Daily Progress
March 11, 2003
Daisy Lundy will be president of the University of Virginia Student Council next year, following her opponent’s decision to drop out of the racially charged contest, council officials said Monday.
Although the election was resolved Monday, racial tensions prompted by a reported race-based assault on Lundy were nowhere close to being settled, judging from the fiery speeches at a community meeting that night at Mount Zion Baptist Church.
Lundy told police she had been attacked Feb. 26, the second day of a runoff election between her and Ed Hallen, a junior. Polls closed early that day, and council officials were planning to resume the vote this week, as students returned from spring break.
But Hallen ended the suspense Sunday when he dropped out of the race after speaking with Lundy, said Atima Omara-Alwala, the council’s vice president for administration. Hallen sent an e-mail that night to council members explaining his decision.
“I choose to withdraw from the presidential election in order that Daisy and I may better work together as partners in the coming year,” Hallen said in a statement.
Council members were “not entirely” surprised by Hallen’s decision to withdraw, Omara-Alwala said.
“This election has been unusually draining for both sides,” she noted. “There was a lot of relief on both sides.”
Lundy issued a statement Monday evening calling the assault part of “a larger problem of exclusion that has plagued our university for far too long.”
“My greatest concern is that the incident exactly two weeks ago has focused too much attention on me,” Lundy added. “The events that transpired are not simply about Daisy Lundy, nor are they merely about Student Council.”
She also urged “every member of the university community … to commit themselves to creating an environment in which all members are treated with tolerance, civility, and respect.”
Lundy will be the first minority female in UVa’s history to become Student Council president. Five black men have held the post.
Omara-Alwala said Hallen, chairman of the council’s racial and ethnic affairs committee, is interested in working with the council in some capacity next year. He was unavailable for comment Monday.
Despite the election’s resolution, feelings remained tense as the investigation by UVa police and the FBI continued. Authorities interviewed Lundy on Monday near the UVa Lawn, where the incident reportedly occurred, a friend said.
Lundy told police that a heavyset white man between the ages of 18 and 20 assaulted her, using a racial slur referring to her candidacy. She suffered a minor concussion and injured her knee and ankle. No arrests have been made.
Meanwhile, about 50 area residents, many affiliated with UVa, met Monday night at Mount Zion Baptist Church to air their feelings about race relations. Many speakers voiced frustration.
“I’m tired of every time we have a problem at the university, we have a meeting,” said Hank Allen, a retired employee. “Then it’s over, and we think we solved the problem.”
Some attendees expressed their disappointment that few students attended the meeting, but others said that students are very active in organizing discussions and events this week to address the issue of race relations.
But long-term change, retired lecturer Virginia Hines argued, lies with the faculty.
“I think every department has old boys,” she said. “It runs through our society.”
M. Rick Turner, dean of the Office of African-American Affairs, also noted that few blacks hold positions of authority at UVa.
At a meeting this morning with other deans, the provost and “all the big shots,” Turner said, “I was the only black man in the room.”
“What I said was, ‘Why aren’t there any black folks here?’ You know what I got? A conspiracy of silence,” Turner said.
Others said the two groups — Charlottesville residents and university employees — need to get over standoffish behavior common to both parties to work together for a solution.
“I’m discouraged at the racial geography of the area,” said Corey Walker, a first-year faculty member. “A lot of this is willed ignorance.
“We don’t need a report,” Walker continued. “We don’t need another committee. We need some commitment to follow through on these recommendations.”
Meanwhile, UVa is continuing its discussion of the Lundy case and race relations this week in a variety of forums. President John T. Casteen III sent an e-mail to all students Sunday night giving details about the investigation and the university’s response.
Casteen urged students to call in tips to the UVa police or Crimestoppers, emphasizing the role of the honor system in the university’s “community of trust.” UVa and two civil-rights groups have combined to offer a reward of $22,000 for information leading to an arrest.
An independent review of Student Council election procedures will take place, culminating with a recommendation for reforms.
Several forums for discussion will take place this week, as well as Wednesday’s March against Racial Hatred, sponsored by the UVa School of Law’s Committee for Progress on Race. The walk from the law school will be followed by a candlelight vigil at the Rotunda. "Quote this article on your site