How Do You Say “F— UVA” In Arabic?

This image of two doors on the Lawn is taken from the Instagram account of the Students for Justice in Palestine boasting of its accomplishments this fall.

by James A. Bacon

One of the key events that sparked the creation of The Jefferson Council was the defilement of a Lawn residency door. In 2021 a 4th-year student posted “F— UVA” in large letters, along with a bill of particulars detailing why the university was a racist institution. Outraged alumni mobilized to protest the desecration of Thomas Jefferson’s academical village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site visited by thousands of potential students, their parents, tourists and others every year.

Turning the door into a bulletin board for profane political posters violated the terms of the lease and the spirit of Lawn residency, described on the UVA website as respecting the living space as “a place of historic value and as the public face of the University.”

The Ryan administration argued that because it had failed to enforce those terms from the beginning of the school year, removal of the sign would constitute a violation of the woman’s right to free speech. However, the administration did issue new guidelines effective the following semester restricting door postings to a small bulletin board on the doors. From that point onward, unhappy alumni were assured, the guidelines would be enforced consistently.

For a time, Lawn residents abided by the new guidelines. But enforcement slipped and flier creep set in. Students began putting up fliers that were bigger than the bulletin boards. Then they began adding extra fliers.

Here’s a photo of a door we took October 12.

Then, five Lawn residents covered the entire door, as seen in the Students for Justice Palestine Instagram photo atop this post.

Palestinian sympathizers are entitled to their views. They are free to hold demonstrations. They are free to declaim their opinions on a soapbox. They are free to write op-eds. They are free to post their feelings on social media. They are free to express their feelings in classes and in essays. They are free, if associated with a student club, to put up posters on public bulletin boards in accordance with university policy. They are NOT free to clutter up their Lawn doors to support their political causes in violation of the terms and conditions of the lease contracts they signed.

Students may not be attuned to such legal niceties, but University officials should be. Once again, we may find ourselves in a situation where the administration failed to police its own policies, and that failure makes it impossible to enforce guidelines because any action would constitute a free-speech violation.

It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that the administration made concessions on the use of Lawn doors only shut up vocal alumni, and after creating the new guidelines it promptly stopped caring. Rest assured if someone had plastered their doors with MAGA fliers, the response would have been very different. In this and a thousand other small ways the administration sides with faculty and students with left-wing sympathies and makes it abundantly clear that some viewpoints are more equal than others.

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Herb Griffith
Herb Griffith
1 month ago

One more example of the Ryan Administration failing to take immediate action to salvage the shredded reputation of The University. Despicable!

Philadelphia Lawyer
Philadelphia Lawyer
1 month ago

Wasn’t that in 2021 (not 2001)? As a protected historic resource the Lawn can and should enjoy special restrictions around visual appearance. If students don’t agree, they can take it up with the National Park Service, who manages the National Register of Historic Places. The NRHP nomination packet for the “University of Virginia Preservation Zone” from 1970 is a fun read – https:// catalog.archives.gov/id/41680103

walter smith
walter smith
1 month ago

I thought Philly Lawyers were supposed to be dangerous! Thank you for the tip. I have downloaded the application and approval. Perhaps the ungrateful students honored with a Lawn room should be required to read this…
I’ll try to make a live link here
I hope it works.

Eppa Hunton
Eppa Hunton
1 month ago

The most dangerous species on earth is the college student that does not think and is not educated, but lives in a pampered world where extreme views are encourged and rational ones are denegrated. I am glad that the NPS guidlines and the UVA application are posted, (although I have read neither). They were adopted after careful consideration of the Constitutional limitations that created the freedoms we have protected.
The 2nd amendment is sacrosanct. But it is not unlimited. The rules of civilized society ARE important especially were people and ideas live in close proximity to one another.
Ryan is right, you cannot (read should not) enforce rules that have not been enforced for a long time to restrict one group or another. Review, educate, publish and put the rules before those affected and then enforce them prospectively is a legal and logical way to handle the problem.
We have long protected the Jewish people, including their ideas and institutions and homeland because of the athrocities visited upon them by the Holocaust. Maybe, someday, we will protect the Palestinian people because of their “holocaust”. They certainly have obtained the notariety that the Jewish people of Europe did not get before WW II. It is frightful that the Hamas started the cross border incursion without thinking of the possible retaliation of Israel. The Jews never did such atrocities to the Germans, but wanted to be tolerant and left alone to be educated, employable, and leaders in their communities. Maybe the Hamas really wanted to start their holocaust of the residents of Isreal, but like many educated but not thoughtful persons of today they failed to think through the consequences of their acts.

GRob
GRob
1 month ago

UVa fixing itself is completely hopeless. The only hope is for the Board of Visitors to replace politically motivated administrators, starting at the top.
They could follow DeSantis’ work in Florida to move The New College of Florida Board of Trustees in a more balanced direction.
DeSantis’ chief of staff, James Uthmeier, was quoted as saying the revamped board could remake the school “along the lines of a Hillsdale of the South.”
If it isn’t driven from outside UVa, it is hopeless.

Shame
Shame
1 month ago

Wow. A genocide is taking place against the Palestinians in Gaza, and all you are concerned about are signs on Lawn room doors.

Shame on you.

Shame, shame, shame, shame, shame.

Walter smith
Walter smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Shame

Sorry. A genocide is not occurring against “Palestinians” in Gaza. A just war is occurring. 350 miles of reinforced tunnels from the “peaceful” “innocent” “Palestinians.” The same people who then celebrated and joined in after the first wave of the October 7 war crimes/barbarism/evil.
You reap what you sow.
Perhaps if you denounced and removed Hamas, and denounced and quit jihad and intifada, but, until then, I think Israel is acting within the concept of a just war. Oh, and you could return the hostages instead of using them as bargaining chips…

Meg
Meg
1 month ago
Reply to  Shame

And you have no comments about the loss of life at the hands of Hamas and other terrorist entities? No comment about terrorists who hide in hospitals and schools, who make your beloved Palestinians a target. Oh and perhaps you can mention the obvious, and that is that a strong leader will retaliate from the deadly attack in Israel to protect its citizens and hopefully get what hostages were not killed. Shame on you. Shame, shame, shame, shame, shame.

UVA Past
UVA Past
1 month ago

Wonder where students learn to pay no attention to laws or regulations.

The Bootstrap Kid
The Bootstrap Kid
1 month ago

Do the lists posted on the door state of the names of the Jewish women who were raped and then murdered by the Muslims. What about the names of the Jewish babies who were burned alive or beheaded by members of that “Religion of Peace”?

J N ‘75
J N ‘75
1 month ago

Perhaps if this generation of students cannot preserve a World Heritage Site, the Lawn and Range should take a sabbatical from housing students for a year or two.