The Serpentine Society

A Letter from the Serpentine Co-Chair

To the University community:

Over the weekend, a group of demonstrators with extreme ideologies descended upon Charlottesville and the Grounds of the University of Virginia. The presence of these agitators was initially billed as an exercise of constitutional freedoms of assembly and speech. But from the torch-lit meeting in front of our Rotunda, to the downtown rally that culminated in the injury of at least 20 people, and deaths of three, this weekend’s violent displays of malice and hate were never about free speech: they were meant to terrorize and intimidate the University and Charlottesville communities.

We are shocked and deeply saddened by the senseless loss of life and the demonstration of blatant hatred and bigotry seen this weekend. The racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic and anti-Semitic messages that peppered these hateful gatherings do not represent Charlottesville or the community of trust we strive for on Grounds. Acts of violence are not protected by the First Amendment; no matter how many times they may chant “blood and soil,” this community will never belong to them.

The Serpentine Society will continue to work with the University community towards our shared values: acceptance, equality, and safety for communities of color, the LGBTQ community, and all communities on Grounds.

For students in need of support during this time, the University has several resources available to you:

● Counseling and Psychological Services are available at 434.243.5150 during their summer business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
● For crisis assistance outside these hours, please call 434.297.4261.
● The LGBTQ Center is available at 434.982.2843.
● Multicultural Student Services is available at 434.924.9250.
● The Office of African-American Affairs is available at 434.924.7923.
● The Women’s Center is available at 434.982.2361.

Do not be deterred by these abhorrent acts. This community belongs to you.

Very truly yours,

Brendan Maupin Wynn

The Serpentine Society reaches out to and advocates for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) UVA alumni and students by connecting alumni with each other and to the University.

Our priorities are to pursue equality, enrich LGBTQ student life, empower promising students, and invest in LGBTQ Studies.