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Monument Avenue protests

Monday, Sept. 18, 2017

Dear VCU and VCU Health Community,

The Virginia Commonwealth University community is grateful to those who helped ensure that Saturday’s protests near our Monroe Park Campus were largely civil and free from violence.

We owe many our profound gratitude. First, to the vast majority of demonstrators who showed civility toward one another and respect for our city and our campus. Law enforcement officers, including Chief John Venuti and VCU Police, protected those who attended the protests, preserved their civil rights and kept city and university property safe. Our colleagues from the City of Richmond showed exemplary leadership and partnership. Members of the media, including VCU student journalists, chronicled the events and kept the public informed. Staff from VCU Facilities, Student Affairs and on the university and medical center Incident Coordination Teams did an excellent job of responding as necessary and keeping our campuses secure.

What could have been a volatile situation instead became a showcase for the core values of our university and our democracy: respect and civility toward one another, even when we may disagree. Moving forward, let us continue to engage in productive dialogue around these and other issues with the utmost commitment to civility, tolerance and respect.


Michael Rao
VCU and VCU Health System