High School Seniors Rethink Applying to U. Va. After Sexual Assault Scandal

According to The Washington Post, high school seniors are beginning to rethink their decision to apply to The University of Virginia in the wake of a sexual assault scandal and increasing questions over campus safety.

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is one of U. Va’s biggest feeder schools, but now students and parents are increasingly nervous about the university.

“It’s causing some students to think twice about U. Va.,” said Sean P. Burke, a college counselor at T.J., of the allegations.

U. Va is the nation’s public flagship university and currently has an enrollment of about 23,000 students and a stellar academic reputation. “Everyone agrees that U. Va is a fantastic school,” Burke said. He continued that university officials “are going to have to answer the questions of parents and well-educated students” who are considering the university to further their education.

School officials addressed the report from Rolling Stone that chronicled a “culture of hidden sexual violence” and less than stellar responses from administration when these incidents were reported. With an already ongoing national debate on campus sexual assault, the article placed U. Va. at the center of the conversation.

President Teresa A. Sullivan made the last minute decision to cancel a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, choosing instead to speak with the university community in Charlottesville.

“We have a problem and we are going to get after it,” proclaimed Sullivan. “The story has raised a number of questions in my mind, and I will make it my highest priority in the coming months to learn the answers…”

Sullivan continued, “And let me say emphatically that how we answer these questions is not about protecting the university’s reputation-it is about doing the right thing, and the reputation I care about the most is not being afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead.”

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