Virginia Universities Start Kicking Out Unvaccinated Students

Some Virginia universities have started kicking out students who refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and other institutions may start following suit.

Virginia Tech disenrolled 134 students this week who did not receive the vaccine. Before that, the University of Virginia disenrolled 288 students, and William & Mary withdrew 42 students for the same reason. All three universities require students be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they receive a medical or religious exemption.

“Of the approximately 37,000 students enrolled at Virginia Tech, 134 students were not in compliance with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, meaning that they did not submit vaccination documentation or receive a medical or religious exemption,” a statement on Virginia Tech’s website read. “These students have been disenrolled. The university does not know whether any of these students were not planning to return for reasons unrelated to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.”

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Mueller to Help Teach UVA Law Class on Russia Investigation

Russia investigation Special Counsel Robert Mueller will help teach a class on that investigation and the role of a special investigator at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Law, UVA announced Wednesday. Deputy Special Counsel Aaron Zebley and two other senior members of the team will teach the six-session in-person class next fall, with Mueller leading at least one class.

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The University of Virginia Lets Illegal Immigrant Students Skip Out on Enrollment Deposit

University of Virginia

The University of Virginia is permitting “undocumented” students to waive their $400 enrollment deposits.

On April 27, undocUVA — a student activist group — called on the university to “do better” in extending financial aid to classmates illegally present in the United States.

“Matriculating marginalized students without providing adequate resources for them is a strategy of exclusion,” said an undocUVA statement.

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UVA Professor Calls for Cabinet-Level ‘Secretary of Equity’ in Biden Administration

University of Virginia associate professor Ebony Hilton is calling on Joe Biden to create a secretary of equity.

Hilton is an associate professor anesthesiology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She was featured in one of Joe Biden’s campaign ads discussing COVID-19’s “impact on communities of color” and the “social determinants of health.” 

Hilton is also the medical director of Goodstock Consulting, which is a medical consulting firm “committed to implementing policies that result in #HealthEquity.”  In a tweet, Hilton states that this means “challenging all negative influencers of the social determinants of health.” 

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UVA Students Create Website for Easy Access to Virginia Colleges’ COVID-19 News

Four University of Virginia (UVA) undergraduates have created a website called The Collegepedia that aims to make the process of finding the latest reliable, college-specific news about COVID-19 at universities throughout the Commonwealth easier.

“[Journalists] have been working tirelessly to keep communities informed about their health and safety, but there is no single media outlet or aggregator that compiles all of these stories, searchable by community, in an easy to read and straight to the point format. So, we wanted to fill that void.” UVA senior Nik Popli, one of the website’s creators, told The Virginia Star.

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University of Virginia Extends Its Optional Credit Grading Policy for January-Term and Spring Semester

The University of Virginia (UVA) announced Monday the school is extending the optional credit grading policy, originally implemented this fall, for all undergraduate and certain graduate classes during January-term and the spring 2021 semester.

Provost Liz Magill made the announcement in a letter to students, which included details on how the grading policy will work.

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UVA Fellow, Former George Mason Professor: Overthrow the Government if Trump Wins

University of Virginia (UVA) postdoctoral fellow and former George Mason University (GMU) professor David Walsh called for government overthrow if Democratic challenger Joe Biden loses the election.

“Here’s the thing: if the worst-case scenario happens next week, Americans don’t need to just ‘protest.’ They need to actively try to topple the government,” wrote Walsh. “Also worth nothing that the military has already made it clear that in such a scenario, they’re not going to back Trump.”

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Increase in Homeschooling, Working from Home Likely to Last

Increases in homeschooling and working from home triggered by COVID-19 closures may have permanent impacts, according to University of Virginia (UVA) researcher Hamilton Lombard.

“Based on trends over the past few decades, the number of homeschoolers and telecommuters were both expected to continue growing rapidly even before the pandemic. If Virginia’s homeschoolers were a school division, they would be one of Virginia’s largest school divisions, and easily its fastest growing,” Lombard told UVA Today.

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COVID-19 at Virginia Colleges and Universities: What Do the Numbers Say?

As many colleges and universities in Virginia continue on with in-person instruction for the 2020 fall semester during the coronavirus pandemic, the schools’ COVID-19 dashboards offer insights into how the pandemic is affecting those institutions.

Since the global pandemic hit the United States back in March, more and more schools have created online COVID dashboards that present a plethora of data on total tests, case counts, positivity percentage and 7-day moving averages for positive tests. 

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Virginia Colleges Enrollment Plummets

Enrollment in Virginia’s public and private nonprofit colleges and universities for the fall semester declined by 1.3 percent or 6,658 students, according to early enrollment estimates from the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) released Tuesday.

The data used by SCHEV is directly provided by 64 colleges and universities located in the Commonwealth, including some of the state’s most prestigious and largest schools such as William and Mary, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University and Washington and Lee University.

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Governor and First Lady Northam Test Positive for COVID-19

Governor Ralph Northam announced Friday that he and his wife, First Lady Pamela Northam, have tested positive for COVID-19. The Northams received testing after learning that one of the governor’s staff members tested positive. 
Northam reports that he is asymptomatic; his wife is experiencing “mild symptoms.” The pair plan to isolate for ten days and then undergo another examination, according to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) guidelines.

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U.S. Attorney’s Office Drops Charges Against Visiting Chinese Scientist Accused of Trade Secret Theft

The Charlottesville U.S. Attorney’s office dropped all charges of trade secret theft and computer intrusion against visiting Chinese scientist Haizhou Hu. The prosecution determined that some of the trade secrets were within Hu’s authorized access while at University of Virginia (UVA).
Hu has ties to the Chinese military. The researcher works for the Chinese Key Laboratory for Fluid Dynamics at China’s Beihang University, which the Chinese government and military both fund.

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UVA to Students: Lockdown! But…Pay Us!

University of Virginia (UVA) President Jim Ryan announced new COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday prohibiting student gathering of five or more people, mandating constant use of masks or face coverings and banning  travel and visitors coming to campus for at least the next two weeks. 

The restrictions apply to students, faculty and staff, living on and off campus, and went into effect on Wednesday at 9 a.m. 

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Virginia Tech Punts on Opener, Postpones UVA amidst COVID Scare

Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia (UVA) announced Saturday they are postponing the first game of the season because of COVID-19 issues at Virginia Tech.

The game, otherwise known as the Commonwealth Cup, was slated to be played September 19, in Blacksburg.

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UVA Workers Union Launches Fund to Provide Employees with PPE and Help Potential Furloughs

A campus workers union at the University of Virginia (UVA) has launched a mutual fund in order to provide university staff with personal protective equipment (PPE) and raise money in the form of an emergency fund for potential furloughs as in-person instruction began Tuesday.

The union, United Campus Workers of Virginia at UVA (UCWVA-UVA), announced the formation of the fund via press release.

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UVA Announces No Fans at Fall Sporting Events, Only Coaches and Families of Athletes

The University of Virginia (UVA) athletics department announced Friday that no fans will be allowed at fall sporting events until further notice, including football.

The current state guidelines for sports venues under the Forward Virginia plan put in place by the Commonwealth allow for less than 50 percent occupancy of the facility or 1,000 people.

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UVA Employees Form Union Calling for Online Fall Semester

University of Virginia employees have formed a new union and launched a campaign Monday centered around moving the school’s current hybrid instruction model to a fully virtual fall semester.  

The union, United Campus Workers of Virginia (UCW-VA), is composed of undergraduate and graduate student works as well as university of Virginia (UVA) faculty and staff. 

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Virginia Football Season Still up in the Air with No Decision from ACC Yet

Uncertainty still looms over the Virginia football program with no official decision from the Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) about the fastly-approaching 2020 fall season.

Just like many other Division 1 football teams, Virginia is waiting for a decision on whether a modified season will be played as athletic directors, school presidents and chancellors and the league continue discussions.

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US Judge Orders North Korea to Pay $500M in Student’s Death

A federal judge on Monday ordered North Korea to pay more than $500 million in a wrongful death suit filed by the parents of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who died shortly after being released from that country. U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell harshly condemned North Korea for “barbaric…

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Illegal Immigration Activists Host Training Events To Recruit ‘Allies’ at University of Virginia

An illegal immigrant activism organization is hosting a week of events to train “allies,” using the experience of Palestinians in Israel as a backdrop. The student group DREAMers On Grounds at the University of Virginia are hosting DREAM Week from March 27 to April 2, during which students will have…

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