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09 Aug 2017
35 min
Audio Overview

 

Transcript of Alicia Mooreland’s Interview.

Interviewee: Alicia Mooreland, fourth year student at the University of Virginia

Interviewer: Sarah Hainbach

Thursday, October 11th

 

S: I’m Sarah Hainbach, and I’m interviewing Alicia Mooreland. Would you spell your name?

 

A: A-L-I-C-I-A. Last name: M-O-O-R-E-L-A-N-D.

 

S: Okay, great! So… we’re going to talk about the events that happened this summer at the University of Virginia and your experience of them. Before we get to that, I’d just like to hear a little bit more about you (we haven’t really gotten to know each other that much)… Like where are you from? Just to start…

 

A: Gosh. Okay. Well, where I’m from is a little complicated… I’m a fourth year, in the college, major is African-American studies. And I’m originally from Northern Suffolk, no one ever knows where that is, but it’s like the Hampton Roads area. Um, but my last year of high school my parents moved to NOVA, and so now they live in Occoquan, so when people say “Where are you from?” I’m like “Ahh, I don’t really know.”

 

S: So you go home to NOVA now on breaks?

 

A: No, yes and no. My boyfriend lives in Norfolk, so I go visit him. But when I have to for major holidays I go visit my parents up in NOVA.

 

S: Okay. One question about your prior education before UVA, did you go to public school? Private School?

 

A: Also complicated. [Laughs.] Elementary school, I went to public school, and then my parents pulled us out and put us in private school. I was in private school from sixth grade until about the eleventh grade, and then my last year of high school they moved me and I went to public school, so, it was a pretty interesting experience.

 

S: Okay, okay. So now let’s get more into the UVA stuff. You’ve been here for four years; you’ve been studying African-American affairs…

 

A: African-American studies.

 

S: African-American studies, sorry! Um, and you were here this summer? Correct?

 

A: Yes!

 

S: Working?

 

A: Doing a program and working.

 

S: Can you tell me some more about that?

 

A: Yeah, I was here doing a program through the Commerce School, um and I was also working part-time, so it was pretty interesting to see all the events happening. Charlottesville was, you know, pretty slow for the entire summer, nothing really happened until the situation with the president.

 

S: Where were you when you heard about that situation?

 

A: I wanna say I was home. I was in my room, I was watching TV, and I just, you know, got an email, took a look at it, I don’t really look at emails that often, but it said that the president was resigning, so I took a look at it, didn’t think too much of it, just because it’s like okay, you know, the people who probably made this decision, hopefully they, you know, made an agreement and you know, she’s resigning, she seemed like a great person, but maybe UVA just wasn’t the fit for her. So I didn’t think too much of it.

 

S: Had you heard things about President Sullivan before? Had you met her?

 

A: I hadn’t really heard anything… too much. I heard that she was really friendly, really approachable, really down to earth, someone that I know a lot of times, people feel as if with faculty, or even with past presidents, sometimes people felt maybe intimidated to just you know walk up to someone and talk to them, but I heard really good things about her, so I think that’s what was a little shocking about the whole fact that she wanted to resign because I felt like, she, you know, was doing a great job here. But, obviously, as a student, we don’t see what’s going on behind the scenes.

 

S: Had you met, or um, or had you noticed a change between the time Casteen was here, to Sullivan?

 

A: Um, no.

 

S: What year were you when that leadership change occurred?

 

A: I wanna say my second year. I didn’t notice too much. I feel like um things pretty much stayed the same um for me, it was kind of a shocker that they brought President Sullivan in because she’s the first female president, so that was pretty shocking for me just um you know it’s UVA and going from Casteen that was a breath of fresh air that I felt like the University needed. But I feel like the University has somewhat stayed the same. You’re always gonna have the protest groups, you know the prep groups, you know, it's UVA.

 

S: How did you decide to come to UVA?

 

A: Uch. Laughs. This question torments me. I actually did not want to go to UVA. I wanted to go Spellman, in Atlanta. It’s an all-girls school, but I ended up coming to UVA because Spellman was way too expensive and it was out of state and it was pretty far from home and my parents just weren’t comfortable. And luckily my oldest sister graduated from here in 2008, so you know I was able to come and visit her and hang out and I guess it rubbed off on my little sister because she’s also here.

 

S: Oh wow. So you have a whole family connection?

 

A: Yeah. Whole family connection now. I mean, now that I’ve been here at UVA, I love it. You know, I had a conversation with my sister and she basically said you’re gonna hate it or you’re gonna love it. You know if you mope around, obviously you’re gonna hate it but she’s like you have to get involved, you have to you know join some groups, and eventually you fall in love with it, which I have.

 

S: Did she love it? Your sister?

 

A: Yes, she did, she actually did. She wishes she could come back (laughs)

 

S: Aw. And what groups have you gotten involved with here?

 

A: Well, I’m in a sorority, I’m the vice president of my sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. I’m also the director of entertainment and hair for Fashion for a Cause, which is basically a student organization where we put on a fashion show to raise money for a specific cause and this year it’s sport education and raising a scholarship and I’m also doing YWLP which is a mentoring program. So I’m pretty busy, and I work, so.

 

S: Wow, yeah. That’s great. Do you think your student involvements here shaped your reaction to the events of the summer?

 

A: Um, I do. I think that being involved in the community… Had I not been involved in so many organizations I probably would have thought anything of it but because I saw the effect on the community and just the entire situation of how the Board of Visitors did everything. The actions behind the scenes were really unnerving, to say the least. You know I feel like at UVA we have a lot of pride in the fact that we are a community. We… you know we love each other. I hate to sound cliché when I say that, but everyone’s really friendly. You know we try and include everyone, to make it a happy and positive environment, so to hear about you know people going behind people’s backs or you know anything being said it’s just a little upsetting.

 

S: That’s understandable. Um, and you said you were here in Charlottesville when you got the news. What did you do? Did you go to any of the rallies? Who did you talk to here?

 

A: I actually wasn’t able to go to any of the rallies because my program um was from nine until four pretty much every single day and then I worked after I left my program but we did talk about it um quite a few times in class when we’d have a break and you know, we got an opportunity to kind of voice our opinions and how we felt about the situation. Some students were um… had more opinions than others. We did have a large group of students that were not from UVA, and they were just visiting, so it was interesting to kind of see their perspectives you know looking in as an outsider coming in to a program and you’re kinda like I’m here in an awkward situation where they just… where the president has resigned.

 

S: What was this program you were doing?

 

A: It was the business institute, through the commerce school, so you know based in business, and it was very interesting when they tried to have one of the faculty members in the commerce school um you know step in as the intermediate president.

 

S: Right.

 

A: Um so we were able to talk –

 

S: Zeithhamel, right?

 

A: So we were able to kinda talk to a lot of his colleagues and you know they would just say, they all had their own opinions, but they kind of, were able to kind of sit down and say you know “he is willing to take the position if he wants to take the position,” but from the way that it was said to me, he felt as if he was being forced into the situation. You know honestly during the summer I just felt very disappointed, most of all, in the actions with the the Board of Visitors. I understand that they are appointed and that they do have you know a lot of power, they are able to make certain decisions, um, but in my opinion I feel as if it’s how you make those decisions and the actions behind them, and if you know, to me, you have to have you know some type of moral code. And if you can’t do it in the light, if you can’t come out and say everything that you did, then there’s probably something wrong with what you did.

 

S: Interesting. And what were these outside perspectives? Where were these students from?

 

A: Ah, I want to say that one of the students was from Elon, and Liberty…

 

S: So just all over?

 

A: Yes, all over.

 

S: And what did they have to say about it?

 

A: They were kind of shocked. I feel like you know most people said you know on the outside UVA seems like a calm, cool and collected place to go to school and very professional… you know everything is always good on the outside, so for you know outsiders to come in and you’re hearing about all these rallies and you know “GREED” written on the Rotunda, it’s embarrassing as a student to have someone come in and kind of think you know your school they don’t know how to conduct themselves. Um, they don’t know how to properly you know do things by protocol without you know getting wet paint on their hands.

 

S: So you were embarrassed by the Board of Visitors’ actions?

 

A: Right, right. I just felt like, you know, whoever did the, I’m assuming public relations, um, I think they did a terrible job. I think they did an absolutely horrible job. You know the email that was sent out was very open-ended, there were no specifics, and that’s where, in my opinion, they made their mistake. You don't just send out an email and say “oh your president resigned and we had some you know certain philosophical differences.” You know that’s just not good enough. You have to let the people know a little bit more on why she’s only been here two years and now you’re ready to replace her. And I feel like as a student, I should be, you know, given that information because this is someone that is going to be leading my school, they are going to be the face of the University of Virginia, and I take pride in the school that I go to, so you know I was just very disappointed in their actions and in the lack of communication with the students. I just felt like they could have done more to you know make the situation better and really give us a little bit more than the tablespoon they gave us.

 

S: You mentioned “GREED” that was written on the Rotunda? So did those, were you embarrassed by that as well? By that, and the rallies, and other –

 

A: I, you know, I was proud of the rallies. I felt like there are people in this community who share the same sentiments as I do, and you know, just a simple fact of greed or whatever the differences were it could have been greed it could have been anything else. I was proud that there were people in the community who stood up and said you know what? what you’re doing is wrong, and we're not gonna accept this behavior that may have passed at another school, and um, you know that moment, it just really made me proud. You know, I’m a wahoo, and um, the four years that I’ve been here, I feel like being at UVA has really taught me it is about the community, it’s about not just yourself but the people around you and making sure that you live up to a certain standard, and um, to a code of ethics, and the community held the Board of Visitors up to those standards, which I felt was you know necessary.

 

S: What do you think about what’s going on now? How students don't, how the community doesn't seem to care as much – would you agree with that?

 

A: Yeah, I, I do. I think that, unfortunately, that’s how many societies and communities are. You know you have that hot topic of the moment, and then you know a couple weeks later it’s over. Um, you know, which is really sad, because in order to really make a difference and make sure that these things are seen all the way through you can’t just think about it all the way through. You can’t just you know think about it one minute and then forget about it the next. I think that as students we really have to become more involved in the politics surrounding our school, because at the end of the day, it’s great to have faculty members, it’s great to have the board of visitors, it’s great to have the president, but the students really do make the school and also the community around that school and so I think it is, it is important for us to understand the politics behind you know everything that is going on. Um, I think that the only thing to really, I guess, talk about, would be, how do we get more students involved, how do we make these issues more apparent, more out-there for them to kinda take a look at because I think we get so focused on school and studying, and I know for me, I feel so overwhelmed. It’s like I’m working, I have you know groups, I have my own different things that I’m looking at as far as what I want to do in my future, um, but I think it’s very important that we just step back for a second and say okay, what’s going on at my school, you know, how can I make a difference. That’s one of the reasons why I chose my major, African-American studies, you know, I am a black woman, and you know following the history of African Americans at the University of Virginia is very interesting, and to find that had not a few students, you know the black students, then my major may not exist. So it’s very important to just sit back and say you know I can make a difference, whether it’s me going to a rally, whether it’s me giving my opinion, whether it’s me just being you know aware of what’s going on around me. You know as a student you know I think we get a pass sometimes because we have so much going on, but you know a part of being in college is growing up, and you don't want to wait until you’re you know 35 and saying oh you know, let me, now let me look at the news or now let me find out what’s going on you know around me. You should be active in pursuing that information now, because it does affect us. And the decisions that they make might change how you feel in the future about your institution. You know, these decisions about online education, and you know, greed, and politics, all those different things will affect us, and you know like I’ve said before my family is a UVA family. I have my oldest sister has gone here, my little sister is here now, and I want to make sure that when I have my kids, I’m proud to say “Your mom went to the University of Virginia, and I would like for you to go to the University of Virginia,” and let this situation be an example that, you know, the students here and the community here have stepped up and we held ourselves accountable for, you know, bad behavior.

 

S: How do you think we can get the students more involved?

 

A: I think that we need to have you know well obviously there’s a course now But I think that we need to continue these courses. I do think that there should be… I wouldn’t say make it mandatory because obviously you can’t mandatory isn’t the best way to get people to get involved but I think you know at least people coming in first year, have those open discussions. You know, there’s a whole week, when you first get to school, when you’re with your RA, and all the students on your hall, that could be a great opportunity to say okay, what do you think about the University? Where do you see yourself in two or three or four years? However long, which program you’re doing. And you know do that maybe again in the middle of the semester, or second semester, right before people graduate, and say hey, how do you feel about this now? What do you think should be changed? And use those opinions and suggestions and try and create either a course or an online little tutorial or seminar that people can go through and kind of take a look at. You know, UVA is rich in history, and if you look for it, you will find pretty much everything that you need. But it’s actually taking that step. I think once people hear a little bit more. I think because people don’t know too much about what’s going on, they kind of shrug it, like it’s not my issue, it’s not my problem. But if you give them a little bit more information about this is what happened, what if this happened at another school, and this is how it’s going to affect you in the next three to four years that you’re here, I think that we would gauge a lot more interest.

 

S: What do you think about student self governance and the Board of Visitors and their governance?

 

A: It’s very interesting. I actually didn’t know pretty much anything about the Board of Visitors before this entire situation. I think what is a little unsettling with me is that so many of the Board of Visitors have primarily, not all, but primarily, have business backgrounds.

 

S: That’s unsettling to you even as you were studying business over the summer?

 

A: It is. You know there’s a way you can run your business. That’s just the way that I’ve been raised. You can do business you know one way or you can do it another. It’s all in you know your code of ethics and your morals. Over the summer we had a perfect example of that, we had group projects, and we had to basically make our own companies. And you managed your whole company. You put the shops wherever you wanted to, you managed the product, you managed the price, you did everything. And we had the option of making you know factories in certain areas. Certain areas were cheaper than others. A lot of companies went outside of America, you know in these little seminars, because the work was cheaper and that they could kind of exploit the workers. That’s one form of doing business. So just because it’s business doesn’t mean that it has to be so cutthroat and that we should in my opinion excuse bad behavior. Um I think for me with the Board of Visitors we need more representation with students.

 

S: Like a voting member?

 

A: Yeah, like a voting member, um. And that can be tricky because students are gonna fluctuate in and out, but I do think it’s important that we have that, as well as with the faculty. It’s kind of like you’re making decisions about students and faculty members, but you have no one on that board, and it gives you a different insight on things that I think most people wouldn’t normally have and since most of these individuals are coming from a business background you know it might have been that they haven’t been to school in a very long time. Things have changed and you need to make sure that you are aware of the issues and concerns of the students. Because that might be the difference of one student going to your school or one student not going to your school. So I think it’s pretty tricky, but I think that in the right manner it can be done.

 

S: Okay. There’s um a thread, or a concept that you mentioned earlier. You mentioned that you considered going to a women’s college and that you identify yourself as a black woman and I just feel like being a woman is such an important thing to you and does that relate to you to this issue? With President Sullivan being the first female president of the University?

 

A: It, it it does.

 

S: And also Helen Dragas?

 

A: It does. I would be crazy to say that I’m not proud to be a woman, that’s just how I was raised, um you know I have two sisters. My mom raised me to be a very strong and independent woman and to accept responsibility for when you’re right or when you’re wrong. And for me you know I didn’t like what they did to President Sullivan and you know if that was anyone… but the fact that she is also a woman also added on a little bit of extra weight. Because you know from my knowledge, you know this hasn’t happened to any other president here at UVA. And for it to happen with the first female president is kind of alarming. It’s kinda like well why did you bring her in here if you were gonna have her resign two years later? So I mean I think that as a woman I try to stand behind other woman, but more importantly, what is right. You know, like I said before, had things gone a little differently, I know people always try to paint the picture of good versus evil, and Dragas being you know bad and Sullivan being good and I’m not saying that you they didn’t have disagreements, that there weren’t issues, because obviously there was some tension there to get to where it ended up being, but the most important point for me was just how she went about doing it. So whether she was a woman or whether she was a man, in my eyes, it would have still been wrong. And it’s just really unfortunate that when we have to look back on the history of our first you know female president, that this situation has to come up. So I’m hoping that UVA can grow from this and you know show that we’re not like this, we don't accept this behavior um but I think it was also a good lesson that we had to learn. Um that we had to kind of get a hold on things and what's really going on at our University because a lot of us really just don’t know, and not because we don’t care to know, but just because we don’t know because we don’t act enough questions, and we’re just you know in our day to day lives not really into the politics of things.

 

S: How do you think the Board of Visitors members should be appointed?

 

A: Huhhh. That’s a tricky question. I actually you know, I don’t know. I really don’t know. Because… you know, obviously they’re appointed because they are assumed to be, good at what they do.

 

S: And I guess, another part of the question, is who should appoint them?

 

A: Huh. Another really tricky question. I feel like maybe there should be a split, and call me crazy [laugs]. I feel like the president should be able to choose some of them.

 

S: Even as they choose the president?

 

A: And that’s – I would, I would change things. You know, I just think that, the way that it is, is really muddy. And I think what concerns me is I don’t really know the reasons behind why they’re being chosen. It could because they can you know make the school a lot of money. Or they can bring in a president that is gonna bring in a lot of money. Um, and that’s I mean that is a part of a University. Money is very important. But you also have to have intellectual integrity, and the education has to be the number one priority. Of all. So, you know, I don’t know. I might have to think about that question for a little bit. But I don't know, I don't really know how they’re gonna be chosen. Because you know obviously in the past they have done good I think it just depends on the person being chosen, what is their track record you know. I don't know, maybe we should give students a poll of these are you know, people we are considering, you know, read down their resume and you know read down some of the things that they’ve done. Would you like them to be part of the Board of Visitors that’s representing your school? I think that’d be a great question to ask fourth years leaving out if people are you know, coming in…

 

S: Okay, and what do you think about the nature of the University as a public university? We’ve discussed this in class, some. And, right now, the board of visitors members are chosen by the state, so…

 

A: You know, for me, UVA is a public-private university. Um that’s what I was told before I got here and being here that’s just how I feel it is. I would love to say that the University should have its own committee to appoint the Board of Visitors but I don’t know that much about public and private institutions enough to know, okay, this is the better way to choose them. I think we should look at other private institutions and see their model…

 

S: Other private?

 

A: Other private institutions, and see if it’s worked. But also look at public institutions and see how you know obviously we know how theirs has gone. But look at private institutions and see okay, is this a better model, or what? But does UVa really want to take that leap? From public to private… who knows? So, I don’t know, I think that question might be a little…

 

S: And that could change our mission?

 

A: Hmhmm. It could. It really could. You know, I love UVA. We have a lot of things to work out, but as far as with the Board of Visitors, that’s a really tough, a really tough spot.

 

S: Do you think of the University of Virginia as a leader in education and public education across the nation?

 

A: Yeah! [laughs]. Wouldn't be here, well besides the money thing, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't a great school! I feel like UVA, no offense to other schools, and obviously I have no bias towards UVA, but I really believe that the faculty really stress education, being on top of your game. You know, being mediocre, being average, is not okay. It’s just not. So I think we are a leader, I think we need to stay where we’re at, and keep excelling, and keep looking at fresh new ideas, but not compromising our foundation, that it is education, that that’s the most important thing. Not only education, but outstanding education. You know, I want to make sure I say this politically correct, but you know, as a student when you come here, you know, you work your behind off to get here, you work your behind while you’re here and you want to see results. Education is an investment and so I feel like if students are investing in UVA then we shouldn’t compromise by any means what we have set forth for our education.

 

S: There’s a lot of talk about online education being this newest thing. Do you agree with that?

 

A: You know, I feel like when I talk about this, I get myself in trouble with my mom. ‘Cause she’s like, you sound very elitist. But for me, I think, online education… is great. I think there’s a way in which it has to be done. If we’re gonna do some online classes, which I’m not saying that I’m for, but it would have be to either cut down on the amount of people being here for a certain amount of time. Um I think it would be great if students had you know prerequisites that they have to get done for college. I know like we have certain requirements that just have to get done that either your AP scores or whatever can’t cover. Um - 

 

S: So using online courses to fulfill those prereqs?

 

A: Right, because you know, they’re difficult to a certain extent, but they’re not so challenging that you necessarily need to be in class to fulfill them. So I think that could be a great option… Would I offer them during the school year? Probably not. It would probably be something that you either complete you know over summer break of over winter break or you can kinda do it at your own pace because I feel like if you do it with the rest of your courses I think it is important for students to be here especially as a first year to get that experience and to be in class and to be challenged and to interact with other students. That’s the most important thing about college is coming together with people you don’t know, people, hopefully people you've never been around, and to have them challenge your ideas and for you to challenge others, but when you have all of this information online, how does that separate you from high school? You know, in high school you usually have someone okay this is the information, this is in the history book, this is you know what it’s been. But in college it’s about okay this is what people have said, now how do you feel about it? What would you change? Why, what are the flaws in this thesis? Without that discussion, I feel like we’re not really building well-rounded people. So, if we have the online education it just needs to be done in a manner that it’s not taking the place of students being in college and getting that experience cause it’s more than just oh getting good grades and you know, it’s more than that, it’s it truly is an experience that I feel like everyone should have, and I don’t think online education should ever take the place of that, at least not here at UVA. We don't have that type of culture, where it’s just like, oh we’re just gonna give you the information and you read it and that’s it and we only hear one perspective. At uva it’s about everyone and everyone coming together and talking and really you know agreeing to disagree or finding out things that a lot of people didn't know beforehand. Everyone has their own background and experiences and that’s you know, great to bring that to school.

 

S: Why would your mom say that’s an elitist opinion?

 

A: [laughs]. Ah. Well. She said it was elitist in the simple fact that… this is what I said. I know this sounds so terrible. I don't know if I could look at someone the same if they said they received their degree from the University of Virginia, online, where… I’m here as a student. It’s very different, it’s not the same. And, and, my mom said, are you taking away the fact of online education? No, I’m not. I think that’s a great option for some people. If you can’t get to class, if you you know are getting back into the swing of things with education or if you don’t have you know a university around you and you have a family, I think online education you know is fine for that. But I don't see it on the same level – I hate to say this – I don’t see it on the same level as going to a four-year university, I just don’t. And I understand that some people have to do online education. And I’m not anything away from them. But, I think that it’s a different experience here. That’s all I’m gonna say, cause…

 

S: No, that’s completely understandable.

 

A: And like I can get myself in trouble cause you know, I just don't want the status of UVA to become mediocre, and to become average, in that it’s easily accessible for everyone, well not everyone, just easily accessible in the sense that you don’t have to the best of grades to get in and you don’t have to really push yourself. Being here at UVA, I feel like I am being pushed to my absolute limit, with every class that I take, um you know, I’m smart! But there’s another smart person, there’s another smart person, everyone’s smart. So what are you gonna do with that? You’re gonna push forward, and keep pushing. So yeah.

 

S: So what do you think about Coursera? The online program that’s starting in January, open to everyone?

 

A: I saw the courses, so I’m not you know too upset about them. I’m assuming that that’s just something temporary that they’re testing out to see what the interest is, and you know where they’ll go with it, so I’m not really taking it too seriously, but in the same sense, um I feel like if they do gauge a large interest, which I’m sure they will…

 

S: They’ve had a lot of people sign up. I can’t remember the number.

 

A: It needs, it really needs, if they’re gonna move forward with it, they really need to think about it, and make a plan that is going to benefit the University, and not hurt it, in the sense of the way people perceive UVA, and how they think of us. I don’t want it to be an us versus them situation, with oh you got your degree online, oh you got your degree at UVA. Um, so it really has to be done in the right manner. I don’t know if I’m for a full time online plan; I’m just not. But I I I you know I do think it would be somewhat fine if they had prereq classes which you know you gotta get those out of the way anyway. The only problem with that, which is something that we did talk about in my course, is when you have these online classes, how is that going to shape the University in the fact that we do have um student teachers that teach those courses? Um, you know, are we gonna be able to provide that income for them, or how is it gonna shape that dynamic?

 

S: And that experience, of teaching.

 

A: Because we do have a lot of TAs, teachers assistants, that um you know teach you know the lower level courses. So it would be interesting to see. I feel like it would affect them a lot more than it would for affect the students. Great, I don't have to go to an eight am, you know, I don’t know intro Spanish class, you know, that’s great for the student, but what about the teacher, that’s like hey I have to get some teaching experience, and I don’t have a class, because you know they’re doing it online, so they have to pick the right courses, and they have to um figure out where they’re gonna offer them.

 

S: So you have to consider all of the parties?

 

A: Mhmm. Yeah, because I mean, someone could take, you know I guess you could do an English paper online, but Spanish is very interactive, so you know I’m sure you could do a Spanish class online, but is it really gonna benefit the student? You know, are they really gonna learn anything? You have to have that in-class experience. Um, so I think it, it just depends. It really does.

 

S: Have you ever taken an online course?

 

A: No, [laughs], no. I prefer to have someone in front of me. Obviously I like to talk a lot, so I like to be in a class setting where I’m able to hear everybody’s opinions, because I might go in thinking one way and not be able to pick out certain things. You know, there are many times where I go into class and people are you know, we’re talking about a book. And I might say well I think her point is x,y, and z, and someone else might say well I thought her point was a, b, c, and then I say you know I agree on that point or I don’t agree with that point. It makes you think about the text and the information that you’re receiving differently. So.

 

S: But do you think any of that could be replaced? Or not replaced, but maybe, enhanced, by online education, like we do with our blog posts perhaps?

 

A: Yeah, I think in that sense it could be enhanced. But a whole class based on blog posts, I couldn’t see it. Um I think the blog posts are great, and the now comment, great. I think that would be perfect to help supplement the class you know that’s great. But, but blog class, no.

 

S: What do you think about, you were talking earlier about how um the online education needs to benefit the University in some way, like having these classes available to the public. So what do you think about charging the public and bringing in revenue for the University, for the students who are here on grounds, for these people from all over the world?

 

A: I think there should be a fee, but I think that is gonna be in more, that question will probably lie more in the direction of where UVA sees thereself in the future with these courses. You know are we just doing it for you know a semester or a J-term? You know, what are we using these classes for, and what are these people gaining from these courses? Are they going to be able to transfer these credits? You know is it just to put it on their resume that they took a course at UVA? Um so I think they’d have to kinda look at it in that direction, as in you know if these people are being able to put this on you know put that you know on their credits for another school and say hey I took this can this pass for something else, then yeah, they probably should you know charge them. But if it’s just for the simple fact that people can just take it just to take it to get the knowledge, then it’s kinda like you know, it should be fine the way it is if it’s you know free. I don’t – you know, it just depends. It depends on how they institute it.

 

S: That ties into the nature of the University as a public institution? To give knowledge.

 

A: Hmhmm to give knowledge to the public. It is important, so I think, yeah, if they’re using it towards something, if they’re trying to use it as another, as an additional credit then yes they should have to pay, because that’d be the same if you were at any other university, if you were taking an online class, or if you were going to that course, but if it’s just for everyone, just so they have that knowledge, then no.

 

S: Now online education was one of the reasons for the um, the events of the summer. Do you, do any other reasons, do you know any other reasons, do you think, predict any other reasons?

 

A: Um, I think that was one of them. I heard some people’s affiliations with other companies was very unsettling. I don’t know the exact information –

 

S: Right.

 

A: So I won’t state the names, but um you know a lot of people had friendships and business relationships with companies that are known for online education, and it’s like you’re using this funding, where’s the funding going? Are you doing this for the good of the University, or the good of the corporation? So I think that also fueled it. And I think, just a lack of communication. You know when you already have people that really don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye, you know I think it’s very easy that tension can build up, whether it was on the online education situation, that could have been you know the foundation of oh well we don’t agree on online education and so you know I don’t agree with her on that so I won’t agree with her on that so I won’t agree with her on any – you know it can be you know a couple different things. I know we like to think that everything’s very professional, and everyone is putting personal business aside, but I do think that plays or has played in this situation as far as the decisions made. Actively going behind people’s backs, not coerce people, because we don’t know the process, but to go behind the public’s back and deliberately meet with people, raises red flags. Like I said before, if you can’t do it out in the open, if you can’t you know do it in the light, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it at all. So you know we’ll see. I’m hoping that overall this situation will really be a lesson learned for UVA. Um I think we can absolutely come back from this, we’re already coming back from it, but I don’t want it to be a situation where it’s hot one minute and cold the next. It needs to be, you know we need to talk about it we need to figure out what, how we’re gonna move forward. And I think as a community you know, we, we’ll be able to do it, it’s just to people really want to do it, do people still have that fire in them to do it?

 

S: So you see the University moving forward from this event?

 

A: Oh yeah. I think that we’re, we’re definitely going to move forward. I think that the protests and the rallies were the first step. It shouldn’t be the only step though. I think that people really need to follow through, and um you know think about their position at UVA. I think students need to realize we have a lot more say-so then I think people think we do. We do here, we pay tuition, we pay a lot of fee each and every every year. So, it’s important that our voices are heard and that our student organizations can also get involved and you know kind of be that voice for people who aren’t as vocal.

 

S: Okay, then, we’ll wrap things up. Is there anything else you’d like to add before we turn off the recorder?

 

A: No, I just want to say thank you.

 

S: Thank you, Alicia.

 

A: And I really appreciate it, and hopefully someone will hear this and it will spark something in them, whether it’s in their major or whatever to you know do something.

 

S: Great, thank you.