This week in-briefCD News Staff
Student Council unanimously approves 2023 summer budget, confirms ten new CIOS
Student Council unanimously approved its 2023 summer budget — which reduced funding by over $34,000 compared to the 2022 summer budget — during Tuesday’s meeting. Representatives also heard from and approved the formation of 10 new Contracted Independent Organizations and voted to amend their bylaws regarding the ability to file complaints about fellow Student Council members.
Holly Sims, vice president for administration and fourth-year Batten student, presented the summer 2023 budget during last week’s meeting. Sims said the reduction in the budget reflects more efficient spending by Student Council.
“I think it’s a success and that we really know what we can maximize our money on what we know will work,” Sims said.
The most dramatic decrease in funding is a $24,250 reduction in the Executive Administrative Operations Committee budget, which previously oversaw the University Networks of Care pilot program — the program was aimed at creating an alternative to police intervention in dorms for students experiencing mental health crises. Due to administrative challenges in accessing sensitive data about the number of police responses to mental health crises in dorms, Student Council decided to end the pilot program.
The budget passed with 16 yeas, zero nays and zero abstentions.
The General Body also voted to pass SB23-24, a bill to amend its bylaws regarding rules and ethics complaints. This piece of legislation allows for any general member of Student Council — rather than just representatives or executive officers as was previously stated — to file complaints about fellow members, regardless of whether they were directly impacted by the constitutional or ethical violation.
Local bar Coupe DeVille’s reopens for fourth-year send off
Live music wafted up Elliewood Tuesday evening as fourth-year students carried their student IDs and fourth-year cards down familiar stairs for the long-awaited reopening of popular local bar Coupe DeVille’s. After almost two years of closure following a kitchen fire and delays in construction, the bar surprised fourth-years with exclusive access to a private concert — the $20 tickets sold out in under a minute.
Coupe DeVille’s — known affectionately as “Coupe’s” — unexpectedly shut down September 2021 when a grease fire damaged the kitchen and upstairs seating area. Manager Ryan Rooney told The Cavalier Daily that Coupe’s could have reopened by Christmas of that year, but supply chain delays prevented them from replacing kitchen equipment.
With a reopening originally planned for late last summer, Coupe’s remained closed throughout the school year, citing construction stalled by the widespread labor shortage.
Fourth-year students, however, received an email Monday night announcing the establishment’s re-entry onto the late night scene with a private concert featuring “The Back Porch Project” band from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Tuesday.
An unspecified number of tickets on sale for $20 each through the LineLeap app sold out in under one minute. Coupe’s later released 50 more tickets at 8:45 p.m. the day of the event.
Some students cited the high cost of tickets as a barrier to entry. Fourth-year College student Kasey Kiefer said she chose not to purchase a ticket even though Coupe’s was her favorite bar.
“I wasn’t going to pay a $20 cover to get into a Corner bar in Charlottesville, but Coupe’s is still really nostalgic for me and I’m excited to hopefully go again before I graduate,” Kiefer said.
Center for Global Health Equity provides research grants to 29 students
From studying pregnancies in rural settings to developing support systems for tuberculosis patients, 29 Center for Global Health Equity scholars are gearing up for a summer of international research. Through the CGHE’s research grants, these students will travel abroad to engage in interdisciplinary research related to topics in global health equity.
The CGHE Scholar Award provides students resources to engage with global health issues around the world. Scholars are eligible to receive grants for a summer research project — between $2,000 to $6,000 dollars based on a budget application. A majority of scholars do their research on public health in Africa, and the CGHE has connections with several East African universities, as well as a network of universities that aims to improve health issues in Kenya.
The CGHE is an organization at the University whose faculty and students are committed to promoting interdisciplinary approaches to global health issues. The CGHE organizes regular events and opportunities for students to engage with them, while also facilitating international research opportunities.
As a recipient of this year’s award, fourth-year College student Sophie Lyon will be spending her second consecutive summer doing research in Uganda. This year, her project will address repeat adolescent pregnancy in southwest Uganda, with a community-driven approach that seeks to address these challenges in rural areas.
Lyon said she appreciates the CGHE particularly in giving her the chance to conduct her research abroad, something that the pandemic had made impossible.
“I never anticipated to have this opportunity in the first place,” Lyon said. “[The CGHE] connected me with the right people and found a project that aligns really well with my interests.”
Chabad House at U.Va. opens new location on Elliewood
The new location will expand access to the Chabad House’s services for studentsGrace Thrush | Senior Writer
Chabad House at U.Va. — a space for Jewish students offering Shabbat dinners, challah baking workshops and weekly Cafe Chabad’s — has found a second home at 17 Elliewood Ave. Married couple and co-directors Rabbi Shlomo Mayer and Channa Mayer hope that the new location on the Corner will make it more convenient for students to participate in its activities and programs.
Rohr Chabad House at U.Va. is a Jewish organization on Grounds that provides community for University students and the greater Charlottesville area. The center provides various free programs for Jewish students, including Shabbat dinners and group and individual study on topics of Judaism.
“Our main objective in the last 22 years is to provide a home for U.Va. college students — especially for undergrad [students], when they go far from home and they are lonely, to have a place where they could make friends and they could have a meal,” Mayer said.
The Chabad House takes over the space from Skooma — a Charlottesville CBD dispensary — which had occupied the location since April 2022. Mayer said that he discovered the availability of the Elliewood Avenue location while taking a walk with his wife Channa during Passover, when they saw a sign on the door advertising the building.
The pre-existing location for the Chabad House sits on Lewis Mountain Road and is the Mayers’ personal home as well. Mayer said this location will not stop its programming, as it is easier for first-years to access because it is closer to first-year dorms. However, he hopes that the Elliewood Avenue location will allow even more students to get involved.
“The benefit would be that we are very close to the Corner where … hundreds of students pass by every day, and we wanted to provide a Jewish center that would allow them if they want to have a coffee, or meet with a friend, or come for a class or have dinner,” Mayer said.
The new center has already hosted a celebratory end-of-year barbeque May 2, with plans to further expand programming at the Elliewood location.
Mayer highlighted the Sinai Scholars program — an extracurricular Bible study course for Jewish students — which has held Bible classes every Sunday for the past 15 years. He said he hopes the Chabad House’s Corner location will make it more convenient for students to take these classes on Sundays.
Noa Yager, student president of Chabad House at U.Va. and second-year College student, said she was pleasantly surprised to hear about the new Elliewood location and anticipates an increase in student involvement.
“It’s nice to have something in such a central and important location,” Yager said. “We’re all very excited to have a Chabad center closer to where a lot of us will be living next year.”
While programming planning for the fall semester has not happened yet, Yager said she looks forward to having the new loca -
tion as a study space for Jewish students who are close to the Corner.
Leaders of Chabad also hope to host Friday Shabbat meals at the Elliewood location. Shabbat recognizes Friday from sundown to Saturday evening as a holy day, traditionally a rest from work.
To begin offering Shabbat meals at the Elliewood location, the new center must have its kitchen renovated to ensure meals abide by Jewish kosher dietary laws — rules specifying that meat and dairy cannot be mixed, along with other food preparation and sourcing guidelines.
“They have to make everything in the kitchen kosher first of all, which is like the appliances and the stove and the dishwasher and everything, which they can definitely do over the summer,” Yager said.
Third-year College student Hannah Mikowski said these weekly dinners are one of her favorite memories with Chabad and represent the center’s welcoming approach.
“One time I brought my
roommates who aren’t Jewish, and they said that they felt that it was a very warm atmosphere, and that they didn’t feel awkward at all, and they’re just very inviting people,” Mikowksi said.
Mayer specifically emphasized that he wants the Chabad House of U.Va. to be a welcoming place for all students.
“No matter whether you are affiliated or not affiliated, whether you know Hebrew, you don’t know Hebrew, it’s irrelevant,” Mayer said. “Everybody could have a hamburger, independently of your knowledge of Hebrew.”
Students book hotels a year in advance for Final Exercises
Hotel management anticipates selling out as graduation approachesAllison Metcalf | Staff Writer
Students are forced to find accommodations for graduation a year in advance — and pay room rates approximately double the standard price — as a result of hotels reaching capacity months in advance for graduation weekend. In fact, many Charlottesville hotels have been fully booked for a calendar year prior to the Class of 2023 graduation.
For graduates with family from out of state, finding a room for the weekend is vital to attending the ceremony. Fourth-year College student Maggie Lynn said her family from Chicago booked their room at Hyatt Place Charlottesville back in May 2022 — a full year before her graduation.
“Because we live so far away, we have to be on top of it,” Lynn said. “Otherwise, no one would be able to come.”
For in-state students, driving to Charlottesville for the day of graduation is sometimes easier than finding hotel accommodations. Fourth-year College student Annemarie Cake said most of her family was driving to Charlottesville for the ceremony, although her parents
managed to book a hotel for the Friday night before graduation.
Cake said one thing that helped get the reservation — and a discounted price — was her uncle, who works in the hotel industry.
“People previously that have gone through U.Va. graduation say that the hotel booking is very quick and very fast, and it’s best to book early on because the hotel rooms do go by quickly,” Cake said. “Everyone knows, and so you’re forewarned, so you booked everything in advance.”
Advice — and sometimes warnings — about booking graduation hotels early spreads throughout the University community, according to Cake. One of these sources is the U.Va. Parent Network on Facebook, in which parents discuss booking a year in advance.
“Places start filling up immediately,” one user said on Facebook.
“365 days in advance — starting at 12:01 a.m. Don’t wait.”
Carol Miller-Meads, the general manager of the Holiday Inn in the Charlottesville and University area, said most of the hotel’s rooms were sold out by December 2022. Miller-Meads said their system allows
them to book rooms 350 days in advance.
Although the Holiday Inn is open up to sale almost a year in advance, they have restrictions in place for graduation weekend, including a two-night minimum and a no-cancellation policy. Graduation dates are usually announced through the academic calendar at least two years in advance. Booking early, however, could be a way of saving money.
“If I book early, do I get a better rate? Most likely yes,” Miller-Meads said. “We’ll put a rate out there and let it go, and then once we get to the point you don’t have that many rooms left to sell, then you yank your rates up higher.”
According to the Holiday Inn website, a standard room with two queen beds currently goes for $428 per night for members and $450 per night for non-members on graduation weekend. Comparatively, the same room costs $234 per night for members and $246 per night for non-members the consecutive weekend — around half the price of graduation weekend’s rates.
Other hotels show the same rate
discrepancies. At Graduate Charlottesville, only a handful of rooms are still available for graduation weekend, and reservation availability changes constantly. Currently, one deluxe king room costs around $843 per night for May 20, according to the website, compared to approximately $478 per night for the following Friday night.
“We anticipate selling out as we approach graduation,” said Sheldon Johnson, the general manager of Graduate Charlottesville, in an email statement to The Cavalier Daily.
Alternative options include booking through vacation rental companies such as Airbnb and Vrbo.
Because of the difficulty in reserving, many students and their families choose even more unique options, such as staying in dorms on-Grounds. Dorm reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis, and are comparatively affordable at either $110 or $130 per night without tax. Currently, on Ground accommodations are fully booked for Graduation Weekend 2023.
“If more of my family was going to come, then they could have stayed in dorms or something, because there were really no other options,” Lynn said. “But they ended up not coming because nothing was available, and it was too late for them to come.”
In the midst of the Class of 2023 graduation, bookings will soon open for the Class of 2024 graduation. Following the same pattern, these reservations will likely fill up a year in advance.
“We’ve already got people calling for graduation weekend next year,” Miller-Meads said.
Class of 2023 looks back on four years at U.Va.
The graduating class looks back on COVID-19, monumental changes to the Honor system and the lasting scars left by November’s shootingElizabeth Rambo and Eleanor Jenkins | CD News Staff
The undergraduate class of 2023 has experienced profound challenges and loss, from a pandemic that prompted global lockdowns to a tragic shooting that shocked Grounds in November and resulted in the death of three students. Departing students shared the lessons learned about finding their place both within and beyond the University’s classrooms before receiving their diplomas and officially beginning the next chapter of their lives.
Charlottesville native and fourth-year College student Camille Kielbasa said she originally wanted to attend college far from home, but that staying local ended up being her best option. Despite the University not being her first choice, Kielbasa said she knew she was in the right place as soon as she arrived on Grounds as a first year.
“I didn’t want to [attend the University] at first, but it’s ridiculously embarrassing how it’s proved me wrong,” Kielbasa said. “Within my first week here, I was like, ‘Oh, this is amazing.’ The people have just been so wonderful.”
Fourth-years were only in their second semester at the University when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Students were sent home for spring break and did not return to Grounds for the rest of the year while the virus spread through the country and globe.
The next academic year was almost entirely virtual, with strict testing and isolation requirements completely altering the university experience. Life around Grounds did not begin returning to normal until almost two years later when the first mask mandates were lifted.
“I feel like I missed out on a full year and a half, two years,” Kielbasa said. “The thought of leaving is kind of scary because I feel as if I haven’t completed my time.”
But if she could go back, Kielbasa said she would not have done her four years any differently. The people she met during her time at the University were what made her experience.
Fourth-year Engineering student Claire Cofield entered the University as a second-year transfer student in the midst of the pandemic. Cofield said that while she did not have the chance to build connections in first-year dorms, she found community in other spaces.
Cofield said the chance to connect with other students through Contracted Independent Organization activities and events ended up creating some of her fondest college memories.
“I think clubs and social events through clubs [were my favorite experiences] because those have been times where it feels most like college community,” Cofield said.
Many CIOs continued to meet throughout the pandemic, finding ways to host virtual or socially-distant outdoors events.
The pandemic’s challenges also brought personal growth for fourth-year College student Maggie McDermott. She said the pandemic pushed her out of her shell after having to work harder to meet people through the obstacles of required isolation and social distancing.
“During COVID, you really needed to put yourself out there to make new friends,” McDermott said. “I was never super interested in hanging out with people that I wasn’t super great friends with, so COVID-19 helped me to go on like one-onone coffee dates and whatnot with people that I didn’t really know.”
Following the struggles of the pandemic, University students were once again shaken by last
November’s shooting that took the lives of three students, Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler. Shocked and grieving, the University community came together to comfort one another. By the next night, students had organized a silent candlelight vigil. Flowers and messages soon covered Beta Bridge.
“I was pleasantly surprised to see how something so horrible and scary could draw a lot of communities closer together,” McDermott said. “It helped a lot of people come together and see our school as more of a family and community and less just an academic institution.”
Kielbasa said she worries the shooting has left lasting scars on the community. She cited the overall increase in gun violence and gun-related homicides in Charlottesville during 2023 — as of Saturday, Charlottesville Police Department has responded to 98 shots fired incidents this year, compared to 64 between Jan. 1 and May 13, 2022.
“Especially from living here my whole life, I’ve definitely seen a distinctive change [in feelings about gun violence],” Kielbasa said. “I think that from now on, anyone who comes to the University is going to feel as if they’ve been impacted by gun
violence, just because it seems to be consistent in Charlottesville, which is really scary.”
While healing from tragedy, the University saw history unfold this past March when students voted to expand the Honor system from a single-sanction model to a multi-sanction system — the first of its kind since Honor was founded in 1842. The new multi-sanction system allows for a range of new sanctions catered to each offense — including but not limited to a temporary leave of absence, expulsion, education or amends.
Kielbasa said that the new Honor system feels like a step in the right direction, as she described the old system as overly harsh in relation to most offenses. She expressed hope that the revised system will allow for a more equitable, holistic approach to considering sanctions.
“Expelling someone from college ruins their life and I think that in almost every single situation when there’s an Honor code violation, there’s a lot of things that are happening deeper like within the person, within the class, within the professor and within the system in general, that need to be investigated,” Kielbasa said.
Looking back on the waves of emotions throughout the past
four years, graduating students turn to face futures outside of the University. As the year comes to a close, Cofield said she is preparing to bid farewell to the halls and classrooms. She said the hopes and convictions the University taught her will continue long after she leaves Grounds.
“I think a lot of the classes I’ve taken here have given me a sense of trying to make the world a better place,” Cofield said. “So I want to try and do that with my career, to figure out a way to do things that help the world.”
Final exercises for graduating students will be held this Friday to Sunday.
Up, up and away!
Graduating students discuss what it means to participate in the tradition of bringing balloons to Final ExercisesKatrina Samaan | Life Writer
The University’s Final Exercises is a whirlwind of tears, applause, nostalgia — and balloons. Every year, the University’s graduating class lines up around the Rotunda for the unforgettable procession down the Lawn. Thousands of parents, friends and faculty members watch the students adorn the honors of honors and make their way across the Lawn. The Rotunda is filled with black caps and gowns that symbolize the end of something old, and the beginning of something new.
But among the sea of black garments, a striking contrast of color illuminates the Lawn. As the graduates take their final walk as students of the University, hundreds of students elect to participate in a popular tradition unique to just the University, carrying colorful, helium balloons of various emblems, animals, food and even cartoon characters that fill up the sky.
When families, friends or faculty want to congratulate the new graduates after the ceremony, the personalized balloons can make it easier to find a particular student. In the past, graduating students have brought everything
from smiley faces to their favorite sports teams as their choice of balloon.
Fourth-year College student
Sisi Snavely said she’s excited to partake in this long-held tradition come Finals Exercises and hopes the balloons are a tradition the University keeps alive in years to come. Some students strive to carry balloons that match their interests and hobbies. Snavely is bringing a cactus balloon that she says matches her personality and individual aesthetic.
“I just really love plants, especially houseplants and succulents specifically, and I also love the color green,” Snavely said. “So I thought a cactus balloon would be perfect and fitting with my personality and the things that I like.”
On a more practical note, the balloons are an easy way for graduates to identify themselves among thousands of other students wearing identical caps and gowns.
“I think it kind of gives everyone a way to stand out because everyone’s wearing the same thing,” Snavely said. “Your balloon is kind of like your accessory for
This grand display of helium balloons has been a trademark at the University graduation for the past several years. The assortment of bobbing balloons accompanied by the smiling faces of the new alums is a sight to see on a day that can be so bittersweet for many.
Fourth-year College student Cristen Huynh plans to make her graduation special by bringing a sushi balloon that encapsulates her time at the University and the memories she has made in the last four years.
“Sushi is my favorite food and some of my best memories at college are me and my friends getting all-you-can-eat sushi at Sushi King,” Huynh said. “Me and one of my closest friends, we actually make sushi together for dinner sometimes, and we like to host all of our friends for that. It brings out a lot of good memories.”
Huynh says she enjoys the task of finding the right balloon because it’s a way to celebrate the emotional culmination of completing college.
“Graduation is kind of sad,” Huynh said. “I think it’s nice to have something that everyone
looks forward to and bring a huge balloon to walk around with so that your friends and family can find where you are.”
Carrying fun and colorful balloons isn’t the only thing students are looking forward to, though. This year especially, graduation for the Class of 2023 can feel like an even more significant milestone given that their first year was interrupted by COVID-19. Final Exercises will be very meaningful for students and families alike to come together in one place and celebrate the end of a long journey over the past four years, according to Snavely.
“I’m really excited to see everyone together one last time and to be with all my friends, and to also have my family in my favorite place with my favorite people,” Snavely said.
To share that joy, the University has partnered with the U.Va Children’s Hospital since 2019 to donate balloons from Finals Exercises to the children at the hospital. This year, graduates can donate their balloons either before or after the ceremony to the Balloon Brigade volunteers who will collect the balloons and
deliver them to the hospital — a special way to give back to the Charlottesville community and reduce potential waste damage to the environment.
Bringing a balloon to Final Exercises, although a simple University tradition, adds a high-spirited touch to what can be a nostalgic and sentimental time for many graduates. Graduates are able to have something that symbolizes their time in college or tell a story about a niche part of their personality. But above all, it is a uniquely unforgettable element of graduation weekend.
“U.Va. has brought me the best memories and the best people,” Huynh said. “So I’m super excited to just be surrounded by all my really close friends that I’m going to have for life. And to add to the excitement, I’m definitely looking forward to having cute pictures with our balloons that makes everything even more memorable.”
Celebrate graduation with tres leches cupcakes
These easy, delicious treats are perfect for the upcoming end-of-the-year festivitiesSimran Havaldar | Food Writer
With the end of the school year comes summer festivities and emotional farewells to fourth-years. Therefore, to celebrate the season, it’s time to find that perfect, crowd-pleasing dessert that you can quickly whip up and share with your fellow hard working University students, graduates, friends and family — nothing too time-consuming, too complex or too messy to serve. After modifying a traditional tres leches cake recipe, I’ve crafted the ideal treat for these end-of-the-year occasions — tres leches cupcakes.
In the 19th century, the original tres leches dessert emerged in Latin America, from either Nicaragua or Mexico. Many believe traditional English trifles or Italian tiramisus, which require soaking sponge cakes in heavy cream and some type of alcohol, inspired the tres leches cake. Similarly, a tres leches cake involves soaking sponge cake in — as the name implies — three different types of milk. After becoming a staple in many Latin American households, Nestle further popularized the dessert, and today,
tres leches cakes remain a wellknown part of Mexican and Latin American food culture, often referred to as a “celebration cake.”
With the graduation season upon us, this sweet dessert is a perfect way to commemorate the occasion.
After hearing my mom rave about simplifying a tres leches cake recipe by using boxed yellow cake mix, I wanted to try it out myself. Instead of making the dessert as a sheet cake, however, I decided to create tres leches cupcakes — a finger-food alternative.
Bake time: 12 minutes (as specified on the boxed cake mix)
Cool time: 12 hours (or overnight)
Servings: 24 cupcakes
- Betty Crocker Super Moist Yellow Cake Mix (1 box)
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For garnish (optional)
- Strawberries, sliced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix, water, oil and eggs until the mixture is smooth.
Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners before pouring the batter into the liners — around 2/3 of the way full.
Once the oven is preheated, place the cupcake tin into the oven and bake for 12-17 minutes. To check if the cupcakes are fully cooked, insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake — the toothpick should exit cleanly. Allow the cupcakes to cool for around 10 minutes.
While the cupcakes are cool -
ing, whisk the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and whole milk together in a medium-sized mixing bowl for approximately a minute.
Once the cupcakes have fully cooled, remove the cupcake liners and transfer them to a casserole dish. Then, poke multiple holes into each cupcake, using a toothpick or, if you want to speed up the process, a fork.
Pour the milk mixture over the cupcakes. Then, cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
For the whipped topping, combine the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk together until the mixture has thickened, reaching the consistency of whipped cream. Refrigerate until the cupcakes are ready to be iced.
Once the cupcakes have been refrigerated overnight, ice them with the whipped topping, dust cinnamon on top and add a piece of sliced strawberry.
Simply put, these cupcakes are delectable. They have a
slightly spongy texture, perfectly complemented by the creamy, luscious three-milk mixture. In addition to adding moisture to the cake, the milk mixture also sweetens them, incorporating an extra layer of flavor. Additionally, the whipped topping — another crucial component of the dessert — is light, airy and delicious. It makes for the perfect finishing touch to the rich cupcake base.
The relatively simple process ensures that you don’t need any master baking skills to achieve a delicious result. Consequently, with the straightforward steps and phenomenal outcome, these tres leches cupcakes are a fantastic choice for any and all celebration events this season.
The unforeseen perks of giving up social media
What I’ve learned by giving up social media periodically and why I find it worthwhile to take a step backAlex Pawlica | Life Columnist
“Are you sure you want to deactivate your account?”
Yes. I tapped the screen, and a second later my Instagram account ceased to exist. It wasn’t erased forever — I could log in again at any point and everything would be restored as it was — but as long as I stayed logged out, it was consigned to virtual purgatory.
I followed suit with the rest of my social media, disabling accounts where I could or simply deleting the apps off my phone. The occasion? I had decided that I would give up social media as part of my practice of Lent, a 40-day period of preparation for Easter that involves the practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
I’ve given up social media for probably the last four or five years that I’ve observed Lent, but it’s a practice I think is worthwhile regardless of religious or spiritual background. In the last couple of years, I’ve started regularly taking breaks from social media anytime I feel like I have a strong “why.”
This spring, my “why” was a religious reason — the basic idea was that I would “fast” from my phone and use that time for prayer, but the same concept can be extended outside of this framework. For example, I sometimes find myself wanting to build up healthy habits like running or blocking out time to wind down for bed. When that’s the case, the easiest way to make time is by cutting out something else.
Last fall, I applied this idea to my academics. I noticed that I would get distracted while studying and end up spending more time doomscrolling than actually working. So I made a clean break with my social media. Disabling my accounts where possible, I purged my phone of social media apps and didn’t redownload them until I was through my last big wave of assignments that semester. I wasn’t magically more productive, but I could rest assured that I was carving out more time and sidelining distractions.
Behind each wish to “make time” for something else is a test of values. It’s not just that I want to make time to study — it’s that I care about school. Or maybe, if I’m being honest, it’s that I want to get my work done in time to go out with friends. At any rate, I’m not just cutting something out, but making room for something else that matters to me.
But in my experience, a “why”
doesn’t have to be strictly about making time for a hobby or habit. A “why” can be more abstract. When I notice I’ve been dealing with a lot of social anxiety, for example, I might log off some of my social media accounts if I suspect they might be a factor. In this situation, my focus is more on how I’m feeling and less on how much time I’m gaining or losing.
Because social media can provide a point comparison about what’s happening in others’ lives, giving it up can feel like I’m giving up an opportunity to find things to do or reassure myself that I’m doing enough. It means deliberately embracing FOMO. However, the sense of security I feel like I’m giving up is almost always a false one — scrolling quickly reaches a point of diminishing returns and turns into an endless feedback loop of self-comparison that never fully satisfies.
When I make it past the initial discomfort, I find my fears disappearing. Comparing my life to the highlight reels of others proves an impossible task when I can’t see them — I’m denying my mind the shaky evidence it needs to spout false narratives about my self-worth. Meanwhile, I find myself investing more of my energy in the people directly
around me and I end up blissfully forgetting about what may or may not be happening on Instagram. Funny enough, when I stop myself from seeing what I might miss out on, I end up not feeling that I’m missing out.
Even past the beginning stages, however, deleting social media isn’t without its challenges. When I’m offline, it can be very difficult to know what’s going on outside of my immediate experience, which comes with some very real downsides. What do I do when most of my news comes from Twitter and I only keep up with that one friend from high school through Snapchat?
Embracing these challenges, however, has proven to be a learning experience. Each time I delete social media for an extended period of time, my relationship with it evolves. For me, perhaps the most important piece of this evolution has been learning to divorce the virtual from the tangible. Though my accounts undoubtedly reflect some piece of me, I don’t feel that they are a piece of me. As it turns out, I’ve become less and less attached to social media with each break.
Through this process, I’ve learned a lot about how to be intentional with my use of social media. Now when I post on Instagram, for example, I might ask
myself questions like “Am I putting this out there to prove something? To whom?” By embracing careful intentionality with my social media use, I’ve come to believe that some moments are best shared only in the memories of those who have lived them. Consequently, I’ve put less pressure on myself about how I present my most public-facing profiles.
Going offline temporarily has even brought some long-term changes. Deleting social media has taught me what I do and don’t miss about it. For example, I deleted Snapchat a year ago and discovered that I didn’t really enjoy it that much to begin with. For me, it wasn’t an integral part of the relationships that I most valued.
My close friends didn’t care that I wasn’t keeping up a streak with daily blurry selfies, and the other people I sent daily blurry selfies to didn’t care that I stopped. The same was true of stories — I didn’t really care to view the ones from people I barely knew in real life, and I often had the pleasure of sharing experiences with the people I most cared to keep up with.
When it came to long-distance friendships, on the other hand, I had to be intentional about reaching out over text, FaceTime or snail mail. I didn’t
see what they were posting, but my absence proved to be an invitation to actively seek out life updates and not passively observe them. In the end, I realized that my engagement with Snapchat wasn’t doing all that much to help my relationships flourish. So just like that, I decided to make the temporary change a permanent one.
Still, there are apps and accounts I keep coming back to for what I think are good reasons. I love that Instagram, for example, lets me reach out to old friends whose numbers may have changed and stay in the loop about things like University sports and concerts from my favorite artists. As a true Gen Z kid, I rarely touch Facebook, but it’s handy for things like reaching out to relatives and finding questionable but cheap furniture for my college house.
There’s a lot of debate about the merits and pitfalls of social media, and I’m not here to join one side or the other. I will say, however, that in my experience it’s worth giving up for a while, even if you decide to hop back on. Social media is a versatile tool — taking a step back for a while may just provide the perspective needed to use it wisely.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Mia Gualtieri and her artistic evolution on Grounds
The student artist talks harnessing her craft, fostering community and the lessons she’s learned while at the University
Since arriving to the University, fourth-year College student Mia Gualtieri has transformed into a multifaceted artist, capable of captivating audiences through film, music videos, design and Studio Art exhibitions. Ahead of her quickly approaching graduation, Gualtieri sat down to speak about coming into herself as an artist in Charlottesville and the mark she hopes to leave on the University’s vibrant and talent-filled art scene.
When Gualtieri moved to Grounds as a first-year, she said she initially had not planned on filmmaking being an integral part of her college experience. This all changed when COVID-19 turned the world upside down in the spring of 2020, causing the University to send its students home to attend lectures over Zoom. For Gualtieri, she said the pandemic was the wake-up call that pushed her to explore the passion she had long been repressing.
“The only thing that was getting me excited to do anything was the thought of being on a set one day and making my own films,” Gualtieri said. “I was like,
‘I can’t wake up and be doing Zoom classes about stuff I’m not caring about anymore.’ That is when I sort of started really committing my whole self to it.”
When Gualtieri first started making films she said she was most interested in exploring narrative, primarily using it as a device to contextualize contemporary queer identities. Now, Gualtieri’s work is more experimental and focuses on using visuals and abstraction to cultivate sensory experiences.
As with film, the visual art of design was something Gualtieri said she felt more inclined to explore once the barriers of intimidation and uncertainty were taken away, and what brought down those barriers were the practice-based classes Gualtieri took at the University.
“When I started at U.Va. I took an Intro to New Media class where we just learned every app in the Creative Cloud,” Gualtieri said, attributing the course to taking the medium from daunting to accessible. “It was demystifying these things that enabled me to actually get over the fear
and get excited about what the potential was.”
Gualtieri said that what she learned in the classroom would be the foundation of her time at V Magazine — the University’s student-run fashion, arts and culture magazine — of which she is the outgoing co-editor-in-chief. Similarly to her coursework, the magazine allowed Gualtieri to learn by doing.
“It opened the door to what I could do as a student here, and how I could actually be building tangible skills and meeting people who had similar interests,” she said. “Working on that first shoot I think really demonstrated to me how if you want to do certain things, you have to make your own space for it.”
As co-editor-in-chief, Gualtieri said it was important to her to make the magazine a place for creativity to prosper, but also where community could be found.
Gualtieri said this same desire to build community through art was one of the main inspirations behind the Gelatin Film Festival — an experimental short film
festival founded by Gualtieri and fourth-year College student Alyce Yang, Gaultieri’s friend and long-time collaborator. The Festival was held at Visible Records March 18, and featured a variety of analog short films.
“The event was focused on bringing all Charlottesville artists [and] community members together into a space to have this larger conversation,” Gualtieri said.
Gualtieri said that these four years’ worth of experiences have culminated into the confidence that she now feels in her art and her abilities. When speaking about her Studio Art thesis — the project she is most proud of — Gualtieri said she was proud of the exhibition because of how much she trusted herself throughout the process.
“I feel like I needed all those other experiences to grow enough confidence to be like, ‘Oh, I can do this,’” Gualtieri said.
After she walks down the Lawn during Commencement this weekend, Gualtieri will be moving to Los Angeles with Yang. The two lived in and ex -
plored the city for two months last summer, and Gualtieri is excited to return and cement herself professionally.
“The advice I’ve been given is that in many ways you can’t plan ahead,” Gualtieri said. “The things that come unexpectedly end up being the things that are the most fulfilling and work out in the coolest ways.”
Gualtieri said that her plan is to continue directing film and music videos, working on commercials, getting art into gallery spaces and possibly revisiting the narrative style of filmmaking that she got her start with.
“I’m excited for all the random connections and people I can meet and how that can become other things, and just staying true to what I want to be making, and finding other people who are on the same page,” Gualtieri said.
“That is the goal.”
Book bans through the eyes of local educators
Librarians and professors discuss one of today’s definition educational policiesMelanie Chuh | Staff Writer
School boards across the nation are prohibiting certain books from classrooms due to their sexually explicit or otherwise controversial content. Parents who advocate for these book bans say that they aim to protect their children from graphic topics, leaving educators scrambling to defend variety within classrooms and libraries. As the wave of book bans reaches Virginia, public schools are being forced to consider the balance between students’ exploration and protection through literature.
While book bans have caught national attention in states such as Florida and Tennessee, Virginia public schools have experienced restrictions as well. Within the past few months, Madison County High School removed 21 titles while Spotsylvania County Public Schools prohibited 14 books. Both policies were developed in response to Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s mandate to ensure that parents will be notified if sexually explicit material is taught in the classroom.
Albemarle High School Librarian
Erica Thorsen said many acclaimed selections like Shakespearean plays and literature curated for Advanced Placement English classes contain sexual content. Thorsen said Youngkin’s new policy will result in procedural changes in public schools, presenting new challenges for high school teachers and librarians.
“Before a teacher potentially
teaches a book, they have to get parent permission,” Thorsen said. “And then [the policy] extends to library books. If a student checks out a book for a class assignment, we also then have to notify parents that your child has checked it out.”
Thorsen said that students may also check out books to explore inner conflicts that they are not ready to share with their families — such as sexuality and gender identity — potentially altering how students interact with the library. Literature should be appropriate to the age group being taught, Thorsen said, but high schoolers are experiencing a “time of self-exploration” and should be allowed a wider variety of literary resources.
Many school librarians — such as Charlottesville High School Librarian Anne Ernst — have proactively changed their library policies to prevent advocacy for book bans. With resources from the American Library Association, Ernst revised school policy to “get ahead of” dissent towards certain titles by organizing parent notification systems within course syllabi and providing alternative reading assignments.
Additionally, Ernst said that local parents are not the only concerned citizens rallying for book bans. In fact, some of the loudest voices in support of book bans do not live in the areas in which they advocate.
“We have a lot of [advocacy] groups, like Daughters of [the Amer-
ican Revolution], who are reaching out and getting people to go to the school boards and start these protests,” Ernst said. “You don’t even have to be from Virginia to make a school board comment.”
The Daughters of the American Revolution is a women’s service organization that advocates for the preservation of American history through education.
Media Studies Professor Bruce Williams elaborated on the historical context for the recent book banning movement, suggesting that it has been driven by local citizens determined to defend their communities against the nationalization of politics — as national political issues take precedence over local political issues in the media, residents feel more ready to defend their communities from national ideals with which they do not agree.
Williams used University Founder Thomas Jefferson’s idea that everyone should be a yeoman farmer — a man who farmed his own land — to explain how the nationalization of politics has polarized the country. Just as Jefferson believed that every man is entitled to his own share of land, he thought that democracy relies on the consent of the governed.
“The idea is that for democracy to work, everyone has to have a stake in it,” Williams said. “When politics was local, you could see what the issues were. Jefferson said that’s how a
roughly equal democratic society has to operate, but we’re a long way from that now because the focus of local media has never been weaker than it is right now.”
The expansion of media has provided consumers with access to national debates, clouding out community issues and redefining the role of the local public-spirited citizen, as Williams said.
“Now, national politics have visited school board meetings and towns and cities where they have never really been an issue,” Williams said. “You have people encouraged by this national media conversation to begin to object to things they find objectionable in public libraries and in schools.”
This is not the first time book bans have swept the nation. Williams said that during the 1950s, anti-communism movements motivated similar efforts. Schools reevaluated their libraries to ensure that their books represented patriotic values, stripping catalogs of anything even remotely sympathetic to communist ideals.
Attempts at classroom censorship forces the reevaluation of the role of books in young people’s education. English Professor Victoria Olwell said that books are essential resources for young people to develop their own organic opinions and participate in important conversations.
“[Book bans] are battles that are
waged in the service of young people but in which they have very little voice and power,” Olwell said. “But young people are already agents, actors in their own communities, and they deserve to have the resources to be thoughtful actors.”
Ernst further elaborated on how students’ independence and curiosity nurture their education. In fact, book bans work to foster students’ curiosity about books and book bans, sparking casual conversations about intellectual property.
“In the counties where they’re experiencing challenges, students are showing up to school board meetings and they’re letting people know [what they think],” Ernst said.
As advocates of all ages continue to battle over censorship, one thing is for sure — the threat of book bans has inspired community members, including Ernst and those too young to hold voting power, to engage in conversations about education and literature, encouraging the locality to show agency in the face of the nationalization of political issues.
Hoos Originals: Eight songs released by U.Va. students
A playlist of songs written, performed and released by the classes of 2023-26Abigail Milne | Staff Writer
Need a playlist for those long walks across Grounds? These University student originals will keep the good vibes going from the Corner to the Chemistry Building. From acoustic indie to alternative rock, listen to the best of the University’s creative Cavaliers.
“Burning Innocence” by tal
First-year College student Natalia Leaf recently released her first single as tal, marking the start of a promising musical career. With smoky vocals well-suited to her lyrics, tal sings about her “Burning Innocence” in a song crackling with fiery wordplay. tal packs her songwriting with vivid imagery — she’s “speeding through smoke” and can “feel the heat” of the blazing glory of her youth.
“Harder to see the truth getting older / Sixteen, I’m stuck in a world with no corners,” tal sings, ornamenting her runs with a light vibrato reminiscent of a trembling flame.
“Hockey Hands” by Maxwell Mitchell ft. Roisin Queally
First-year College student Maxwell Mitchell has already made his mark on the University music scene as the frontman of the Krispies, a student band that performs at local house shows. Mitchell’s solo projects, spanning three albums and a number of singles, draw on influences like Hozier, Vampire Weekend and the Beatles.
Mitchell’s indie rock-esque sound shines on “Hockey Hands,” a track off his most recent album “Human Journals.”
“Cause I still think about hockey hands and weekend plans,” Mitchell sings in a catchy pre-chorus and refrain that will get stuck in any listener’s head.
“I Don’t Hate You” by Mary Low Second-year College student Mary Hall made her debut last semester with “I Don’t Hate You,” a forgiving ode inspired by a friendship breakup.
“If we’re both broken / Why am I the one left picking up the pieces? / Leaving my hands bloody / As you hobble back leaving a trail of glass,” Hall writes, echoing the melancholy metaphors oft-employed by her artistic influences, Phoebe Bridgers, Mitski and mxmtoon.
“I’ve always been a part of a musical family,” Hall said, who first wrote and performed an original song at thirteen.
One might hear Hall’s variety of singer-songwriter jazz in a tasteful downtown café. A saxophone riff and the swish of a drum kit under-
score her soulful vocal harmonies. Hall pieced the track together in an audio studio in Clemons Library — a humble beginning for an endlessly listenable breakout single.
“Boutique” by Snivys
Lofi beats producer Snivys is first-year College student Jack Ireland, a composer and multi-instrumentalist. A growing name with over 15,000 listeners on Spotify, Snivys has produced five albums and a collection of standalone projects.
Snivys creates electronic beats and soothing soundscapes using Logic Pro X. His “Unova is Home” albums — an original video game soundtrack in two volumes — blend both styles in an auditory exploration of Pokémon Black & White’s fictional Unova region. Ireland borrows his artist name from the pokémon Snivy, a character from the same game — and Ireland’s favorite pokémon.
On “Boutique,” his most recent single, Ireland layers a jazzy keyboard melody with pulsing chords and a steady drum kit beat. With its soothing lofi ambiance, this track works equally well as a soundtrack for studying or gaming.
“I Need to See Somebody” by Hunter Carleton “FaceTime and emojis are all we’ve got / To get this feeling of
emptiness to stop.” Thus begins fourth-year College student Hunter Carleton’s all-too-relatable pandemic-era track, “I Need to See Somebody.”
The track captures the feelings of isolation, loneliness and listlessness many experienced under pandemic restrictions. Carleton’s addictive hook, punctuated with percussive lyrics, sounds like the frustrated mental spiral of a person who has been “walking down these empty streets” for too long.
An early love of guitar sparked Carleton’s musical genesis. “I Need to See Somebody” features Carleton’s father, also a guitarist, playing a solo that Carleton added in lieu of a lyrical bridge.
“He heard me recording [the track] and producing it in my room, and after I showed him what I had, he asked if he could play the solo,” says Carleton. “To which I, of course, said yes.”
“miss opportunity” by Alexandra Kerr
On her mournful piano ballad “miss opportunity,” second-year College student Alexandra Kerr sings from the perspective of a heartbroken wedding guest watching the love of her life marry someone else.
“I’m just what could have been something,” the singer laments as happily-ever-after crumbles in
front of her. Kerr cites Taylor Swift as an early songwriting influence, and “miss opportunity” feels like a sadder spin on Swift’s “Speak Now.”
“I’ve been making music for as long as I can remember,” Kerr said, who taught herself production during the pandemic. Kerr plans to release an album within the year.
“Never Coming Back” by Andy Heil
Electric guitar and driving drum beats back second-year College student Andy Heil on “Never Coming Back,” a track off his 2021 rock album “Apathetic.” Heil’s sound channels 2010s-era alternative rock with a flair for emo lyricism in the vein of Green Day.
Heil independently records, composes, produces and distributes his music, which he mixes using the audio software Logic Pro X.
“I learned how to do it all in high school and I attribute it to being a big reason I got into U.Va.,” Heil says of his ability to craft textured tracks and sing them with skill. In some songs, Heil layers as many as ten vocal parts, singing in a gritty yet melodic base.
“Nighthawks” by Holly Teti
A minimalist guitar arrangement, a rich alto voice and poetic lyricism make second-year College student Holly Teti’s “Nighthawks” an intimate, reflective listen. The
final track on Teti’s EP “In a Hazy Green Light” pays musical homage to the painting “Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper, a modernist piece on display at the Chicago Art Institute.
Teti said she “was knee-deep in art history studying” at the end of her first semester at the University when she penned “Nighthawks,” spending most of her songwriting time outside of the Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library.
“I wanted to capture the melancholy feeling that exists inside that painting,” Teti said.
Even the timbre of Teti’s voice reminds a listener of brush strokes. There’s something bittersweet and wistful in her tone as she sings about wanting to be “far away.” One can almost imagine her song painting Hopper’s modern masterpiece before their eyes, rendering a scene “where people sit and drink alone in a hazy green light.”
Spanning a range of genres and styles, these originals reflect the varied talents of the University’s student musicians. Give these emerging artists a listen for the perfect college soundtrack.
FROM THE DIVISION OF STUDENT AFFAIRS...
Friday, May 19
Congratulations, Class of 2023! We are so proud of you!
Don't forget about the FREE breakfast with Ms. Kathy at 1515! 6-7:30am, Saturday and Sunday!
Thursday mornings don’t quite hit the same as they used to. Maybe it’s the increased sleep from the night before, lack of stress about if the papers actually printed or something else entirely — definitely the last one. After 52 print nights, it’s been incredibly refreshing to pick up the paper Thursday morning as an average news consumer. Over the past three years, I’ve known the ins and outs of each page hours before submitting it to the printer. Lately, it’s always a complete surprise what I’ll learn about Grounds or the broader Charlottesville community — and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
When I joined The Cavalier Daily in the fall of my first year, it felt like a natural place for me outside the classroom. Coming off the heels of four years of high school journalism, it was easy to see myself in the basement of Newcomb Hall. As a production and copy staffer, I remember being blown away by how much I thought I knew about journal -
It changes your life if you let it
ism, but in reality, I had a lot to learn. Since then, I haven’t stopped learning new things as I moved up the ranks and sunk more time into the paper.
My two terms as a production editor were anything but ordinary, to say the least. After entering the junior board as a firstyear, I was initially intimidated by my older peers, nervous about the increased time commitment and skeptical if I could keep up with it all while trying to enjoy my short college years. Only eight weeks and eight papers in, COVID-19 sent us all home, upending not only my college experience but also my role at the paper. With uncertainty abound, I was unsure if there would even be a physical paper to produce. My next year and a half with The Cavalier Daily was spent mostly alone in front of my computer, getting the job done but longing for a greater sense of purpose and community.
With the pandemic seemingly behind us and the fatigue of
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back-to-back terms looming, a decision had to be made about my future on the paper. My philosophy at this point came to one as old as time — up or out. Ultimately, I took a leap of faith, committing to operations manager without a grand plan or platform for what I’d accomplish over the next 12 months. Blissfully unaware, I soon learned that I’d be leaning heavily into my “Cav Daily era” until my term expired next January.
As OM, I spent most of my time figuring out what I even wanted to and could do with my ever-expanding responsibilities. Coming from production, I knew print night like the back of my hand, but that was only one thing on a long list of daily, weekly and monthly tasks I took on. And while OMs of the past may have claimed their parting shot to be “the first thing they ever wrote for The Cavalier Daily,” that’s far from the truth for me. I wrote Instagram posts, grant applications, photo captions, newsletter
THE CAVALIER DAILY
Chief Financial Officer
Assistant Managing Editors
(SA) Ella Dailey
(SA) Isabella Gattuso
(SA) Kate Jensen
(SA) Sahil Patel
(SA) Karen Shin
Assistant Operations Manager
(SA) Mary Kurbanov
(SA) Alexa Mosley
templates — the list goes on. I also did a lot more than just writing. One thing about the 133rd term, we were never afraid to shake things up. If you had told me in January 2022 I would merge production with graphics and create an assistant operations manager by the end of the term, I would have called your bluff immediately. As for our refreshed social media, newsletters and analytics, I am overjoyed that I’ve left behind the groundwork for a thriving digital-forward future of journalism here at the University. I also hope I left behind my sense of humor, levity in tense situations and most of all, willingness to laugh at myself — insert long exposure joke here. But on a more serious note, The Cavalier Daily has also given me so much. It taught me how to lead confidently, tackle challenges head-on and tell stories that need to be told.
Honestly, I am not sure why I stuck with The Cavalier Daily after all these years. I’ve never
wanted to be a journalist, but there has always been something about journalism I’ve clung to since high school. Maybe it’s the ability to call the shots, but it’s also always been about the people I’ve worked with along the way. Eight years later, I have made some of my closest friends, learned the most about myself and become a better person from it all. To everyone at The Beacon, thanks for giving me my start.
To Eva, Ava, Jessica and Katrina, thanks for being the best Managing Board I could ask for. And to The Cavalier Daily, thanks for changing my life, all because I let it.
ETHAN FINGERHUT was Operations Manager for the 133rd term and Production Editor for the 132nd and 131st terms of The Cavalier Daily.
(SA) Eleanor Jenkins
(SA) Haylee Ressa
Cecy Juárez (SA) Elizabeth Parsons
(SA) Ben Istvan
(SA) Alexa Mosley
Arts & Entertainment Editors
(SA) Jamie Jeong
(SA) Ford McCracken
(SA) Songhan Pang
Camila Cohen Suárez
(SA) Kate McCarty
(SA) Wardah Kamran
(SA) Proud Chandragholica
(SA) Kate MacArthur
(SA) Alison Pike
Social Media Managers
(SA) Halle McCormack
(SA) Taylor Goodman
(SA) Alejandro Erazo
Less than four years ago, I attended an info session in the Newcomb Hall basement because I liked to write. That was it. I showed up early — because I have a thing about being early — and after sitting through the presentation, joined Sports and Copy. I was going to take it pretty easy for the rest of undergrad.
Needless to say, we all know that is not what happened.
So many people have told me how I should feel since completing my term. “You should be proud of yourself,” they’ve said. “Retirement must be so relaxing,” they’ve insisted. I have smiled weakly and nodded because I know that is how I am supposed to feel. That was the parting shot I wanted to write, but it would not be the truth.
Those close to me know I spend a lot of time thinking about the nature of this work and student self-governance. Much of this philosophy has been informed by George Orwell’s quote that hangs on the wall of my Lawn room — “In times of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
I’ve spent four years searching for the capital-T Truth. I don’t know that I’ll ever actually find it. If anything, I’ve learned that life isn’t black and white. In the interest of being
Telling the truth, one last time
truthful, this parting shot feels like an appropriate place to be honest about what I do think I’ve learned.
I know there were days when this work broke me. I often felt like I was living in a nightmare — I wondered whether someone or something was trying to test me and if so, when they would stop. I grew to believe that my existence was a curse on this paper and the people I loved.
I know this has also been incredi-
ways I often felt I was.
I have struggled to make sense of much of this, and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have all the solutions. What has helped, though, is reminding myself of what I feel grateful for. Because the last four years were also beautiful, and I know I deserve to feel thankful for and be proud of those moments, too.
I witnessed and shared history with our community — waking up
one story, one mistake, one accomplishment. I have so much love and compassion to give to the world, and most importantly, to the people I care about — many of whom I met on this paper.
I count myself lucky to have worked alongside two incredible Managing Boards. To the 132nd and 133rd terms, thank you for trusting me. I am proud of what we accomplished together.
None of this would have been possible without Jenn Brice and Tim Dodson. They have sat through comprehensible — and incomprehensible — three-hour phone calls, fielded 10-minute voice memos and constantly reminded me that I could and would move forward every time I thought I couldn’t. I am indebted to you.
Here we are 164 articles later, and we’ve finally made it — these are the last words I will ever write for The Cavalier Daily.
The truth is that I will never really let this place, this paper or these people go. But for now, I’m going to try to make my peace with it. The joy was in the journey — and my next one is about to start. I can’t wait.
bly — at times unbearably — lonely. There is nothing like it — nobody who truly understands or can sympathize, nobody willing to pop the invisible bubble I envisioned separated me from the world. I resent that I lacked time and energy for family and friends and did not enjoy the same college experience as my peers.
I share this not because I am interested in pity or to say it was all bad, but in hopes that someday, someone like me might read this and know that they are not alone in the
at 5 a.m. to see the Robert E. Lee statue be removed after years of advocacy and covering just about every aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic. I wrote my ass off — Greek life, the Honor Committee, the Board of Visitors. I led and executed on a vision — revamped newsletters, commemorated the five-year anniversary of “Unite the Right,” launched an archival digitization project, redesigned our social media platforms and more.
And finally, I also learned that I am so much more than one job,
Ethan, my work husband and unwavering voice of reason — I can’t imagine having anyone else by my side. Khuyen, my platonic soulmate — you have made all of us better humans and friends. Ariana and Lauren, my loves — you show me what Big Friendship means every day. APro, Nate, Lexi and Charlie — don’t take a single second for granted.
Ava MacBlane — This paper is lucky to have you as its leader and we are all more fortunate to call you our friend. I love you big time, kid.
Lots of love, always.
EVA SUROVELL was the Editor in Chief for the 133rd term, the Managing Editor for the 132nd term and the News Editor for the 131st and 132nd terms of The Cavalier Daily.
When I first came to the University in 2019, never did I imagine that I would start writing for a student newspaper. English was always my favorite subject in school, but as I settled into being an Architecture student, that love took a backseat. It was not until I failed calculus my first fall and had an ENWR class in the spring that I realized I might be meant for something more. Writing became my refuge — and English became my minor. During the summer of 2020, when people across the nation were protesting in support of the Black Lives Matter movement at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, writing became my form of protest. The second half of 2020 was a time of immense anger and confusion that not only signified the next phase in my life, but also served as the catalyst for what would become a three-year dedication to making more space for Black students at the University.
Everything shifted for me when I joined the Cavalier Daily staff in 2020. I was not particularly raised to protest and fight back against racism and inequality. I
was, however, taught to always speak up for myself and do what is right. Joining the newspaper was one of many avenues I took to bring awareness to the adversities marginalized people face. This dedication also manifested itself as taking up more space in the communities in which I was already involved. I became a more active member of the School of Architecture Student Council, on which I was the only Black member until this past academic year, and my academic design projects have all focused on social justice and investing in diverse communities. I lived in Hereford Residential College for three years and led the Student Senate’s Social Awareness Committee, not only organizing events that raise awareness of the adversities of others but also completing two research projects — one of which is an overview of race and racism at the University.
The three years I have spent as an Opinion Columnist for the Cavalier Daily have been a rollercoaster, to say the least. The first year was the most tumultuous and resulted in my columns about the
Black Lives Matter protests, the 2020 presidential election and the following insurrection at the Capitol. At the beginning of my journey as a writer, I received many words of encouragement from friends and family but simultaneously found many hate comments under my columns and in The Cavalier Daily’s social media comment sections. What the people leaving those comments did not know was that they made me want to write even more. Those comments let me know I was reaching my target audience — people who feel extreme discomfort when Black people talk about their struggles.
It’s important to highlight that, even though I was partially writing for people who could relate to me and my opinion, I was mainly writing to reach people who don’t go out of their way to hear the voices of marginalized people. Though I have received much criticism for my work, I know that I opened up space for more Black students to find comfort in their presence at the University and disrupt the comfort of everyone else. Unfortunately,
most people do not care about issues that do not affect them. And so, when Black Lives Matter was no longer trending on social media and on the news, I continued to write not only to keep bringing attention to the issues that harm Black students at the University, but also to encourage other marginalized students to do so as well.
I know that if I were to go back in time to the summer of 2020 and see the advertisement for The Cavalier Daily applications, I would do it all the same again. I would not change a single thing that I have done or said. My only regret is not having said more. I am proud that the Cavalier Daily now has a much more diverse staff than when I first joined. I am proud to have been the first Black student to write about my experiences with such raw vigor and vulnerability. I am proud to have spent this past semester as the longest-running staff member. And I am so proud to see the freedom with which other students of color now wield their opinions, and I can feel good knowing that they may continue when I am gone.
And so, a message to Black students — you know that moment when you are walking down the street and a group of people coming in the opposite direction looks like they are unwilling to move over and make space for you? I would like to offer you a sentence of encouragement that a Black graduating student offered to a group chat of students of color during graduation weekend a few years ago. Do not move off the sidewalk. Do not waver. Do not step into the street to get out of their way. Stay on the sidewalk and take up the space you deserve. I urge all students of color not to allow the pressures of the University community to keep them from being themselves and expressing their truth. I’m rooting for you.
I’ve spent four years searching for the capital-T Truth, but I don’t know that I’ll ever actually find it.”ALIYAH WHITE was an Opinion columnist for the 131st, 132nd and 133rd terms of The Cavalier Daily.
Don’t move off the sidewalk
I’m going to tell you the story that I tell every interviewer when they ask me to tell them about myself.
I’m a storyteller and always have been. My mother read me stories growing up, and she never let me say my day was simply “good,” I had to tell her a story. Later, I experimented with visual storytelling, and by high school I was known as “the camera girl” — you could find me at any and all school events with a camera in hand. By the time I got to college, I had the idea, as many others do, that I had to reinvent myself. I didn’t want to be the camera girl anymore. But I soon realized how unhappy I was, so I joined one thing in my first semester, and that was The Cavalier Daily.
I had been desperate to join The Cavalier Daily. I wrote the photo editor at the time and somehow ended up accidentally breaking into the office in the Newcomb Hall basement to take a photo of that infamous trifold that we use at all of our activities fairs.
Thanks to the photo editors at the time, Emma Klein and Riley Walsh, I found myself on the field of Scott Stadium. I’d called the football stadium at my high school
More than just the camera girl
home, and soon enough, Scott would be too. That day, I raced back to my dorm after learning to use one of our massive 300mm lenses for the first time and stayed up all night editing my photos. As I sat in my lofted bed with nothing but the fairy lights along the wall and computer screen lighting up my face, I knew this was what I wanted to be doing.
I never thought that telling my mom stories in the backseat of her car driving home from kindergarten would lead to an entire career, from my high school yearbook classroom, to The Cavalier Daily office in the basement of Newcomb, which ultimately turned into the studios of ESPN.
I started my first year with a plan — albeit a loose, undecided-major plan. But a plan to find a STEM major, discover an area of research that struck a chord and slide on the greased path all the way to a career. Join the ranks of female scientists or engineers, as my parents suggested. Many students have similar experiences, because up until this point education has been an assembly line. Get these grades to get into that school. Take these courses to take those courses.
In the twist you never expected, things did not go as planned. The approaching deadline to pick a major spiraled into “maybe I could study biochemistry” — indecision should’ve been my first clue — and then “I’ll just settle for what I already have the most credits for,” which was Cognitive Science. This degree made sense given logistics and my aforementioned plan, but just because it worked did not mean it was completely right. I stuck with it, making sure my previous course work went toward something, but it felt like a detour. I had to take
I love repeating this to every interviewer because it tells them about my passion, but also reminds me when I got my spark — through The Cavalier Daily.
The Cavalier Daily was a blessing in disguise. It allowed me access to the field, court, and press conferences. You could find me on the field of Scott or the court of John Paul Jones on any given day. The basement of Newcomb, JPJ, Scott and Klöckner Stadium also became my homes. And quicker than I realized, the people of The Cavalier Daily became my family.
But it was more than these places, it was about the people I shared them with. I can’t count how many hours I spent with people on staff at The Cavalier Daily. Beyond the meetings and print nights until 2 a.m., picking fonts and photos and moving pixels until my head hurt – I found myself going on walks with Jenn Brice, taking naps on Zack Pasciak’s couch and bothering Ankit Agrawal while he did very important Commerce things. I would sit on the Lawn every day for weeks with Eva Surovell and consume endless amounts of queso with Ava Proehl and Dom Fini. I hung out with Ava MacBlane
at a cappella concerts and taught Ethan Fingerhut what long exposure meant. This would translate into larger moments too, like when Jenn came to visit me in Los Angeles and we flew up to see Ankit in San Francisco, or when I visited Zack in New York, Ava and I traveled to Chicago, and Eva and I went to Miami. But my favorite memory of all was when Eva and I made
I never thought that telling my mom stories in the backseat of her car driving home from kindergarten would lead to an entire career.”
Jenn and Zack build forts with us in the office until we all fell asleep watching “Little Women.”
I’ve hated writing this. Not because I prefer taking photos but because it has made me so sad to be leaving — while I am so happy to be leaving that dark and cold basement of Newcomb, I am not ready to leave the people. I chose this University because everyone here is so passionate and cares so much about everything they’re doing. Thank you to everyone who has made me feel like more than just “the camera girl.”
Ditching the roadmap
a wrong turn to figure out that what I actually wanted hadn’t been considered in the original plan. Books! Reading and writing!
I find it funny how other people’s thoughts and expectations create the false sense of a plan. It is like peeling back carpet to — holy moly — find beautiful vintage tiles beneath. Patterns and colors
and someone on the internet may or may not read it. Doing something a little weird helps college feel less like a contest for most recognition.
From my experience, plans are good, and they are better when they are your own. If things go according to plan, great! Get that degree! Otherwise, consider that
my plans are for the next four years I would shrug and say, “get a job somewhere, do something fun.” Which is both terrifying and liberating. It is incredibly stressful not knowing what the path ahead looks like. But it means I have the option to choose or change at any point. I have not bound myself to a plan that I am forced to follow
The last graduating class confirmed that these friendships are for the long haul. I can’t wait for the countless visits and laughs to come, but now it’s my turn to be publishing my parting shot and graduating. I’ve had three things published during my time at this University — my Common App Essay for Virginia Magazine in 2019, a UVAToday article about my time at ESPN and the amazing mentor that is Anna Katherine Clay in 2022, and my IfYou’reReadingThis in 2023. But funny enough, despite my passion for journalism and four years on this staff, this is the first and last thing I will ever write for the Cavalier Daily. It has been an honor and a privilege to photograph and document this University for you.
have so much more personality.
Given this, joining The Cavalier Daily was never part of the plan. I did not apply until the spring of my third year, because either I was afraid I would not make it or I thought I should be doing something else. I let preconceived notions take up a lot of space during my college career. But it has worked out, because every couple of weeks I get to write something a little weird,
you might need to rip up a carpet to find your tiles beneath. I know you can feel them somewhere under your feet. By the end of your four years, you will be wondering who put the carpet down in the first place, even if it was you. But it is okay — that is what renovations are for.
Looking back, it feels silly to try and plan four years of life. That is so much time to change and explore. If you asked me what
through with since that historically has not been effective.
Despite my previous desire to graduate at 80 years old, I will in fact only be the fragile age of 22. From this article’s perspective, this is a blessing, because if I had to write one more critical essay as though I have not already proven my ability to use formulaic reasoning I would have imploded. It also means I still have many years to rekindle my love for purpose-
less knowledge. Thomas Jefferson was right about life-long learning. I will tentatively plan for long walks, pottery classes — to remember that living isn’t about narrowly defined success — and maybe even picking up a newspaper once in a while.
Our unique fascinations with life aren’t interested in what should be. If I think I should be a psychologist — specifically to pay the bills and feel worthy — I am ignoring real sensations. Pain in my neck from hours of reading and bloodshot eyes from typing countless pages. It is all worth it though, because I never needed a strict plan leading to my passion for playing with language. Better yet, I finally started to shrug off that notion of what should be. But it takes time to fully realize these things, so maybe I will truly ‘graduate’ when I am 80.
I had to take a wrong turn to figure out that what I actually wanted hadn’t been considered in the original plan.”
A Hypothetical Graduation Lawn Walk
As I wrap up finals anticlimactically on my couch, it occurs to me that the last piece of college left is graduation. In just a few days, I will be up before the crack of dawn to don a cap and gown and stride the length of the Lawn. This sounds simple enough, but you must understand I have never actually seen a normal University graduation. As a member of the class of 2023, two of the three graduations during my time were altered for COVID-19 related reasons. I attended the 2021 graduation, but because of limited ticketing, I had to watch the livestream and listen on the slope across from Scott Stadium. Hated when the audio didn’t match up.
Despite reading the pages on the Finals Weekend website several times and scrolling through a slew of graduation pictures on Instagram — which I unironically will be adding to soon as well — I don’t have a very clear idea of
what to expect. Somehow enough chairs will seat thousands of people, squishing grass that has been so tenderly regrown since Lighting of the Lawn. At first glance, it does not look like there is enough green space to support so many guests. The maximum capacity during the Lawn picnic season is like 150 students carefully spread out. Perhaps those that have traversed the length of the Lawn would have a better understanding of how much space there really is. With guests seated, at least another thousand people will process down the center toward our Homer Statue — clothed, don’t worry — and settle in for guest speaker wisdom. At the end, Wahoowa, toss the caps and we’re good to go!
In my mind, here is the order of events —
1. I better not forget my cap and gown
2. Part ways with my guests just
after dawn so they can find seats
3. Get to the North side of the Rotunda, i.e. the less cool side
4. If I have a graduation balloon, battle with other balloons for air space
5. Possibly call plane traffic control because there are so many balloons
6. Weather permitting, walk with a hoard of graduates down the Lawn at 9 a.m.
7. Hope that I can see my guests. Note, I am short, even with heels
8. God forbid I slip down one of the ramps in said heels
9. Sit down in front of Old Cabell Hall
10. Hope that the next hour of speeches will not sound like every other graduation I have been to
11. Stay awake stay awake stay awake
12. Clap for University President Jim Ryan
13. In the event of a hellacious
LudditesWilliam Cobey | Cartoonist
storm, imagine almost everything above but we have retreated to John Paul Jones Arena
The whirlwind of the following celebrations will be both overwhelming and short-lived. Waking up Sunday morning I imagine thinking, “Gosh did that all really happen?” After four years of learning, work and growth I would like to have spent a little extra time commemorating the achievement!
This makes me wonder what else could happen at graduation. People could walk one at a time, busting a move like those graduating from normie colleges and walking across a stage. Wouldn’t you like a five-hour graduation, watching graduates moonwalk or queen wave down the Lawn? Maybe the aforementioned balloons could be used as transportation vessels to our seats. Graduates would thus have the option to walk down or fly across the Lawn. Or it could be
like a wedding — those of us without balloons are walking down an aisle — and then someone jumps out to shout, “I object!” The graduates must then prove themselves by naming every secret society at the University, presenting their #1 Bodo’s ticket and singing the Good Ol’ Song all by themselves. Having set these conditions, I now realize that I probably would not graduate under any of these imaginary circumstances, so maybe officially walking the Lawn one last time will be enough. Congratulations to fellow fourth-years and graduate students, we did it!
CATHERINE ORESCAN is a Humor Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at humor@ cavalierdaily.com
U.Va. Class of 2023
Eva, your dedication to pursuing and speaking the truth at The Cavalier Daily has been inspiring to watch. Your passion and hard work have made a positive impact on the UVA community. Although there have been difficult moments over the past four years, you have risen to each challenge with a smile on your face. We love you so much! Congratulations!
Love, mom, dad, Leia, Mara, and Colin.
A Canadian connection in Charlottesville
final collegiate season
Lacrosse doesn’t always have to be so complicated. For Virginia senior attacker Payton Cormier and graduate student midfielder Thomas McConvey, it’s as simple as playing in the backyard. While watching the duo today, it’s evident that the years of experience — whether it be from hockey or the backyard lacrosse — have created an unbreakable bond between attacker and midfielder.
The two Cavaliers grew up together outside of Toronto, Ontario, spending their summers playing box lacrosse — an indoor form of the game that is commonplace in Canada — while juggling hockey and field lacrosse as well.
McConvey’s introduction to the game came from Cormier’s father, Chris. With lacrosse’s popularity in greater Toronto, a four-year-old McConvey could not help but notice the game’s presence all around, leading his father to sign him up for the sport. It would just so happen that Chris Cormier showed him the ropes.
“[Chris] coached me and kind of coached my dad into it,” McConvey said. “And my dad started coaching us with Chris and they were with us for the first five, six years, which is something really special.”
With time and practice, Cormier and McConvey thrived as teammates on the field and in the arena, playing field in the spring and box in the summer.
“It was a lot of fun doing some things that we grew up doing on the field…which is something that we kind of take pride in,” McConvey said.
The Canadian connection also entails a different style of play stemming from tight spaces, enhanced hand-eye coordination and summers of box lacrosse.
When watching the Cavaliers’ duo and other Canadian lacrosse players, a heightened sense of physicality and shooting precision is apparent. Box players do not hold the ball for as long as they do in the field game, and quick possessions allow for a fast-paced, high-scoring scene.
Nonetheless, the two benefited from their box experience on the field, growing into highly-touted recruits that would travel south to the States. McConvey chose Vermont over other
suitors, choosing to follow his brother and other players from Mimico, Ontario. Cormier, however, followed in the footsteps of former Canadian Cavalier Garrett Billings and decided on Virginia.
Although they chose separate paths, the two excelled at their respective schools. McConvey ended his four-year career as the third-leading scorer in Catamount history, setting a single-season program record for goals with 60 in his senior campaign.
Cormier redshirted in 2019 — a year in which Virginia won a national championship — but immediately burst onto the scene once active. The bruising attacker from Oakville, Ontario has scored 144 goals in his last three campaigns, won two national championships and currently sits behind Doug Knight for the most career tallies by a Cavalier.
But when McConvey’s time ended at Vermont, Cormier knew a reunion was in store. The Canadian Catamount had one more year of eligibility left and wanted to spend it at a higher-level conference.
“I thought there was no better fit for him to come here. He defi -William
nitely fits into the culture, to the program, and he can definitely help our team,” Cormier said.
For McConvey, it seemed like a no-brainer, especially with his friend making sure that he was always in the ear of Coach Lars Tiffany.
“I knew U.Va. was going to be a top school if they were interested in me,” McConvey said. “I kept my ears open just to see what else was out there…but I knew U.Va. was going to be tough to beat if anyone else wanted me. [Cormier] was a big influence in pushing me to get here, and I knew I wanted to play with him as well.”
Since McConvey put pen to paper June 2022 — signifying his commitment to the Cavaliers — the transfer has starred alongside his childhood friend. Things started with a bang in the season opener against Michigan, as Cormier caught the ball on the left side from McConvey and then promptly found him on a cut for Virginia’s first tally of the season. Playing field lacrosse together for the first time in five years, they didn’t skip a beat.
McConvey has found just as much success in the ACC as he did in the America East, extending his point streak to 67 games
— the longest among active Division 1 players — and recently found himself the recipient of a second-team All-American designation. Even after missing two games due to injury, Cormier has posted 49 goals in only 13 games and made the Honorable Mention All-American list.
Virginia assistant coach Sean Kirwan could not be happier to witness this reunion, where McConvey and Cormier have been instrumental to the nation’s top-scoring attack.
“How lucky am I to have two childhood best friends just grow up together and build that chemistry and then show up on the doorstep here for one year, and then be able to carry that over to Virginia lacrosse,” Kirwan said. “They speak a different language out there, and just know where each other is going.”
The chemistry, creativity and flair displayed by this duo have trickled down to the rest of the team itself. The backyard feel to Cormier and McConvey’s game is not confined to the Canadians but has spread to other players.
“For other guys, they realize that [creativity] isn’t just limited to the backyard and that they can go out and do that,” Kirwan said.
“And it’s actually an effective way to play the game.”
Currently third and fourth on the team in points, respectively, Cormier and McConvey have displayed their chemistry in a way that not even their offensive coordinator can fully comprehend. The latter took a leap of faith in his graduate year, yet the Canadian connection has paid off and then some.
“[Choosing U.Va.] has been one of the best decisions of my life,” McConvey said. “It’s been everything I’ve asked for, and it’s a great group of guys and a great coaching staff.”
Spring Superlatives: Where did Virginia perform best?
The sports staff takes a look at the highs of another strong spring season for Virginia AthleticsCD Sports Staff
The school year may have ended, but many Virginia athletes are not yet done with their 2023 seasons. As a way to wrap up the regular season, three members of the sports desk give their analysis of the spring in Virginia athletics and attempt to predict what’s to come.
Which athlete had the best single-game performance of any spring sport?
Xander Tilock: Baseball’s sophomore utility player Ethan Anderson had a 5-for-6 game against VCU, where he hit a home run from both sides of the plate. Anderson became the first Cavalier to record five hits in a single game since Nick Howard back in 2013. Anderson also tied the Virginia record with three doubles in the same game in a 19-6 victory on the road. His electric performance was the highlight of a truly incredible sophomore season that saw the Cavaliers go a perfect 25-0 in non-conference games — the only team in all of college baseball to do so. When Anderson is at his best, the middle of the Cavalier lineup is an opposing pitcher’s nightmare. His ability to consistently earn extra-base hits will be crucial to Virginia’s postseason hopes in 2023 and beyond.
Harry Farley: Men’s lacrosse sophomore goalie Matthew Nunes had a day against then-No. 1 Notre Dame. Nunes posted 19 saves on a 70.4 percent save percentage — his new career high for saves in a single game — en route to a 12-8 win at home to close out the regular season. He massively outperformed his regular season save percentage that sits at 52.9 percent. The Cavaliers have now defeated Notre Dame twice when the Irish were ranked No. 1 and head into the postseason on a high note. When Nunes plays like he did against Notre Dame, Virginia is almost unbeatable — and his career day was exactly what Cavalier fans wanted to see before what looks to be a tightly contested postseason gets underway.
Connor Lothrop: Women’s lacrosse sophomore attacker Rachel Clark showed out against Virginia Tech. At Klockner Stadium in a late-season Commonwealth Clash, the Pennsylvania native put up a season-high 7 points in a 15-10 victory over the rival Hokies. Clark scored on five of her nine shots, three of them with her patented move — cutting in with speed from the right wing and going top shelf over a helpless goalie. On the night, all five of her goals were unassisted. The icing on the cake was a pair of assists, again cutting in from the right before slickly dishing
to teammates for easy goals. Coupled with a strong defensive performance, Clark helped end the Cavaliers’ season on a high note before the ACC tournament.
Which team has the best chance of winning a national championship in 2023?
XT: Men’s lacrosse. They finished the regular season with an incredible 11-3 record and have bulldozed their way to another top-three finish in the regular season rankings. Virginia has the top-scoring offense in the country, finishing with an average of 17.6 goals per game. Senior attacker Xander Dickson finished fourth nationally with 56 goals, while junior attacker Connor Shellenberger finished second in assists with 43. That dynamic duo along with a plethora of other experienced and talented stars have built a near-perfect product. The Cavaliers have dominated No. 2 Notre Dame via the season sweep, and their losses were to No. 1 Duke twice and to No. 6 Maryland once, coming by only four goals combined. Virginia boasts an impressive seven ranked wins and are proving to be one of the nation’s very best yet again. And finally, the postseason bracket is definitely in the team’s favor, as the Cavaliers do not have Duke or Maryland on their side of the bracket.
HF: Men’s tennis. Coming off of a dominant surge to capture yet another ACC title — the team’s third straight — the Cavaliers are ranked
fifth in the country and poised for another deep postseason run. Virginia just advanced to the national quarterfinals after defeating in-conference foe Duke. In doing so, the Cavaliers have now won 19 straight matches and have long forgotten a pair of early season indoor shutout losses against Michigan and Ohio State. The team is following a trend similar to last year’s National Championship team, which lost five indoor matches in a row in February but ended with an NCAA title — and on a 23-match winning streak. The core of the team is also largely intact from last year, including graduate student Ryan Goetz and the trio of juniors Chris Rodesch, Inaki Montes and Jeffrey Von Der Schulenberg. They undoubtedly all have the skill and experience necessary to help Virginia capture a second consecutive title.
CL: Baseball. The team is cold right now — after climbing to No. 7 in the polls in mid-April, three consecutive weekend series losses spiraled Virginia down to No. 21 before bouncing back with a sweep of Louisville. However, this team is one of the most talented Cavalier ball clubs in recent memory. The starting rotation of junior left hander Connelly Early, graduate student right hander Brian Edgington and freshman right hander Jack O’Connor is one of the best in the ACC, if not the country. Juniors catcher Kyle Teel, infielder Jake Gelof, and outfielder Ethan O’Donnell are all potential first-round picks in this summer’s MLB draft. Sopho-
more pitcher Jay Woolfolk is gaining national acclaim, and baseball isn’t even his best sport. Leading them all is seasoned head coach Brian O’Connor, quietly one of the best coaches in amateur baseball. Look for this squad to catch fire and make it to Omaha next month.
Which breakout player in 2023 are you most excited to watch again in 2024?
XT: Baseball sophomore infielder Griff O’Ferrall deserves his flowers. O’Ferrall was outstanding as a freshman in 2022 — finishing with a .308 batting average — but he has raised that up to a phenomenal .405 mark in 2023. O’Ferrall simply gets on base and produces runs. He has become one of the best batters at the top of a massively successful Virginia lineup that is second nationally in team batting average. He is leading the team in stolen bases while also playing consistently elite defense at shortstop. He also leads the team in on-base percentage and runs scored — and he is in a close battle with another Cavalier star, Teel, for the ACC batting title. O’Ferrall is one of the best leadoff hitters in the country and will certainly be counted on to be a leader in 2024 with several Cavaliers on their way to the MLB Draft.
HF: Softball freshman infielder Jade Hylton. Hylton leads the Cavaliers in practically every offensive statistic imaginable — .314 batting average, 55 hits, 10 home runs, 26 RBIs,
22 stolen bases and more — and she’s only a freshman. Just recently, Hylton was one of five ACC freshmen named to the National Freshman of the Year Top 25 list. Not only has her individual play been outstanding, but Hylton has been crucial in leading the Cavaliers to a 30-22 record in the regular season; just two seasons ago, the Cavaliers were 15-33 and were just 28-26 last year. Her presence at Palmer Park has certainly been felt and the future of Virginia softball is extremely bright with Hylton on the field.
CL: Women’s tennis freshman Annabelle Xu. With mainstays of the team’s recent success like senior Natasha Subhash and Emma Navarro either gone or on the way out the door, women’s tennis needed an infusion of youthful talent. They have that with Xu. The 92nd-ranked freshman is currently ranked behind only Subhash and graduate student Julia Adams in the ITA singles polls and sports a 14-3 record on the season. Despite missing two months with injury, she has been a mainstay on this team, undefeated in dual matches and having toppled three higher-ranked singles players on the season, including No. 49 freshman Lily Jones of Michigan. She’ll be in line for an even bigger role in future years, but all indications point to Xu being the future of this celebrated program.
Virginia women’s rowing sets pace for athletics department
One of Virginia’s most successful athletics programs has quietly dominated the competition for yearsCelia Cheng | Sports Writer
Just a short drive from Grounds, the Rivanna Reservoir hosts one of Virginia’s most remarkable teams. Through foggy mornings and windy afternoons, Virginia women’s rowing trains from the impressive hilltop boathouse on the Rivanna, only leaving for strenuous land workouts on the rowing machines at Slaughter Recreation Center. The team’s accomplishments and contributions to the athletics department deserve recognition despite distance from Grounds and a lack of knowledge about rowing.
Success in rowing is dictated by how specific lineups of eight or four rowers can coordinate with each other to move their boat as fast as possible. These eight or four rowers are led by a coxswain who takes command of each practice or race and steers the boat down a proper course. Unity in each lineup is crucial to team performance as rowers must prioritize the goals and accomplishments of the unit over
individual feats. A single rower’s outstanding endurance means nothing if they are not working in tandem with others.
While the individual success of athletes remains important in the winter season and during grueling indoor workouts, the idea of individuality fades when in a race, eight rowers work together to execute the exact same components of the stroke at the exact same time. This single stroke can be broken down into seemingly infinite parts, all of which are perfected to the point where rowers take each stroke in less than two seconds on race.
Virginia women’s rowing has demonstrated mastery of the form, as they have just secured their 13th-straight team ACC Championship over the weekend. On behalf of their performances at each ACC Championship regatta, Virginia women’s rowing has become one of the most decorated teams at Virginia. This win was built on the
performance of every boat on the team, as the Cavaliers placed first in four out of the five grand finals, demonstrating top to bottom dominance. Senior rowers Leia Till and Larkin Brown, senior coxswain Vivi Van Ingen and graduate student coxswain Janet Conklin all earned places on the All-ACC Rowing First Team following the championship win. Senior rower Tahne Badenhorst claimed a spot on the Second Team. Behind this most recent team accolade is a long history of successes that warrant recognition from the Virginia community. Aside from their now 13-year winning streak, Virginia women’s rowing has taken first place in 21 of the 22 total ACC Championship regattas since the championships were established in 2000. This is an unheard of .955 championship winning percentage. Clemson is a distant second with just one conference title. No other team has claimed the conference title thus far.
Additionally, Head Coach
Kevin Sauer has been awarded the ACC Coach of the Year title 14 times in his 28 seasons as coach. Given the team’s unparalleled successes in his tenure, Sauer recruits and builds rowers that maintain an extraordinary sense of heart and respect for every boat. Under Sauer, Virginia has developed a culture and team identity that prioritizes team success as a whole, despite intense internal competition to determine lineups.
These student-athletes have ceaselessly trained through finals and remained on Grounds beyond in preparation for their final regatta — the NCAA Championship in New Jersey late May. The NCAA Championship is the premier regatta in women’s collegiate rowing, and Virginia’s spot has been wellearned by their win at the ACC Championship. Beginning May 26, all students should tune in to support the Cavaliers as they race among the biggest power -
houses in the sport.
Virginia women’s rowing has certainly been recognized by those in the rowing world, but it is time for the greater university community to support the achievements of this exceptional group of athletes. After all, they have contributed tremendously to the overall reputation of Virginia athletics, at a sport that offers a unique experience for athletes and fans alike.
Stephanie, we are so proud of you and all of your many accomplishments! Your time at UVA has been magical, but the world is waiting for you! The skies the limit! Go change the world! DC awaits you! Love always Mom, Dad, Hailey, Biscuit, Lyla & Bart
Congratulations, T! So proud of you, so happy for you and so grateful for you, today and every day… Love, Mom & Dad
From all of us, Congratulations graduates!
Congratulations Ethan! We are so proud of you and your accomplishments at UVA over the past four years. We cannot wait to see what the next chapter brings! Love, Mom, Dad, Jordan, Adam & Barry
Abby – A is for our Amazing daughter. Extraordinary in so many ways, and ready for the road ahead!
With our love to our double Hoo!!
Love Mom & Dad
You can carry UVA with you—in your heart and on your arm—with this custom tote featuring University landmarks and Charlottesville favorites. Get this limited-edition tote with a gift of only $25
CONGRATS, CLASS OF