You’ve been warned. This weekend marks the return of thousands of VCU students. Many of these students and their families aren’t familiar with or won’t be paying attention to local traffic laws. Drive carefully around VCU dorms and keep an eye out for those students and loved ones.
Virginia Commonwealth University will welcome its newest students this week when the Class of 2023 moves into the university’s residence halls, marking the opening of the academic year.
Most VCU first-year students will move into their residence halls from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Reuban Rodriguez, Ed.D., associate vice provost for student affairs and dean of students, will be available for media interviews about move-in day and the opening of the academic year from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday in front of Brandt Hall, at the corner of Laurel and Franklin streets.
VCU will enroll more than 30,000 students this fall. The first-year class is expected to comprise approximately 4,500 students. Thirty-two percent of this year’s first-year students are first-generation college students.
About 90% of VCU’s incoming class is from Virginia, including nearly 2,000 students from Northern Virginia and about 900 from the Richmond metro area.
Minority students represent 57% of the first-year class.
VCU will enroll about 1,650 transfer students — about 70% from the Virginia Community College System.
Traffic congestion is expected in the areas near VCU’s student residence halls on Saturday and there will be limited street parking available.
To ensure safety and order as students move into residence halls, the following streets will have travel restrictions or will be closed:
– Franklin Street: One lane will be open for through traffic between Harrison and Belvidere streets; traffic arriving for move-in will be reduced to one travel lane between Harrison and Belvidere streets.
– Grace Street: Travel lanes will remain open, but drivers may experience some congestion between Ryland and Belvidere streets.
– Cary Street: Travel lanes will remain open, but drivers may experience some congestion between Cherry and Jefferson streets.
– Laurel Street: The street will be closed between West Grace and West Main streets. Parishioners of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart will be allowed to park in designated spots on Cathedral Street and in the West Main Street Parking Deck (until 2 p.m.). Drivers may experience some congestion between Cathedral and Cary streets.
– Floyd Avenue: This street will be closed to through traffic but parishioners from the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart will be able to utilize it.
– Main Street: This street will have parking restrictions and experience congestion.
Traffic restrictions and closures will be in effect on Saturday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. VCU Police will handle traffic control as students move in.
Businesses Unite to Bring Change to Monument Avenue
“We believe inclusion is integral to the strength of our organizations, and that symbols antithetical to equality, equity, and unity harm our employees and community.”
The Monument Commitment is a pledge by Richmond employers to work for change not only along Monument Avenue but in the community.
RVAHub is proud to stand with the businesses below.
If you would like to learn how to add your organization to this commitment email: [email protected]
The pledge reads:
Governor Northam, Mayor Stoney, City Council Members:
We are employers of the Richmond community.
We believe inclusion is integral to the strength of our organizations, and that symbols antithetical to equality, equity, and unity harm our employees and community.
We ask that you commit to support the respectful removal of all the confederate monuments on Monument Avenue in coming months, and do not repair – other than for public safety – the monuments as they currently stand.
For our part, we commit to confronting racism in our organizations and supporting you in eradicating systemic racism in our community.
It is time to take them all down.
Please note we created this post on Friday morning and since businesses are being added constantly some businesses might not be on the list above. This is not a statement against those businesses just an inability to keep up. This link will give you the most current list of those that have made the commitment.
Editorial: Made more beautiful
“Sometimes, as in a forest, things have to burn to clear away the old, the dead, the decaying, to make room for new life.”
Originally on Life in 10 Minutes
It’s hard to put into words, but as you can see, I’m trying.
It’s hard to describe to someone who isn’t from Richmond, but I do want to try.
I grew up seeing those statues on a weekly or even daily basis. People from out of town (Yankees, carpetbaggers) don’t realize just how integral they are to this city.
They are not off in some historical park that you visit only on school field trips. Those statues are on a main thoroughfare, a graceful, sun-dappled avenue where many hundred-year old trees have not survived hurricane season and have had to be replanted. And yet the statues remain.
When I woke up Sunday and saw the images of those statues covered in graffiti, my eyes filled. Not in sadness but in pride, love, and hope.
I had to go see them for myself. I had to take my children.
So many different hands transformed them into their new existence. So many different colors of paint. So many perfectly conflicting messages of love, anger, rage, hope, peace . . . all coexisting in a gorgeous cacophony that was somehow utterly perfect.
My heart swelled to see them in person. There were skateboarders doing tricks using the base of the monument as a launch pad. There was a group of Black students protesting peacefully on the steps. There were kids climbing on them, jumping over the felled wrought-iron fences that protected them for a hundred years.
It felt like those statues were being reclaimed by the city that glorified them for too long.
It felt like visiting the Coliseum in Rome. We were there to see an ancient symbol, now in ruins, made more beautiful somehow by their ruining.
I can summon not even one ounce of sadness for the loss of their original state. They are better like this. They finally make sense.
Photos of these statues in their new form may be in history books in 50 years as a symbol of a change, like the Berlin Wall coming down, like protesters pulling over the statue of Saddam Hussein.
Do I exaggerate? That is how momentous it felt to me, a lifelong Richmonder who was raised to revere those statues both as important public art and as symbols of our history. They are new symbols now. They have finally been contextualized.
I grieve for George Floyd. I grieve for Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Marcus David Peters. Trayvon Martin. Philando Castille. Alton Sterling. Sandra Bland. There are too many to name.
But I do not grieve for the statues. I do not grieve for the Daughters of the Confederacy building. I do not grieve for old ideas. My heart swells with hope; my chest fills with pride.
Sometimes, as in a forest, things have to burn to clear away the old, the dead, the decaying, to make room for new life.
VCU Releases Phased Opening Plans
The fall semester will officially begin on August 17th. Except for Labor Day, there will be no break from August 17th through the last day of classes on November 24th.
VCU News has announced how the college plans to reopen. Published by Mike Porter’s (VCU University Public Affairs).
In a communication to the university community, VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., said efforts to reopen come as the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic and the nation reacts to the very public killings of African Americans.
“Both of these issues are, of course, top-of-mind as we plan our return to campus. Our priorities are the health, safety and wellness — both physical and mental — of every member of our community,” Rao said.
Rao outlined plans for the return of the health sciences schools and college and research faculty and staff beginning in June. The fall semester will officially begin on Aug. 17. Rao said the announcement fulfills a commitment to students to inform them of Fall 2020 plans in early June.