CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia - A group of over 100 students at the University of Virginia (U.Va.) declared on Friday that they were following the footsteps of several professors who resigned earlier over the university president's "near-death" experience.
"We just feel like we can't learn effectively anymore," said one of the students.
The last couple of weeks at U.Va. have certainly been crazy for the students and faculty, but especially for President Teresa Sullivan, who was ousted and then reinstated by the Board of Visitors.
Before Sullivan's reinstatement, many professors resigned to protest the forced resignation by leaders of the 16-member governing board. Donors also threatened to stop donating unless Sullivan was reinstated.
A series of on-Grounds protests called for not just the reinstatement of Sullivan, but also the resignation of Rector Helen Dragas.
Dragas, head of the Board of Visitors, also had supporters of her own. A Facebook group, "Students, Friends, and Family United to Support Rector Dragas," was created and had over 100 members.
After Sullivan was reinstated, protestors continued to criticize Dragas while Sullivan's popularity seemingly skyrocketed.
Some students felt uncomfortable about her sudden rise in popularity.
"Some of us didn't want Sullivan back," said Chris, a former U.Va. student who will be attending Virginia Tech this fall. "I mean, she's a nice lady and all, but she's not who everyone makes her out to be."
"Not a lot of people supported Dragas like we did," Chris added, "and now things are just awkward because Dragas is still here."
Another student cited signs of academic decline during Sullivan's tenure.
"It's just ironic and sad," said Emily, an English major. "They couldn't even spell 'greed' correctly to protest the board's decision."
Still, others were satisfied with how alumni and faculty reacted to the fiasco despite news of students leaving.
"Obviously the best way to show a corporate-style board that education involves more than just money was to threaten to cut donations," said a third-year student.
"Also, to prioritize education at U.Va., some professors decided to resign because they couldn't work with the board. That took guts. It just shows how maturely U.Va. was able to handle the crisis."