The protest occurred on the one-month anniversary of the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va., and was meant to criticize the "perceived inaction" of the university's president, Teresa A. Sullivan, on the night of August 11, when white supremacists surrounded students who had gathered to protest their presence on the campus.
Almost 89 percent of respondents thought the "Unite the Right" rally had "gone too far", while "over half" believed UVA President Teresa Sullivan should have more explicitly condemned the participants.
"... as part of this demonstration, they shrouded the Jefferson statue, desecrating ground that many of us consider sacred", Sullivan wrote.
Protesters covered a statue of former President Thomas Jefferson with a black shroud on the University of Virginia (UVA) campus in Charlottesville, Virginia. "And we recognize and honor the fact that this resistance was not born 10 months ago but has actually lived for many years: communities of color in Charlottesville fighting for affordable housing, for a living wage, for an end to police brutality and state-sanctioned violence, for education for all". "I strongly disagree with the protesters' decision to cover the Jefferson statue".
"At one point, three demonstrators scaled the statue and covered it with a black cloth, and others hung a banner on the base with the words, 'Black Lives Matter-F**k White Supremacy".
The Daily Progress reported that the shrouding occurred Tuesday night on the campus of the University of Virginia. Hirschfield said he attended the rally only in his capacity as a student and was shouted down by people he knew at the protest.
She says one person was arrested for public intoxication.
Sullivan pointed out UVA had acknowledged its controversial history.
He asked why the objecting students chose to attend UVA while it was Jefferson who founded the Charlottesville, Va. school, questioning whether they are ignorant of their own university's history. Responding on Twitter to the shrouding, he called on UVa to "expel students and fire any faculty responsible", saying "anything less is acceptance".
In her email addressing alumni and donors, Sullivan said alumni have experienced student activism during their own times at the University, particularly during the Vietnam War, Watergate scandal and September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
It singled out a prominent statue of Thomas Jefferson, UVA's founder, claiming it "serves as an emblem of white supremacy". "Thomas Jefferson was a flawed man but also a great man".