There were two different moods at UVA Friday night.
Some folks were celebrating after the basketball team won against Belmont University. Many folks in the community were also thinking of the Martese Johnson case.
“I’m glad we won,” one university fourth year said as he walked along The Corner.
Many people also had their Wahoo pride on full display, be it through shirts that were being worn or flags hanging above businesses.
“People are walking around smiling,” said one student.
But along side the celebration is the inescapable controversy in the Martese Johnson case. The UVA stand out student’s encounter with ABC agents on St. Patrick’s night ended with his face bloodied.
The situation has brought race to the forefront at the University, sparking student protests and triggering passionate conversations across grounds.
“Let them speak their mind. I think that it’s a really sad state, but when it’s a black issue, people like to sweep it under the rug. That’s just the fact of the matter,” says Pranay Advani, a UVA student.
“It shouldn’t happen here. I think a lot of us, including those who live here feel we should he held to a higher standard,” says Sean Nelson of Charlottesville.
“I’m very proud because these things do happen every time and it’s good that we are finally bringing them into the limelight,” says Zach Pottanat, a UVA Student.
Now UVA is working to reunite it’s community, and rallying behind their winning sports team could help with that process.