- Nov 2017
4. The best mode of government for youth in large collections, is certainly a desideratum not yet attained with us
For as important as student government seems to be at UVA, I am surprised it is not mentioned more explicitly. Perhaps this was a quality of UVA that came later. I think that Uva is somewhat centered around student governance - however good or bad it may be - and because it is used as such a defining aspect and selling point I was really expecting it to be more present in a document as crucial to the foundation of the university as this one. I would not have thought it would come alter and just be added in to the university's important qualities list. Jefferson also already had clearcut plans for the Academic Village and where certain buildings and facilities were to be placed as outlined in this report. This is another central quality to UVA and it exists right here from the start. Where is the concept of student government?
What, but education, has advanced us beyond the condition of our indigenous neighbours?
I completely missed this phrase and the connotation behind it the first time I read through this report. It is possible I missed it because I was distracted by the racism near the front of the report on the importance of the university’s proximity to white people. At first, I thought this sentence was just as inconsiderate and reflective of the time period in which the Rockfish Gap Report was written and in which our university was founded. However, upon further analysis of the question I realized that it seems as though the writers of the report are insulting themselves, in a way, with this choice of language. While I personally do not believe comparing oneself or others to indigenous neighbors is insulting, at the time it was not a common thing to do and would not have been taken as a positive comparison. However, in this sentence, the report’s authors seem to be saying that the only thing separating them from the Native Americans or “indigenous neighbors” is education. I find it very intriguing that the founders would write this, especially because of the connotation it would bring at the time. However, perhaps it is purposeful and a way to stress the importance of higher education and furthering oneself to remain advanced. Education can be tied to the many differences between the white man and the natives such as guns, housing differences, and clothing. I can’t forget to mention though that the education of the Native Americans on how to grow crops in North America is what allowed the early settlers to survive. Education was important in this area too. Maybe education does not differentiate these two groups as much as they may think. I think education in different areas of expertise is what mainly separates the men in this report from their indigenous neighbours. While they choose education in school and on more worldly matters, their neighbours are more education in the ways of the land and survival and both are important for each group's’ way of life