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Chancellor’s Statement on Campus Safety and Virginia Tech Shootings

April 16, 2007

There are no words to describe how today’s horrendous events at Virginia Tech affect us. Shock, grief, horror — they all seem too small to encompass what we feel.

Our hearts and prayers go out to those families whose lives have forever changed today, and hope that they will be able to find peace and a way to heal.

And while we wait for more information to, hopefully, reveal the truth of the circumstances, we pray no such tragedy ever touches our campus community — or any other.

As a new campus that came to life after 1999’s terrifying school shooting at Columbine, we are aware that planning and preparation are critical to ensuring the greatest safety to the largest number of people in emergencies.

Our police department is well trained in a variety of scenarios, including ones like the situation at Virginia Tech, and officers continue to hone their skills and strengthen their alliances with other police agencies in the area that will partner with us in case of emergency.

We continue to develop ways to enhance and improve our safety plans and preparations, including communications with students, faculty, staff and the community at large.

And we offer safety training and information in a variety of formats for students, and offer several different ways students can contact us and the campus police department in cases of emergency, to discuss or report crimes or even when they simply want to know more about safety.

We encourage everyone to do your part in maintaining the serene campus we’ve grown used to enjoying, be responsible members of the campus community, and to send your best wishes and thoughts to the families of those lost and injured today at Virginia Tech.