Tragedy at Virginia Tech
A note from President Cernera to the University Community
As you are aware, an unspeakable tragedy occurred yesterday at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Virginia. Although the details are still becoming clear, it seems a lone gunman attacked and killed dozens of fellow students before taking his own life.
The entire Sacred Heart University community grieves with our colleagues at Virginia Tech, and we pray for them in this time of unimaginable loss. It is a test of faith for each of us, and we encourage all the members of our community to reflect on these events and reach out to each other as we try to make sense of them.
Certainly, we are reviewing our own emergency plans in light of this great tragedy. The University’s excellent Public Safety staff works closely with local police officials, and we will take this occasion to examine the University’s policies and procedures in close detail. Our goal is to assure a campus that is both welcoming and safe. In the days to come, we will be calling on the members of our campus community to assist us in this evaluation.
April 17, 2007
A letter from President Cernera to the Families of Students
The entire Sacred Heart University community grieves with our colleagues at Virginia Tech, and we pray for them in this time of unimaginable loss. It is a test of faith for each of us, and we have been heartened by how the members of the Sacred Heart family have rallied together in prayer and reflection.
In this time of tragedy, I wanted you to know of the actions we have taken for the overall safety and security of our campus. Following the tragic events in Virginia, key campus leaders immediately began reviewing procedures to be sure they best meet our needs for campus security. We have, in fact, been engaged in a significant upgrade of our safety and security measures for the past 18 months. We have added personnel to our Public Safety Department, worked more closely with local police officials, and installed additional equipment such as security cameras throughout the campus. Further, we have worked to develop ways to identify students at risk and share our concerns with them and with our counseling center. And beyond our current system of campus communication, we are exploring other strategies to ensure that we are sharing important information with our University community in a timely and efficient manner.
Please know that the well-being of students is our primary concern. Our goal is to assure a campus that is both welcoming and safe. I thank you for the trust you have placed in us.
Anthony J. Cernera, Ph.D.
April 19, 2007