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Reaction to the Virginia Tech Shooting

April 17, 2007

Like other institutions across the country, Susquehanna University is stunned by the senseless violence that took place at Virginia Tech yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Virginia Tech campus, the families directly impacted by these horrific events, and members of our own community who have important ties to Virginia Tech.

Today, we stand in solidarity with Virginia Tech. The Susquehanna University flag flies at half staff to honor those who lost their lives yesterday. At noon today, university chaplain the Rev. Mark Wm. Radecke led a multi-faith gathering in Shearer Dining Rooms where members of the Susquehanna community shared readings, thoughts and prayers from their faith traditions. Students have constructed a memorial from poster board in Degenstein Campus Center where students, faculty and staff can record their condolences and concern. These posters will later be delivered to Virginia Tech. Members of the campus community also have been encouraged to wear their orange and maroon this week as another show of solidarity with Virginia Tech, which shares the same school colors.

As reality sets in, it becomes clear that no one is immune to the threat of violence. It has sadly become a fact of life. And, although no institution could ever foresee a tragedy of this magnitude, I want to reassure everyone on the Susquehanna University campus that our highly qualified Public Safety staff has disaster response protocols that address a host of scenarios, including the potential for violence. Susquehanna University's counseling services and campus ministry programs also stand poised to offer their services to students, faculty and staff as needed. In addition, Susquehanna is fortunate to have strong working relationships and long-standing mutual aid agreements with local and state law enforcement and emergency management agencies. In the days and weeks to come, Susquehanna will be examining its protocols in light of the lessons learned from this tragedy.

May God bless the Virginia Tech family as they endure this terrible ordeal.

L. Jay Lemons
President, Susquehanna University


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