President's response to the Virginia Tech tragedy

April 19, 2007

Dear members of the Bates Community,

I know you are all aware of the shocking tragedy that occurred at Virginia Tech early in the week. While no words are adequate in a situation so sad and horrifying, I know you join me in expressing our sympathies for the friends and families of those whose lives were lost, and for all members of the Virginia Tech community as they grieve. Our thoughts also go out to members of our own community who have friends or family at Virginia Tech.

Our primary concern must be with the victims, but at the same time such painful incidents may understandably cause us to reflect on our own safety. I want to reassure everyone at Bates that we are constantly working to ensure to the fullest extent possible the safety of all members of our community. Our Security and Campus Safety Department has in place a protocol for responding to threatening situations on campus, including an active shooter scenario. The plan includes immediate notification of the Lewiston Police Department, as well as the timely notification of the campus and surrounding communities. The College has in place a Senior Emergency Response Group that develops and reviews responses to emergency events.  We all share responsibility for our collective safety, so we must be willing to report to Security and other appropriate offices suspicious or concerning behavior.

As we all struggle to comprehend this tragic event, I remind everyone that there are many people on campus to support you, including staff at the Health Center, the Dean of Students Office, and the Office of the Chaplain.

The Chaplain’s Office is planning a candlelight vigil to bring together members of the community to commemorate those lost and to support each other. Details of the time and place of the vigil will be announced at a later date.


Elaine Tuttle Hansen