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Message from President Brian C. Mitchell:

Dear Bucknellians,

Bucknell continues to come together to share the sorrow that has struck Virginia Tech, and to support those who have been deeply affected by this tragedy. I encourage you to continue to reach out to those feeling deeply the great pain this event has caused. The University’s Office of Psychological Services, Chaplain’s Office, and Dean of Students Office remain ready to counsel any students, faculty or staff who may require assistance, and we hope you will encourage those you know who may need that assistance to reach out to those offices.

This Sunday, in the early evening, the University will host a community convocation to offer a time for reflection on this week’s events and a tribute to the victims of this tragedy. All Bucknellians and the larger Lewisburg community are invited. We know all Bucknellians will be there at least in spirit with the compassion and good will for which Bucknell is known. We will provide the specific details Friday.

Below is a summary of the other responses of the University to this week’s events, as well as a summary of the process the University will be following as it reviews its emergency management and crisis plans.

1. Institutional response:
a. Monday afternoon we sent a letter to Bucknell students, faculty and staff and posted this on our homepage (www.bucknell.edu). It provides counseling information and a summary of the related emergency preparedness of the University and our Office of Public Safety.

b. Through our Office of Housing and Residential Life, we have contacted every Bucknell student that we know to have Virginia Tech connections to ensure that they are okay and to let them know the University’s assistance is available.

c. Through our Alumni Office, we have reached out to Bucknell alumni who are employees at Virginia Tech to offer any support we might provide.

d. Tuesday evening, Bucknell hosted a candlelight vigil to express its grief and shared sense of community with the Virginia Tech community. A display of 32 white ribbons on a field of Virginia Tech colors, maroon and orange, has been set up on the second floor landing of the downhill side of the Langone Center. Members of the Bucknell community are also sharing their thoughts and tributes in a condolence book. Next week the notes will be collected and sent to the Hokie community. News about these actions is available through the Bucknell homepage.

e. We are encouraging everyone to join with the Bucknell Student Government in supporting the national "Hokie Hope" effort Friday, in which students and colleagues at campuses across the country will wear orange and maroon as a show of solidarity with Virginia Tech.

2. The University regularly and thoroughly reviews its comprehensive emergency preparedness and crisis management plans, as most recently conducted last fall. As you can imagine, as we prepare to review these plans again with recent events in mind, we will be taking a particularly close look at the plans we have in place to deal with violence on campus. During next week's regularly scheduled annual Board meeting, we will also be reporting on our current plans and initiating our next comprehensive review. That comprehensive review will include an inventory of our existing plans and all current related decision protocols and response capabilities. In that review, we will also assess our use of communications technologies; the training, preparation and equipment of relevant staff; and the management of our facilities in emergencies. The safety of our students and our campus is of utmost concern to all of us at the University, and we undertake this review with the greatest seriousness.

3. The University has an extensive set of technologies in place to communicate to the campus in the event of a crisis. Learn more http://www.bucknell.edu/x34097.xml. We have been exploring additional technologies in recent months, and continue to evaluate those as part of our thorough crisis planning review.

We continue to hold Virginia Tech in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your support for Virginia Tech, Bucknell and our higher education community at this time.

Sincerely,

Brian C. Mitchell
President

April 16 message from President Mitchell

Posted April 19, 2007

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