|Davidson Reflects on Va. Tech Killings in Light of Its Own Security
April 17, 2007
Contact: Bill Giduz - 704-894-2244
Members of the Davidson community gathered this afternoon in silence and prayer to honor those affected by the murders at Virginia Tech University.
The flagpole on the north end of Chambers has become the site of community gatherings in times of crisis.
“We don’t have the words to express what we feel or want to express to the community at Virginia Tech,” said Chaplain Rob Spach to about two hundred students, faculty and staff around the campus flagpole. “But we have the opportunity here by our presence, silence, prayers to be with them in spirit that they may know that people across the nation grieve with them.”
“Our hearts are heavy,” said Spach. “We gather to honor those who have died and those who are still suffering.”
Junior Davis Greene, vice president of the Student Government Association, encouraged those who have questions and grief in the wake of such tragedy to seek answers in the surrounding community. “It’s good to share your questions with each other. You don’t have to face these things alone,” he said.
Greene’s remarks were followed by a period of silent reflection, and a concluding prayer by Chaplain Spach.
Davidson alumnus Rev. Alexander W Evans '8o has been dealing with the incident on a much more personal level. Evans is pastor of Blacksburg Presbyterian Church, and serves as Blacksburg Police Department chaplain. A story about his experiences has been published in The New York Times at this URL (registration required).
In stark contrast to this reflective meditation is the review of college practices which such an event engenders. Davidson officials noted that the college has developed, and regularly reviews, procedures for such emergency situations.
In the event that emergency circumstances confront Davidson, there are four ways in which the college would contact students, staff, and faculty. The Public Safety Office has the capability to send both e-mail and voice mail messages to all students. Officials can also employ a reverse 911 calling system to notify all student, faculty, and staff, either in just one building, or any combination of buildings on campus, automatically reaching both mobile and land lines associated with that building. The Residence Life Office could also employ its student and professional employees in residence halls to notify students of an emergency.
The college would use its Internet home page to alert parents to emergency situations on campus, and use the telephone for specific contacts.
Davidson’s Public Safety Office of eight full-time and twelve part-time officers are all trained in tactical response, and in active shooter drills. The college also coordinates training with the Town of Davidson police department, organizing training for town officers in campus buildings so that in an emergency they would be familiar with campus geography.
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