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SAFETY MESSAGE TO ALL U.VA. STUDENTS
Date: Jan. 31, 2010
To: All U.Va. Students
From: Patricia M. Lampkin
Subject: Safety Reminders
The discovery Tuesday morning of the remains of Morgan Dana Harrington, the Virginia Tech student who had been missing since Oct. 17 after leaving a concert at John Paul Jones Arena, brought profound grief to her family and friends and sadness to two university communities.
At Virginia Tech, where Morgan, 20, was a junior education major, President Charles Steger said the news took away hope for a happy ending.
This news also brings with it a reminder that while the Charlottesville area is considered to be safe, bad things can and do happen. And college-age students are particularly vulnerable.
In the midst of their grief, Morgan's parents, Dan and Gil, and their son Alex, a U.Va. alum, continue to advocate campus safety and the need for students to take personal safety seriously.
They are especially concerned that the person responsible for their daughter's death may remain in our community and they want to remind students to be on alert.
In an interview last week, the Harringtons said that women especially are at risk when they walk or jog alone.
"We didn't want Morgan to go out by herself alone," her father said. "There are so many things that if we could change, we would have a different outcome."
It is a heart-breaking reminder to us all.
While I have included a more comprehensive safety checklist at the end of this e-mail, I would like to remind you of a few key things that should be part of your routine as you travel on Grounds and in the surrounding community.
Nothing is more important in our University community than your safety and security. Safety, however, should be a personal as well as a community goal.
One way to honor Morgan Harrington's life is to become an advocate for safety on college campuses, here and elsewhere. Please feel free to share this message with your friends at colleges and universities around the country.
For those who knew Morgan personally and might be grieving her loss, know that there is counseling support available through the University's Counseling and Psychological Services at 243-5150.
I encourage each of you to take a moment to review the additional general safety guidelines included below. These are useful at any time and in any situation.
Patricia M. Lampkin
Additional safety guidelines from University Police
Residence Hall Safety
Housing Decisions for Undergraduate Students
Deciding where to live is a major decision for undergraduate students. When he spoke to parents during Family Weekend on Oct. 17, President John Casteen covered several important points about both on-Grounds and off-Grounds housing for students:
Safety: An Ongoing Priority at the University
Siren System Testing - As part of emergency planning efforts, the University regularly tests its siren and public address system.
Similar to sirens installed at other institutions in Virginia, around the country, and on military bases, the U.Va. system is capable of sounding an alert and broadcasting messages and instructions.
The siren is one of several tools that would be used in the event of an emergency, explains Marge Sidebottom director of emergency preparedness. Other tools include mass e-mails to all students and members of the U.Va. community, opt-in text messages, an emergency Web site, and messages on LCD screens in strategic buildings such as Newcomb Hall and the Aquatic and Fitness Center.
Sidebottom says that being prepared for an emergency means constantly reviewing plans, adjusting where needed, and applying lessons learned here at the University or elsewhere.
Residence Hall Fire Safety — The University's Office of Environmental Health and Safet, in conjunction with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, conducts fire safety inspections in the residence halls. In addition, fire drills are conducted throughout the year.
To ensure a safe environment several items are restricted in residence hall rooms; guidelines are posted on the Housing Web site.
Please note : Students are required to check their smoke detectors once a week.
Off-Grounds Safety — The University’s Off-Grounds Housing Office offers a variety of services for students living in non-University housing; leasing information, available housing, etc. Additionally, this office works closely with the Office of Environmental Health and Safety and the City of Charlottesville’s Property Maintenance Office to assist students with general safety issues, fire safety concerns, property maintenance, and more. Information and safety brochures are available here.
U.Va. Alerts — All students are encouraged to sign up for emergency text alerts sent to their cell phones. Students may add a parent's cellphone number as a secondary number to receive alerts. Sign-up is available online.
Updated June 24, 2009
|Parents as Partners | P.O. Box 400303 | Charlottesville, VA 22904 | Tel: (434) 924-7984|
Last Modified: 29-Apr-2010 17:29:04 EDT | © Copyright 2014 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia