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Statement from Pacific about the Monday, April 16 Shooting at Virginia Tech

April  18, 2007

The faculty, students and staff at University of the Pacific are sharing their thoughts and prayers with the loved ones of the victims in today's tragedy at Virginia Tech. Faculty and staff would also like to assure students and their families that Pacific is offering counseling services as well as answering questions about security to help students deal with this national tragedy.

"We are stunned by the news of this tragedy and mourn the senseless loss of life that occurred today at Virginia Tech," University President Don DeRosa said. "All of us here at University of the Pacific express our deepest sympathy to the families of faculty, staff, and students that were killed, and wish for speedy recovery of those who were injured. At Pacific, we take the security of our students and staff very seriously, and are continually looking for ways to improve our practices. In the light of this tragedy, we will again make sure that we are doing every thing we can to assure the Pacific community of our vigilance in this area."

On Wednesday, April 18, the Benerd School of Education will present a noon time panel and discussion, "Violence in Schools: An Open Conversation on Campus Safety & Prevention in Light of the Events at Virginia Tech," featuring Dr. Jeff Sprague, co-director of the University of Oregon Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior, and Dr. Jonathan Sandoval, professor of school psychology at University of the Pacific. The event is free and open to the public.

Members of the Housing and Greek Life staff are meeting with residential students. The Chaplain's Office and ASUOP are planning an observance ceremony. The Counseling Center staff has made their calendars available to students who need to talk to someone. And Public Safety officers and all members of the Student Life staff are talking with students who have concerns and questions about the VA Tech shootings and Pacific's own level of security and emergency preparedness. Although it is impossible to foresee a tragedy such as Virginia Tech has experienced, Pacific has in place an emergency preparedness system overseen by the Pacific Alert Committee and Crisis Response Team, a superior and well-trained Public Safety department with sworn police officers, and an established protocol to follow in the event of any life-threatening emergency.

Any student or family member of a student with questions about today's events can call Student Life at 209.946.2365.

Category Type: University

Contact:  Richard Rojo, 209.946.2746, rrojo@pacific.edu