Texas Tech Information in Light of the Virginia Tech Emergency

A message to the Virginia Tech president and to the Texas Tech Family from Jon Whitmore, president.

President Jon Whitmore has sent this message to Virginia Tech President Charles Steger today and is posting below a message to the entire Texas Tech University family.

April 17, 2007

Dear President Steger:

On behalf of the entire Texas Tech University community, I offer my deepest sympathy and concern to you and your university as you deal with the unimaginable tragedy of yesterday’s events.

We are reminded of the multitude of dangers that we face every day in the modern world and we know that the issues you confront today are ones that may affect other campuses in the future.

We offer our most sincere sympathy as the students, faculty, and staff of Virginia Tech look to the days ahead. Please know that all of higher education, and certainly Texas Tech, understands the magnitude of your loss and wishes you the wisdom to deal with the aftermath of this great tragedy.

The Texas Tech family offers our assistance to you as well as our thoughts and prayers.


Jon Whitmore

To the Texas Tech University Family:

This is indeed a sad day for our nation and for the world. Peoples from around the globe have banded together to express our horror and disbelief over the events that occurred yesterday at Virginia Polytechnic University. I know that each of you shares my sympathy and concern for our fellow students and educators at Virginia Tech.

I also know that many of our family are grieving today and feeling unsure of how to deal with this tragedy. Please remember that our Student Counseling Service, located in the Student Wellness Center, is an excellent facility where you will find kind and competent professionals to talk with you about your feelings today. You can reach them at 806-742-3674 or ttu.edu/scc. Likewise, the Employee Assistance Program for faculty and staff offers counseling in the offices at the Health Sciences Center, 806-743-1327 or 800-327-0328.

We live in an open society and we carry out our mission on an open campus which belongs to the citizens of Texas. This openness, our greatest strength, is also a factor that makes us vulnerable to acts of evil such as our colleagues at Virginia Tech experienced yesterday. I ask all members of the Texas Tech family to remain vigilant and protect yourselves as you live and work on the campus. Please do not hesitate to call 911 to report any behavior you consider suspicious.

Briefly, these are characteristics of campus safety you should keep in mind:

• University police are always on mobile patrol.
• Safety officers, as well as university police, patrol the residence halls every day from 10 pm until 6 am.
• The living areas of our residence halls are secure 24 hours a day and students who live in each hall gain access using a state-of-the art card system.
• Our community advisors in the residence halls are expertly trained in safety procedures and are well practiced in communicating quickly and effectively with residents in a time of emergency.
• We have 83 blue capped lights across the campus where you may always reach the Police Department.
• Our police department regularly reviews and practices scenarios involving armed subjects and they are fully supported by city, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

In response to several questions we have received today, let me assure you that Texas Tech has the capacity of sending emergency mass e-mails to all faculty, staff and students. We are working on enhancing our emergency communications systems, including mass telephone messaging. Our Office of Communications works closely with the local media to announce all campus emergency information. Our website, ttu.edu, will always contain the latest emergency information on this gateway page.