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President’s Message on Campus SafetyFebruary 15, 2008
Once again, gunfire has killed students on an American college campus. Today our hearts and prayers go out to the students, faculty and staff at Northern Illinois University and to their families, including that of the gunman, a former NIU student who apparently stopped taking needed medication for his mental illness.
What campuses everywhere are aware of today is their vulnerability. Yet universities must be fairly open societies in order to conduct intellectual inquiry and student life. Violence of this kind makes us all cry “out of the depths” to the Lord, as the psalmist says. Let me reassure members of the Regis College community – faculty, staff and students alike, parents, friends and neighbors, Sisters of St. Joseph, trustees – that this campus has
- Appropriate safety and emergency guidelines and personnel to direct our response in various crises;
- Carefully developed mental health policies, practices and personnel in student life to anticipate and address issues that may come up; and
- Solidarity with Northern Illinois University, Louisiana Tech, and Virginia Tech, and our local colleges and universities in both practicing academic hospitality and implementing what is for the common good.
Most importantly as we pause on this holiday weekend, I thank all of you in this Regis College community for your sense of community and community values, which are the true source of our campus safety. With regard to violence, Regis College is a zero tolerance zone. Being aware of one another, co-operating together, and fulfilling our mission to empower women and men to challenge themselves, to lead and to serve by becoming a good influence on our society is the hallmark of Regis College identity.
Please do not hesitate to contact me, Vice-President Lynn Coleman, or my Special Assistant, Dr. M. J. Doherty, if you have suggestions on other ways we can situate our response and preparations for campus safety.
Mary Jane England, ’59, MD
President, Regis College