Chancellor responds to Virginia Tech tragedy in mass e-mail

By Daily Illini Staff Report

University Chancellor Richard Herman sent out a mass e-mail to students and faculty Wednesday morning to address the recent mass shooting of 32 students at Virginia Tech.

“The massacre of 32 students at Virginia Tech Monday has left us shocked and saddened,” Herman wrote in the mass e-mail. “As chancellor, I want to express the sympathy and concern I know each of us feels for the families and friends of the victims.”

Herman wrote in the mass e-mail that the University police department has plans in place for a wide range of emergencies.

University Police Chief Krystal Fitzpatrick, speaking Tuesday night at a meeting held at the Asian American Cultural Center in Urbana, said the University police are trained for a situation the likes of which occurred at Virginia Tech.

“The University Police Department does train for this type of situation,” Fitzpatrick said.

She said a SWAT team of officers from Urbana, Champaign and the University have trained on campus. Fitzpatrick also said that the University is developing a telephone emergency notification system to facilitate the ease and speed at which information can be spread in a similar situation.

Herman wrote in the e-mail that students who want to talk about the tragedy at Virginia Tech can go to the Counseling Center, which will be accepting walk-in clients.

Herman ended the e-mail by asking students to report suspicious activity.

“As we grieve for the innocent victims of this shooting, please remember that the best way to help protect our campus community is to treat others with respect and civility and to report threatening behavior to the appropriate authorities immediately,” he wrote.

Erika Strebel contributed to this report