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Monday, December 5, 2011

Shooting on Campus

Dear Readers, 

        Early Sunday morning, there was a shooting on my school campus. I know very little about the actual circumstances myself, but I /do/ however know a lot about the reaction to what has happened. The shooting took place around 1:42 a.m. on December 4th, 2011. Calls were made to the campus security, but by the time they got there, the shooter was gone. witness say they saw three males around the Beta Theta Pi frat house and the Minority Student Union house. Initial findings by the police have revealed five shots fired from a 9mm pistol, one of which struck the MSU house.
        The part that is actually bothering students, though, is how long it actually took for the school to notify us. According to all reports, the call to security came at 1:42 am. The email that was sent to students came at 3:35 am. It took the school almost 2 hours to inform students that there are shooters on campus. 
^This is the email I received.^ 
        Well at least they sent out an email, right? Surely that's the school looking out for us? Well let me go ahead and put in a little snippet here about our Emergency Notification System:

A text message will be sent? I never received a text. Neither did anyone on campus. Naturally this serious flaw was addressed with by angry student reports. One student even wrote the President an email:

to which he replied:
A typical response from our President, whose primary focus has always been the image of the school.

Here are all of the facts as I have them, so I think I'll just close with one more post:

The following is an email that was sent out by our college President, Dr. Christopher Howard:
Dear Hampden-Sydney College Community,
Early Sunday morning, multiple gunshots were fired on our campus.  Although no one was harmed, the incident is troubling and unacceptable.  Evidence points toward the perpetrators being from off-campus with no official ties to the College.  I am writing to tell you what we know and what we are doing about it.     
At 1:42 a.m. on Sunday, December 4, calls were made to the Campus Security and Police Department reporting gunshots in the yard of the Minority Student Union (MSU) House on Atkinson Avenue while a party was being hosted in the MSU House.  Within one to two minutes, Officer Simmons arrived, with Officer Jenkins arriving shortly after, and they immediately controlled the scene.  Chief Gee, Director of Security and Chief of Police, and Officers Fowler and Travis were notified and responded to the scene to aid the investigation and search.   
According to initial police accounts, witnesses reported that three males traversed the MSU yard and the street between MSU and Beta Theta Pi House.  One of them fired a handgun as he backed away from MSU.  The subjects then fled on foot.  Police officers conducted a search for the suspects throughout the entire campus.  It is believed they left campus in a vehicle.  Initial findings are that at least five shots were fired from a 9mm pistol.  One shot struck the MSU House, lodging in the outside wall. 
The campus Emergency Notification System (ENS) was activated.  A warning notification message was sent to students, faculty, and staff at 3:35 a.m., which informed the community of the nature of the incident and directed all persons to stay inside.  An “all clear” message was sent at 4:59 a.m.  Both emergency messages were sent as an e-mail to all H-SC e-mail addresses including current students, faculty and staff and posted on the College website homepage.  Messages were also posted on the electronic bulletin boards in buildings across the campus. 
This disturbing incident has shaken us all.  I want to assure you we are conducting a thorough investigation into what happened so that we can identify who did it and take appropriate and immediate action against them.  The Police Department is talking with witnesses, students, and other community members.  The Dean of Students Office is communicating with and counseling students.  The Farmville Police Department is cooperating with us.  Furthermore, we are evaluating our security procedures.     
We all have a responsibility to do our part to ensure that Hampden-Sydney College is a safe place for students, faculty, staff, and guests of the College.  We will not tolerate destructive intrusions and unlawful behaviors that threaten the security and serenity of our College community.  We will take the appropriate measures to ensure a safe campus.  And, we will keep you informed.
If you have any information about this shooting incident, you should contact the College Police Department at 434-223-6164.  Ifyou have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Dale Jones, Vice President for Strategy, Administration, and Board Affairs at 434-223-6116.
Click here to read an article about it in the Roanoke Times Dispatch. Keep in mind this article is subject to updates.

And Click Here for the ABC13 report.

Please feel free to comment. Would love to see how others feel about this. Never fear to voice your opinions!


UPDATE: For the record, my family never heard anything about this, either. I had them check their emails and such. Oh well. I know the parents of some students received emails, so maybe I'm just an anomalous case....

UPDATE: For a follow-up report, click here.

1 comment:

  1. As of my post, there has been several updates to the article linked to in the emails above. As such the references used may cause some confusion and make it look as if my friend was simply making things up.