To: The Bellarmine University Community
From: Dr. Joseph J.
Re: Disaster and
Date: April 18, 2007
The unprecedented and
heretofore unimaginable violence and tragedy at Virginia Tech two
mornings ago is causing Bellarmine University, and every other
responsible institution, to review yet again its emergency response
Disaster Preparedness Manual is [available to all students, faculty
and staff on the intranet and student portal]. Therefore, all members of
the campus community should now have immediate access to it.
I want to stress
again, however, that this plan will now be reviewed, improved and
reposted very soon. Everyone will be notified as soon as that happens.
The horrifying events at Virginia Tech show that our current plan,
while thorough and professionally done, reflects too benign a sense of
the possible, and it will be revised accordingly.
This review will
include the key issues of prevention, response and communications in
the event of any emergency on our campus. We are planning already to
improve our ability to communicate with you wherever you are. This
might involve improvements to public address systems, telephone
systems, and also text messaging to cell phones.
We are a university
dedicated to academic inquiry and mastery. We are also a campus and a
community inspired by the spirit of Thomas Merton, whose long and
vital relationship with this place has entrusted us with a beautiful
tradition – a tradition that involves a keen sensitivity to the
interconnectedness of all life, and to humanity, and to human
solidarity. All of us at Bellarmine explore an inner cosmos of ultimate
questions, and an external world of great problems and complexities.
And so without
naiveté , and without cynicism, but with the pursuit and love of truth
and understanding, we strive for excellence in all that we do. This
is how we will respond on every level to the horrible tragedy in
Bellarmine University community will pray for the students and faculty
killed and injured at Virginia Tech and for their families, and also
we will pray that never again will any college or university community
experience such wasteful, destructive, and horrific evil.