The California State University community has been following with sadness the news about the tragedy at Virginia Tech University. Our thoughts and prayers are with our colleagues, their students, families and friends.
Sadly this type of violence, although rare, may occur at any university campus, workplace or public space. Although it is impossible to completely prevent such tragedies, I want to reassure our university community and the public that the California State University campuses are prepared to maintain safety and to quickly respond and control emergency situations.
Each one of our 23 campuses has its own police department staffed with sworn officers who have received full police academy training. They undergo specialized on-the-job training and routinely collaborate among each other on information gathering, incident prevention, mitigation and response.
Interdisciplinary teams of university administrators work regularly on emergency operations planning and preparedness that addresses several vulnerabilities ranging from minor incidents to large-scale disasters. As part of this planning, each campus has established protocols and means to quickly communicate with students, staff and faculty during an emergency situation. Messages can be automatically broadcast to the campus community over the phone, e-mail, websites, campus electronic marquees, bullhorns and loudspeakers.
CSU students who wish to visit a campus counselor to discuss this tragedy or other pressing issues are encouraged to do so. In addition, we ask every member of the campus community to program into their cell phones the phone numbers of the campus police and emergency information hotline.
The CSU family offers its sincere sympathy and solidarity to the Virginia Tech community during this difficult time.