Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler sent the following message to the campus community Sept. 29, 2014 - Ed.
The recent disappearance of UVA sophomore, Hannah Graham, continues as an unspeakable trauma for her family, her friends, and her entire campus community. Many of us have close ties to the UVA community, and our hearts go out to all those who know and care about Hannah. The situation is also a chilling reminder that, even in seemingly safe college towns, serious crimes can and do occur. Since our attention has been drawn to the situation unfolding in Charlottesville, our own campus community has been talking with more urgency about matters of personal safety. From recent articles in the Flat Hat to conversations in residence halls, classrooms, and Board of Visitors meetings, our campus community is taking heed and thinking intently about how best to keep ourselves safe and to watch out for the safety of those around us. Allow me to share some thoughts and information to deepen those conversations ...
Like Charlottesville, this is a very close-knit community. And generally speaking, it is a very safe one. But Williamsburg and William & Mary are not immune to crime. It is important for us all to be very aware of our surroundings, to watch out for each other and to take precautions wherever possible. This includes walking in groups, especially late at night and utilizing resources such as Campus Escort (x13293) and Steer Clear Safe Ride (x1DRIV).
- This year the William & Mary Emergency Management Team implemented a new resource, the Rave Guardian app. It works like an emergency "blue phone" in your pocket and has a number of additional important safety functions. One touch can connect you immediately with W&M Police, or you can send a text or photo tip. The app will also let you set a timer if you are alone or in an unfamiliar place, so that friends, police, or others you trust will be notified if you are late. The app may be downloaded from the Emergency Management Team's website. There are also additional details there about the app and its functions. I encourage you to explore the website and download this important personal safety tool.
- For several years now, the College has also offered the "In Case of Crisis" app. This app provides a guide of helpful education and response information on a number of emergency situations including medical emergencies, what to do if you are asked to shelter in place, how to handle a suspicious package, and tips for dealing with a confrontational situation. If you have not yet downloaded this application, you may do so here.
If you have additional questions or concerns I am available, as are your RAs and professional Residence Life staff, members of the Dean of Students Office staff, and others throughout Student Affairs. William & Mary Police are also available to meet with any group on campus to discuss specific safety plans.
Our sense of community is a tremendous strength. Be safe, be aware, and remember always to take care of one another.