Open letter from President Timothy Sands: Virginia Tech stands together
November 6, 2015
The following is an open letter to the Virginia Tech community from President Timothy Sands.
To the Virginia Tech community,
Earlier this week we shared a notice of concern with you and I wanted to reach out to express my concern and support for our Muslim community.
It truly saddens me to see such cruel behavior on our campus, even if done by only one person. I know members of our Hokie family are deeply hurt and unsettled by this. The safety and security of each of you is of the utmost importance to me, and rest assured, threats such as this will not be tolerated at this university.
Virginia Tech will not be defined by this deplorable act, rather we will be defined by our response. I hope every member of the Hokie Nation will join me in rejecting this violation of our Principles of Community, and affirming our support for our Muslim students, faculty, and staff. A threat against one of us is a threat to all of us.
Virginia Tech stands together.
I've already learned of several uplifting acts of kindness from individuals on our campus who have reached out to members of our Muslim community offering comfort, reassurance and solidarity. I strongly encourage everyone to take this as an opportunity to advance your own understanding. Engage a dialogue with your Muslim colleagues. Make this the impetus to connect with someone who is different from you and try to understand their perspective. Let's make this an opportunity to advance the spirit of InclusiveVT.
Virginia Tech police continues to investigate this crime. If you know anything, if you need to report a suspicious person or circumstance, or see anything that concerns you, please contact them using the information provided below. As always, be aware of your own personal safety and watch out for those around you.
Faculty and staff, please note that some of our students will be understandably concerned about their safety and security in the coming days. Please make a concerted effort to be as sensitive and accommodating as possible.
Thank you all for everything you do to strengthen our community.
Virginia Tech Police
- If you believe there is an emergency, call 911.
- For non-emergencies, call 540-231-6411.
- You can submit an anonymous on-line report
- Use the LiveSafe app
If you experience or witness bias-related incidents:
- Contact the Office of Equity and Access at 540-231-2010 to report bias-related incidences. You are welcome to stop by without an appointment.
- Employees can contact Hokie Wellness at 540-231-9331.
- Students may seek assistance from Dean of Students office located in 109 East Eggleston Hall, 540-231-3787 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You are welcome to stop by without an appointment.
- The Student Advocacy Staff, also located at 109 East Eggleston Hall, 540-231-3787.
- The Intercultural Engagement Center, located at 150 Squires Student Center, 540-231-8584.
- Cranwell International Center at Harper Hall, 540-231-6527.
- Graduate Students may contact Monique McKay, the Graduate Student Ombudsperson, at 540-231-9573, email@example.com, or the Office of the Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education, at 540-231-7581, firstname.lastname@example.org.
InclusiveVT is Virginia Tech's new approach for inclusion and diversity efforts in the university's many communities. The model distributes responsibility for advancement among senior leaders, while empowering our students, employees, and community members to actively engage in the process.