Centre gathers to remember victims of Virginia Tech shootings
RELEASED: April 19, 2007
DANVILLE, KY—Last week Centre students, faculty and staff gathered outside of Old Centre for a candlelight service to reflect on life and to pray for those who lost theirs in last Monday's tragic shootings on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va.
Centre students simply wanted a chance to come together and unite.
"I think we're just looking for some sort of peace, I think that's what everybody's been looking for," said Paige Hebard '10, who helped organize the vigil. Hebard is a native of southwestern Virginia. "Everyone's been really affected by this."
When Hebard heard about the Virginia Tech shootings, she knew she had to do something. She hastily worked with other students to organize a fundraiser on campus. Members of the Centre community can make donations to a support fund for Virginia Tech faculty, staff and students, which are being collected in Cowan Dining Commons. With each donation, contributors will receive a maroon and orange ribbon, Virginia Tech's school colors, that they may wear to show support for this community in its time of need.
Also, during lunch and dinner in Cowan, students can sign a card of sympathy that will later be sent to Blacksburg, Virginia.
During the vigil, students made it clear that they just want their loved ones to be safe.
"Just out of the blue, friends could be out of your life," student James Zellmer '09 said at the vigil last night. "People who are close to us, we definitely want them to be safe."
For a number of years, the College has created and maintained many levels of crisis planning in conjunction with city and county officials. These planning documents are reviewed and updated regularly.
More specifically, the College has an Emergency Response Plan that details sequences of action for a variety of natural or man-made crisis situations—severe weather, fire, bomb threat, violent individual or individuals on campus, and chemical hazard, for example. As a part of this document, detailed floor plans of all buildings on campus are maintained.
In addition, the College maintains a Crisis Response Plan that deals with crisis communication in the event of an emergency. This plan specifies individuals responsible for planning and communication should a crisis occur and provides contact information (both on-and off-campus), as well as an emergency notification sequence and emergency evacuation plans.While no plan can possibly defend against every conceivable risk, emergency response is a matter that has received and will continue to receive considerable attention at Centre.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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