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Message About the Reported Gun Incident from President Clark

Dear Members of our University Community,

First of all, after the difficult ordeal many of you had to experience last week, I would hope that you all had a Happy Thanksgiving holiday.  I want to express my sympathy and concern for you, especially for those on our Westside campus, especially in and around our School of Visual and Performing Arts building and Campus Center where the police search and investigation took place after the reports of a person with gun were received.  It was a traumatic ordeal especially in the context of the real tragedies of mass shootings across the country that disturbingly occur on a regular basis.

Please rest assured that while our main mission is teaching and research, our chief concern is your security and safety.  So saying, we will schedule informational sessions for our community as well as open forums so all can share their experiences, concerns and offer suggestions for improvement.  In conjunction with our campus police and state and local law enforcement agencies, a comprehensive assessment of the day’s events and the university’s response and actions will be conducted.  Included in that assessment will be a full review of our safety protocols and communication procedures.  It is vitally important that we learn from this situation so we can correct deficiencies and make the necessary improvements in the university’s management of emergency situations.  Just as importantly, it is critical that all the members of our university community be fully informed about last week’s events so you can provide your own suggestions and critical comments to us during this review process.  Our dedicated goal is to make our campuses even more safe and secure.

Lastly, but most importantly, I would like to express my deep appreciation to our university faculty and administrators and the state, city and university police who responded to and assisted during this incident.  Also, I want to recognize the bravery and composure of our faculty, staff and students who had to endure such an emotional ordeal.  I was especially impressed with our students who were at the Westside Campus Center.  While this was a most upsetting time, they all conducted themselves so well – exhibiting patience and calm in the face of danger.

While improvements will be needed and deficiencies properly addressed, please know that we are totally committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment where you can perform the wonderful work and service you provide our treasured students.  This is my professional responsibility as your president as well as my deepest personal concern.


Dr. John B. Clark
Western Connecticut State University