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President Clark update on November 20 incident

Dear members of our university community,

The extremely upsetting event that many of our faculty, staff and students experienced at the Visual and Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, has created justifiable feelings of fear, anxiety and anger, and the understandable need for more information.

As an update, I have been advised today, that in collaboration with the Connecticut State Police and the Danbury Police Department, our University Police will be completing their investigation of the VPAC “gunman” incident shortly.

As you can appreciate, this has involved countless interviews, review of surveillance camera footage and other investigatory work to bring this case to a conclusion. I wanted to make sure anything reported to you about this incident is totally accurate and fully credible.

As soon as I have the final findings from the police, I will immediately share them with you. I plan on a follow-up forum and informational sessions if any questions remain.

I also want to assure you that we are and will continue to work on the recommendations and suggestions received from you to better insure your safety and security at our University, now and in the future. University Police have already increased foot patrols in the VPAC, Counseling Center staff have provided additional support and outreach to the campus community, and several hundred more people have signed up to receive notices through the campus emergency notification system. Informational reminders on safety and security protocols and procedures will be provided at the beginning of the semester, along with a list of additional long-term security measures that will be put in place as soon as possible.

For your information, the Counseling Center is available for students. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and it is located in the Student Center Room 222 on the Midtown campus. The telephone number is (203) 837-8690. Faculty, Students and University employees may also contact the Fairfield County Trauma Recovery Network for a list of community providers at

Finally, I wish to emphasize that your safety and security is my primary goal, and when this case at the VPAC is successfully resolved, please remain vigilant. There is one simple rule to follow if you see suspicious activity: WHEN IN DOUBT – CALL 911 AND THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY.

I should be in contact with you soon with the final results of the investigation. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding during this most difficult and trying process.


Dr. John B. Clark
Western Connecticut State University