Dear Coastal Carolina University family,
With the higher education community, the nation and beyond, we have witnessed a tragedy of unimaginable proportions this week. We offered the university's deepest condolences to President Steger and the entire Virginia Tech community, especially the friends and families of the deceased and injured students, and we observed a campus-wide moment of silence to honor the lives lost and injured. Our students organized a memorial service where we shared our sorrow as we sought the hope that is necessary for healing. The caring, concern and commitment of the Coastal Carolina family - what is truly special about this place - has been more evident this week than ever before.
Although a university is not immune from the actions of society, there are actions that can and should be taken to prepare as effectively as we can for a campus emergency. Here are a few areas that demonstrate the university's on-going commitment to providing a safe environment for our more than 8,000 students:
The university's Office of Public Safety regularly reviews and improves emergency protocols. The campus is protected 24/7 by 30 armed officers and 30 security officers. The campus is patrolled by automobiles, golf carts, bicycles and on foot. In an effort to inform the campus community, campus crime statistics are posted on the Public Safety web site at www.coastal.edu.
Emergency call boxes that communicate directly to the 911 system are strategically positioned in 50 locations around the campus and at The Gardens Apartments, the Atlantic Center, and University Place. Every residential unit at University Place also has an emergency panic button located in each bedroom.
There are 150 safety cameras placed strategically throughout the campus, including in the academic buildings.
Because a crisis can evoke troubling emotions, Coastal's Office of Counseling Services is prepared to assist students who feel the need to talk. The Office of Counseling Services is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; however, counselors may be reached after hours
in a crisis situation through Public Safety.
The Students At Risk Committee was established last fall in an effort for the university to better identify and assist students who may be in need of help. This program is based in the Office of Student Affairs.
In an emergency situation, the university communicates primarily through email, the web site and external media. The university is investigating communication systems that will alert the campus community through new technologies, such as text messaging, as well as an alarm sound system.
This time of year is one of the busiest on our campus. As students prepare for final exams and celebrate their accomplishments, we will strive for some sense of normalcy even with these very tragic events as a backdrop. Thank you for your many expressions of support and appreciation for the Coastal campus environment that we work so hard to provide for our students, and please feel free to send me your suggestions for ways that we might improve on the work that we are doing. Your input and partnership is important to us at all times, but especially in difficult times such as these.
Ronald R. Ingle, President