Like everyone across the country, I was shocked by the horrific
tragedy at Virginia Tech. Our hearts go out to the Virginia Tech
community. We mourn their loss.
In the wake of this disaster, I want to remind you that UT
Arlington takes seriously our responsibility to maintain a safe and
secure environment on the campus. For example, our campus is patrolled
around the clock by the largest concentration of police officers
anywhere in Arlington. This force is augmented by guards, and we work
closely with the Arlington Police Department and other area
law-enforcement agencies. In addition, we are in the process of hiring
additional police officers and security guards.
In 2002, we saw the need to invest in a campus-wide public address
system, through which we can instantly broadcast messages throughout all
major buildings, including all academic buildings, residence halls, and
the library. Additionally, we were among the first UT System
institutions to begin a Designated Safety Liaison program, where someone
in every department on campus is responsible for assisting colleagues
in times of crisis. Complementing these are a campus-wide network of
security cameras and a portable guard tower that provides a bird’s-eye
view of the campus; exterior lighting and police call box systems that
expand every year; secured entry to a number of facilities; and an
on-call after-dark escort service (817-272-3381).
Free safety-training classes are offered by our University Police.
In fact, one such session is scheduled for noon on April 25th in the
University Center Rosebud Theater. I encourage everyone to attend this
important meeting. More information on this session is available online
In addition to providing these security and safety measures and
programs, UT Arlington also provides proactive and responsive mental
health counseling services for individuals and groups. Counseling is
available for issues such as depression, stress, anxiety, and
interpersonal problems; or grief counseling in the wake of the tragedy
at Virginia Tech. Confidential counseling appointments may be made by
calling the Health Center at 817-272-2771.
Despite whatever precautions we may take, the sad reality is that
what happened at Virginia Tech could happen anywhere. University
campuses are like small cities, where students, employees, alumni,
visitors, and others come and go constantly. We are open, engaged, and
active communities. As such, we can never be completely immune to
senseless acts of violence.
It is impossible to fully prevent senseless acts of violence, but we
can learn from the painful experience of others and be better prepared
in the event of a calamity. In that spirit, we will continue to update
our policies and safety procedures to ensure that we’re as protected as
possible. The safety and well-being of our campus community is of
utmost importance and something never to be taken for granted.
James D. Spaniolo, President
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.