Skip to content. Skip to main navigation.


Virginia Tech Tragedy and Campus Safety

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bookmark and Share

Media Contact: UT Arlington Media Relations, 817-272-2761

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 at:

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.