UAHuntsville Memorial Service
Remarks and photos will be posted shortly.
Counseling: 256.824.6203 or after hours: 256.824.6911
Counseling will be available Friday:
MH 221 9am - 5pm
MSC 201 9am - 5pm
Since Friday, I’ve spoken to many of you around campus as our university community tries to make sense of the terrible tragedy that occurred here. I have seen so many examples of emotional strength at a time when so much seems impossible to explain.
As we try to cope with this shock and our loss, we must continue to lean on each other for help. Yesterday’s prayer service was a great example of the entire community coming together.
For those of you who may need help, counseling services remain available at the University Center or can be arranged by calling Charger Central at 824-7777. Plans are coming together for a memorial service on Friday at Spragins Hall. As the time and other details are decided upon, I’ll share those with you. After we take time to mourn and heal this week, classes are scheduled to resume next Monday.
As we have come together to cope and mourn, I have also heard one concern repeated.
Our campus police responded within minutes to the Shelby Center for Science and Technology on Friday afternoon, quickly apprehending the suspect and securing the scene. However, some of you are understandably troubled about the speed with which a text message alert was sent following the shootings.
As any institution would do after an incident like this, our university will conduct a complete examination of the emergency response. How to more effectively use the university’s text message system in the midst of a fast-moving, life-threatening situation will certainly be part of that review.
The communication delay didn’t endanger anyone on campus in this instance. The tragic incident was over quickly and contained to a single building. But we will learn from this situation and be better for it should we need to use this system in a future crisis.
I want to thank all of you who helped play a part in ensuring that this emergency response was carried out quickly and with the safety of our campus top of mind. Officers were on the scene just four minutes after shots were fired. Two minutes later, ambulances were there. Dormitories across campus were on lockdown within 10 minutes. That’s a result of the training exercises our university police and local law enforcement have done with just such a scenario in mind.
I’m proud of the way our university responded to this awful situation and pray we never are tested like this again. At the same time, we will work to learn and improve from it.
Please continue to keep the victims and their families in your thoughts in prayers.
David B. Williams, Ph.D., Sc.D., President