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Calvin Stands With Virginia Tech in Prayer
updated April 20, 2007

Calvin's show of support for Virginia Tech
See more photos from Orange & Maroon Effect Day
Also see a 45-second movie clip on Calvin's YouTube channel

EDITOR'S NOTE: The piece below originally was sent to Calvin students soon after the Virginia Tech tragedy and is reproduced here in its entirety. The message in the shaded box below was sent today to the Calvin community by college president Gaylen Byker.

The Virginia Tech Alumni Association, and the state's governor, are asking Americans to show support for the shooting victims and their families by wearing the school's colors on "Orange and Maroon Effect" day tomorrow (Friday, April 20). Since maroon is one of Calvin's school colors this request seemed like a very appropriate way for people at Calvin to show support. So please come to Calvin tomorrow wearing something maroon as together we stand in prayer and solidarity with our colleagues at Virginia Tech. Orange and Maroon Effect day began a few years ago as a way for students, alumni and fans to show school spirit at sporting events. The idea to designate tomorrow as such a day began as an e-mail circulating that picked up steam and has since spread to colleges, universities and more across the nation.

~Gaylen Byker, president

By now, many of you have heard about the deadly school shooting at Virginia Tech University. At the time of this writing, it appears that a lone gunman was responsible for the at least 33 deaths and dozens more injuries. The shootings began early in the day in a residence hall, and then continued in a classroom building two hours later. It's a horrific reminder of the fallen nature of our world and our society, and it strikes close to home because we are all part of a similar community as Virginia Tech--we're students, faculty, and staff, sharing a campus with each other, living in residence halls and apartments, and attending class together. We naturally wonder what causes this type of madness, and we imagine how we as a community would respond in a similar situation. Our prayers to God go out for all the students and staff of Virginia Tech as they deal with this situation, both in the present and over the long term.

Security on college campuses is always an important issue, and it is something we continually try to ensure and improve at Calvin. In light of events at Virginia Tech, security measures at schools and colleges across the nation will likely be scrutinized closely--by the media, by administrators at these institutions, by parents of students, and by students themselves. We encourage you to examine your own personal safety measures while you are here at Calvin, and recognize the important role you play in the safety of our community. If you recognize areas that could be improved--by Calvin or by your own actions--and if you have questions or comments you could share with us, we welcome the conversation. Resident Directors, Campus Safety staff, or other members of the Student Life Division or Faculty can be resources to you.


Here are some basic reminders about safety here at Calvin: Be alert to suspicious person(s) or activity. If you witness suspicious behavior or a criminal act, whether in person or on-line, call Campus Safety at 3-3333 immediately and provide as much information as possible. If there appears to be an imminent threat, vacate the area and notify others of the threat as you come in contact with them. Do not physically confront a suspicious looking person. Do not put yourself at risk. Be sure to keep locked doors secure (e.g. do not prop exterior residence hall or KE apartment doors open, etc.), and do not let people into secured areas if you do not know them.

The image will take you to a Facebook group at Calvin.Most importantly, be vigilant, know what is going on around you and look out for each other. We would also encourage each person to review Calvin's Emergency Response Plan.

Again, join us and millions around the nation, including many, many higher education institutions, in lifting the Virginia Tech community in prayer--for those students and families most closely affected by the tragedy and for everyone there whose sense of security has been so needlessly shattered. And pray for our community here as well, as we examine our own campus setting and work together to live and learn in safety.

—John Witte, Dean of Residence Life
—Bill Corner, Director of Campus Safety

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