Message to the Bowdoin Community — October 7, 2015

To the Bowdoin community,

All of us were horrified last week when a gunman killed nine students and wounded nine others at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Our sympathies are with the victims of this senseless violence and also with the families who suffer today with what surely must be a mixture of shock, grief, and anger.

This latest incident of gun violence in America reminds us to remain vigilant about our own safety and the security of our campus. Bowdoin, Brunswick, and Maine are safe places, and we look out for one another. We have policies and practices in place to enhance that safety, including emergency response guidelines for a variety of situations and a Campus Emergency Management Team that meets regularly to review and refine Bowdoin’s emergency management plan. With regard to gun violence, the College offers specific advice and training, including a powerful video. While difficult to watch, this video—also available on the FBI’s website—offers important advice on how to survive an active shooter event. For those who prefer to review the information without watching the video, a full transcript is available on the FBI website. I encourage you to review all of these materials and to familiarize yourself with the campus facilities where you spend most of your time.

Beyond these prudent measures, please speak up if there are individuals or situations at Bowdoin—or anywhere—that raise questions or cause you to be concerned. As we have learned in retrospect, the majority of these tragic incidents might have been prevented if someone had come forward with their concerns or knowledge about another person’s potential for violence. This is how we take care of each other at Bowdoin, and how we contribute actively to the safety of our campus.

Thank you.