Security Update


Security Update


Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 22:00:00 -0400
To: Multiple recipients <LISTSERV@LISTSERV.VT.EDU>
Subject: Security Update

August 16, 2007

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

With the return to school and the beginning of the new academic year, I know that you may be wondering what will be different on the Virginia Tech campus. Our university experienced violence and sorrow of unimaginable proportions this past spring. Many members of our community are still struggling physically and emotionally from direct or indirect involvement in that April tragedy. I trust that our mutual support and respect for each other will help the entire university community emerge stronger and full of Hokie Spirit.

Soon, we will be announcing the results of the three Presidential working groups on security infrastructure, telecommunications, and inter-departmental protocols related to the events of April 16. However, I have received many questions about the status of classrooms and I am pleased to share with you now changes that are already underway.

Classroom locks

General assignment classrooms have had locks installed on the doors. These locks are designed so occupants can lock the door from inside the room in times of emergency. These locks are also designed so that the door does not remain locked after someone leaves the room. This feature will prevent people from locking the door as a prank or accidentally locking the door as they exit. Police, EMS, and some departmental personnel will have a key that will unlock these doors from the outside.

Building door hardware

In an effort to prevent unauthorized securing of interior and exterior pairs of doors in major academic and administrative buildings, the hardware on door pairs deemed susceptible to chaining, cabling, or being tied together are being removed and replaced. This work is currently ongoing and will be completed in accordance with the building priorities established by the Virginia Tech Police Department.

Emergency protocols

So that students, faculty and staff know how to respond during various types of emergencies, instructional posters will be placed in all academic buildings on campus. These posters are in production and will be mounted in all general assignment classrooms early in the Fall semester. Emergency Management personnel are also evaluating hanging the posters in other high-traffic areas on campus. Residential Programs is in the process of customizing this emergency notification poster for placement in all residence halls with protocols unique to residence life.

VT Alerts

Virginia Tech uses several channels when communicating to the greater university community in an emergency or weather event such as campus e-mail, the HotLine, telephone trees, and the web. We have added VT Alerts, a system in which you can receive notification on any mobile device. The subscriber-only features of VT Alerts allows you to receive urgent notifications where and how you want, even if you&#39;re away from your computer or university phone.

VT Alerts allows you to list up to three contact methods including text messages (SMS) to mobile devices, instant messages (AOL, ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo), calls to non-Virginia Tech phone numbers, or e-mails to non-Virginia Tech addresses. Since YOU must provide us with your non-university contact information (e.g. cell phone number) we strongly suggest that everyone subscribe to VT Alerts at

We are also actively considering several other emergency communication methods and will keep you informed of these developments. In the meantime, if you have specific questions about these changes or other security infrastructure initiatives, please contact Heidi McCoy at 231-8118 or by email to

You will be hearing additional information from the university on these topics, but I wanted to provide you with a brief update prior to the beginning of the semester. Welcome back and I hope you have a successful year.

Sincerely yours,

James A. Hyatt
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

cc: Dr. Charles Steger
Dr. Mark McNamee


James A. Hyatt




Brent Jesiek




James A. Hyatt, “Security Update,” The April 16 Archive, accessed June 22, 2024,