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University of Iowa News Release


April 16, 2007 (updated April 20, 2007 1:47 PM )

Note: For more news and information about the UI's response to the Virginia Tech tragedy, visit:

Fethke Sends Message To Va. Tech President; Issues Statement To UI Community

Note: Following is a message University of Iowa Interim President Gary Fethke is sending to Charles W. Steger, president of Virginia Tech University, followed by a statement to the UI campus community regarding today's shootings on the Virginia Tech campus. Additionally, the UI will fly the flag atop the Old Capitol at half-staff Wednesday to honor the victims of the shootings. The flag will remain lowered through Sunday, April 22, in accordance with a proclamation signed today by Iowa Gov. Chet Culver.

Dear President Steger:

The entire University of Iowa community extends its profound sympathy as you deal with this unspeakable tragedy. Though it has been more than 15 years since our campus faced its own gun-related tragedy, that experience remains fresh in our minds today. As a result, we empathize with the magnitude of what you are confronting today and what you will face in the days and months ahead as you grieve this great loss. Please know that we stand ready to assist you in any way and that our thoughts and prayers are with you.


Gary Fethke

Interim President

The University of Iowa


To members of our own University of Iowa community:

We are only now becoming aware of the enormity of the shootings on the campus of Virginia Tech. Until more is known about the actual circumstances, we believe it is best to reserve comment, except to make the following points.

For members of the UI community who have relatives, colleagues and friends at Virginia Tech and members of the wider community who may be suffering from the trauma of these events, please remember that the UI and our surrounding communities have a wealth of mental health practitioners and counselors who are available and eager to help. Students seeking assistance may visit the UI Counseling Service online at, or call 319-335-7294. Faculty and Staff Services also offers counseling and other assistance, and may be found online at and reached by phone at 319-335-2085.

It is sad but true that the openness of public universities, which is clearly one of their great strengths, can also make them vulnerable. Today's events are a sober reminder that we must all take reasonable and prudent steps to protect ourselves. Most importantly, when you see suspicious behavior, do not hesitate to report it to police by calling 911.

These are some of the fundamentals of campus safety at The University of Iowa:

• University Police are always on mobile patrol

• Blue cap emergency phones are located throughout the campus

• The UI has the capability of sending emergency mass e-mails to all faculty, staff and students

• The UI is working on enhancing its emergency message delivery systems, including voice messages

• All residence hall main doors are locked from midnight to 6 a.m. and every residence hall complex has a 24-hour desk at its main entrance. Most remaining doors in the residence halls are on a more restrictive locking schedule, and many are locked 24 hours a day.

• Uniformed security guards patrol residence halls between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

For more information, see the Crime Prevention website of University Police:

STORY SOURCE: University Relations, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1000.

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott,, phone 319-335-0552, cell 319-530-6972