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Notice to the ODU Campus

Dear ODU Community:

As many of you know, an ODU student was shot and seriously injured on Thursday, August 4, in what a witness described in media reports as an altercation among others gathering at a local nightspot near campus. I have since visited the student's family as he remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition. It is now that the Monarch community needs to come together to show support for the student, his family, and each other. I understand that the Norfolk police now have a suspect in custody.

While this crime did not happen on our campus or campus police concurrent jurisdiction, crime against any ODU or community member is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. This is a time for our University community to stand together to ensure a safe environment for all. Around campus and the concurrent jurisdiction, you can see significantly enhanced police patrols by both ODU and Norfolk police. The University has also spent more than $2 million in additional security measures in the past year.

But, crime cannot be stopped by police presence alone. It takes our entire community -- students, faculty, staff, neighbors, and the city -- to create an environment where a criminal element cannot succeed.

President Broderick has called on a group of administrators and students, with input from community leaders and others, to address some of the factors that contribute to such a safe environment. While we are still finalizing specifics, tactics will include an off-campus landlord safety program, greater community partnerships and programming, and a citizenship model for students, especially as it relates to our responsibilities as residents in local communities, among others.

You will hear more about these initiatives in the coming weeks. In the interim, I invite you to contact me with your suggestions, ideas, or willingness to help. I also want to thank Student Government President Luis Ferreira and Student Representative to the Board of Visitors Greg Walsh, who have been working with us all summer, and I urge you to join them in these efforts. We must stand together for our campus and community to foster a climate of safety. The leadership of Old Dominion University is committed to a safe environment that fosters learning and cultivates the leaders of tomorrow.

Sincerely,

Dr. Ellen J. Neufeldt

Vice President for Student Engagement & Enrollment Services Old Dominion University

This article was posted on: August 6, 2011

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Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.