October 1, 2023

Reminders for Threat Assessments and Emergency Alerts

As we start the spring semester, we would like to share a few reminders about our individual and shared responsibility in keeping our community safe and informed. At UMW, many staff and faculty are focused and trained on campus safety and well-being, and there are also ways in which you can be prepared individually, including being aware of your surroundings, reporting issues when you see something (no matter how seemingly insignificant), and making sure you receive timely updates as they are issued.

UMW has an extensive and robust threat assessment and violence prevention process that assists the University in identifying threats to our campus community and in responding to those threats. The threat assessment and violence prevention teams are trained members of our staff and faculty who meet regularly and as needed when situations arise. A list of the members can be found here.

What is threat assessment and management? Threat assessment is a systemic process designed to identify situations and people who might pose a risk to the UMW community; to gather information about the concerns; to assess the potential threats; and to manage the situation in order to mitigate any harm. After the 2007 Virginia Tech mass shooting, the Commonwealth of Virginia passed several legal mandates about threat assessment and continues to encourage intervention through interdisciplinary planning, training, and communication.

How can you be a part of threat assessment? Intervention is the key to prevention. Central to successful threat assessment and management is sharing information and concerns. Our team of trained faculty and staff members reviews information on a regular basis and as concerns arise.

If you see or experience anything of concern, no matter how seemingly insignificant, report it via the online reporting system or by calling UMW Police at 540-654-1025 (non-emergency) or 540-654-4444 (emergency).

How can you make sure you receive alerts? UMW’s emergency alert system, called UMW Alerts for short, notifies the campus community of emergency situations, as well as weather watches and warnings. Students, faculty, and staff are automatically enrolled in UMW Alerts with contact information registered with the University, including UMW email address and cell phone number. The University resets the system with all current community members on the first day of classes for the fall semester and adds new members on the first day of spring classes. You can update your information at any time following the directions on the emergency alerts information page.

The University also posts additional resources on our website. For example:

 If you have questions about any of these processes or resources, feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,Juliette Landphair, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs