Our college and country have been faced with yet another devastating mass shooting. Mass shootings, involving four or more victims, happen about every two weeks in our country. Often with multiple shootings happening in one day. The recent acts of violence at Umpqua Community College, Planned Parenthood, San Bernardino, and abroad have made this a sad and difficult year for all of us. We’ve experienced more tragedy in the past few years than anyone should have to see over a lifetime. It’s unnerving and indeed terrifying for us all.
These acts of violence are often committed in a way that is intended to make specific groups feel unsafe or unwelcome. I’d like to take a moment to reaffirm BC’s commitment to promoting a safe community for all people. It is a commitment that requires constant awareness and perspective. One that must remain in the forefront of our collective minds.
Because no college is immune to the threat of hate-motivated violence, Bellevue College has embraced explicit affirmations of tolerance and created a set of protocols to promote the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff; to respond to individual complaints or grievances; and to adjudicate possible violations of college policies and local, state or federal laws.
We have a number of resources on campus, including the Counseling Center which provides:
- In-person counseling for students daily between 8 a.m.– 5 p.m. Monday – Friday. Students can call (425) 564-2212 to schedule an appointment.
- Consultation with faculty about challenging situations in their classrooms, and referrals to counseling or other services as needed.
- Daily on-call [drop-in] counseling for students in crisis.
- Workshops and classes on stress management, healthy self-esteem and understanding personal relationships, among other subjects.
Bellevue College faculty, staff and students who are concerned about a student’s behavior are encouraged to submit an incident report for follow up by the Behavior Intervention Team (BIT) or the Bias Incident Response and Support Team (BIRST).
Our Public Safety team actively works to prepare the campus for any emergency event that may affect the College including ongoing training for students and employees on what to do in emergency situations. We encourage our campus community to use the highly renowned “Run, Hide, Fight” method in case of an active shooter. We also maintain close ties with local law enforcement and first responder agencies with whom we would partner in the case of emergency.
We employ an emergency notification system called RAVE that sends text and email alerts to faculty, staff, and students in the event of an emergency on or around either Bellevue College campus. The RAVE system is also able to send messages directly
to the Bellevue College webpage and social media outlets. If you haven’t yet signed up to receive these alerts, please consider doing so.
In addition, the Employee Assistance Program provides confidential assistance to employees who may need support in coping with these tragedies.
The perpetrators of these heinous acts of violence seek to drive us apart. Now more than ever is the time to ensure that all feel welcome and safe on our campus. I hope you will join me in renewing our pledge to foster an academic environment of inclusion and tolerance at BC.
Last Updated May 24, 2016