A MESSAGE FROM THE CHANCELLOR | September 11, 2017
Although the mountains are generally nature’s protectors from hurricanes and tornados, we’ve been tracking Irma this past week with some trepidation. Thankfully, we have been spared – we are expecting significant wind and rain over the next few days, with wind gusts exceeding 40 miles per hour on mountaintops. Still, as one of our colleagues noted, “That’s any day in January from my back deck.”
Rest assured, we work to be prepared, and continue to be vigilant should the situation change. Campus safety officials have been closely monitoring Hurricane Irma and preparing response measures in case the university feels the effects. In the event of any emergency, we provide updates to the campus community as needed, and ensure safety measures are executed to protect everyone here from the effects of a storm or other threat. If a weather condition warrants the community’s immediate attention or action, we send emails to campus and as well as alert messages via the AppState ALERT text and voice message system. In cases of heightened alerts, the latest information can be found at AppStateAlert.com.
You also play an important role in your student’s safety. Allison Dodson encouraged you on Thursday to take time now to make a safety communication plan with your student. Receiving this newsletter shows you have already taken an important step in your own emergency preparation – being on this distribution list means you will receive important information related to your students’ health, safety and well-being on a regular basis as well as in times of crisis.
We also feel for those who are suffering in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. We encourage community engagement and regularly share opportunities for our students to make a difference. Disaster recovery efforts will be ongoing for some time, and Student Affairs is working with student groups now to be sure volunteer efforts are effective and meaningful.
So many of our nation’s emergency management personnel are working long hours, often at personal risk, for those in need in Texas, Florida and beyond. I am reminded of our country’s heroes whose sacrifice and hard work on and around 9/11 made such a difference 16 years ago. I know the Appalachian Community joins me in expressing our thanks to all of those who work every day to keep us safe.
We continue to discuss and debate the subtleties of free speech. Tonight our College of Arts and Sciences hosts “Speak Up and Against Hate,” a panel discussion with representatives from our Department of Government and Justice Studies, the Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies, the Office of Equity Diversity and Compliance, University Police and the Boone Police Department.
We will also mark Constitution Day with a series of events, including a tag-team reading of the Constitution by students, faculty and community leadership on Sanford Mall, Monday, Sept. 19.
Often, some of the most meaningful university experiences take place outside the classroom. It is a privilege to have your students with us. The last few weeks have offered powerful reminders of our responsibility to nurture, inform and prepare them for life outside the confines of a college community. Thank you for your trust.
Sheri N. Everts
At Appalachian, we put students first, always, and together we are building a bright future. Ultimately, the reason Appalachian’s stellar faculty and staff come to work every day is to realize this vision.