Susan A. Cole's Letter to MSU Students, 4-10-08

Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole Addresses the Student Community

Dear Students:

I write to you at the end of what has been both a distressing and a beautiful day at Montclair State University. It is, of course, distressing that anyone should threaten the safety or well-being of our University community, and I assure you that the investigation of this matter will continue in a very intensive manner.

What was beautiful about the day is perhaps a more satisfying subject on which to dwell. Throughout this glorious and sunny and wonderfully uneventful day, students were visible on campus, gathering in groups, studying, sitting outside at Café Diem, playing guitars and singing on the lawn. Students stopped to chat with me, with other staff and faculty, and with the friendly police officers who blanketed our campus. While some of you were a little worried, for the most part you understood that, in the absence of evidence to support the credibility of a threat, it would be a mistake to allow an irresponsible individual to close down our campus at any time with a single communication.

I particularly want to express my gratitude to the 120 police officers and tactical response teams, 30 of whom were Montclair State University Police Department personnel, who implemented a massive precautionary operation under the superb direction of Chief Paul Cell. Our own officers and those from law enforcement agencies from all over the region were on their feet and present in all of our buildings and all over our large campus for many hours, and they were highly competent, friendly, and reassuring to the members of the Montclair State community.

I also want to express my gratitude to the large numbers of you who did not let your anxieties deter you from your educational pursuits or from claiming your rightful place on this campus. For those of us on campus today, there was much to make us proud of being a part of this extraordinary community.

I leave you this evening with the profound hope that, as a University community, we can continue to contribute to the creation of a world in which people will be neither subject to, nor succumb to, threats of violence.


President Cole