"Office of the Chaplain" Archive

Timely Warning: Sexual Assault Reported

This announcement was emailed to students, faculty and staff on March 5 by Wake Forest Communications and External Relations:

In order to promote safety on the Wake Forest University campus, the University is issuing this notification concerning a possible threat to the community.

The Wake Forest Title IX Office is investigating a student’s report of being sexually assaulted by a student in South Residence Hall early in the morning on March 1, 2020.  The student made the report to the Title IX Office on March 5.

If you have any information that might be helpful in this investigation, contact the University Police at (336) 758- 5911 or the Title IX Office at 336-758-7258 or titleixcoordinator@nullwfu.edu. If you wish to provide information anonymously, do so through “Silent Witness.” 

Wake Forest is providing resources to assist the individuals involved in this incident, and will continue to take actions to maintain the safety and security of the campus community.

It is important for all of us to focus on the things that we can all do to keep ourselves and others safe.

  • Call 911: If you feel uneasy or unsafe, go to a safe location and call a friend or the police at 911. When your safety is at risk or you need a safe escort on campus, contact University Police, available 24 hours at 336-758-5911.
  • Download Live Safe Mobile App
  • Ask a friend who may be in a potentially dangerous situation if they want to leave and then make sure that they get home safely.

If you have experienced a sexual offense, we encourage you to seek support. If you or a friend has questions or concerns about sexual offenses, you can contact the following resources for confidential information and support:

Safe Office: [Confidential]
Helpline 24/7: 336-758-5285, Reynolds Gym, B104-107 (next to Student Health Service)

Student Health Service: [Confidential]
336-758-5218, Lower Level of Reynolds Gymnasium

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center [Confidential]
Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157

University Counseling Center: [Confidential]
336-758-5273, Reynolda Hall, Room 117

Office of the Chaplain: [Confidential]
336-758-5017, Reynolda Hall, Suite 8

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Follow up to malicious emails

The following message was sent to students, faculty and staff on Sept. 28:

Dear Wake Forest community,

Three weeks ago, seven individuals and five offices on our Reynolda Campus received vile, anonymous emails, spreading messages of white supremacy and hate. Recipients of the emails felt threatened, and concern for the wellbeing and safety of our community continues to spread with each retelling of what our campus has experienced. We continue efforts to protect the campus community, comfort those who were targeted and to support all of you who feel the trauma of these toxic words.

Three questions continue to arise—from some of you, as well as your family members and Wake Forest alumni.

Do we know the emails’ source?  Our own cybersecurity team worked swiftly to determine the source, and contracted with an expert national cybersecurity firm to assist in that effort. The emails’ sender—as all too often with hate-speech trolls—is untraceable. Other universities have been targeted with similar emails over the past year and all have proven difficult to track.

Is our campus under threat? Immediately following these emails’ arrival, Wake Forest police chief Regina Lawson contacted local, state, and federal law enforcement specialists—including the FBI’s hate crimes division and the domestic terrorism division that specailizes in white nationalists —to review the emails and conduct a thorough threat assessment.

As Chief Lawson communicated to faculty and staff after this review, and as indicated in the email to campus on September 19, while none of the emails contained actionable threats or detailed a specific attack on our campus, they still elicited the fear the sender likely intended.

Given lingering campus concerns, the University retained a separate, third-party threat assessment firm to provide an additional level of scrutiny, and to determine if any further security measures were appropriate. The firm delivered its findings on Friday, which underscored the initial law enforcement conclusion that the campus remains safe. Specifically, the assessment concluded, “nothing in the emails indicates an immediate, ongoing, or likely threat of physical violence.”

How can I help? The latest threat-assessment report offered helpful suggestions to empower us all to be better stewards of our community’s safety. The experts recommend:

  • Maintaining situational awareness; noticing undue focus or interest in activities, relationships or patterns of behavior
  • Noting and confronting inappropriate behavior in a timely and respectful way
  • Reporting concerns about the behavior of individuals that is disruptive, disrespectful or harmful to members of the campus community

The mantra that we are all familiar with from traveling through airports, train stations and other public areas, “if you see something, say something,” holds true for our campus. Looking out for one another and caring for those who feel unsafe is a vital step we can take to restore a sense of security in our community.  If you see something of concern, please contact the University Police Department at 336-758-5911.

Finally, the threat assessment by the contracted third-party experts suggests the more public attention drawn to the emails, the greater the gratification for the author. However, we understand the importance of assuring our community that we are taking all prudent steps to keep you safe and that our conversations around the vital topics of equity, privilege, race, gender and empowerment will not be silenced.

For those who feel unsettled or uncomfortable, we ask that you seek support from these helpful resources: The University Counseling Center (336-758-5273), the Chaplain’s Office (336-758-5210) and the Employee Assistance Program (336-716-5493). These dedicated and talented professionals in our community are eager to provide care to those in need.

We strive to be one community and one Wake Forest. Please seek to see the good in others, and to extend your hand of understanding and friendship first. Our community is not perfect, but we can make it better each day with our own actions toward one another. As Dr. Maya Angelou used to affirm to her Wake Forest students: “Change happens at the speed of trust.” Our trust is in each of you, as we build paths to inclusion and belonging by walking them together.

Sincerely,

Nathan Hatch, President
Rogan Kersh, Provost
Jane Aiken, Dean of the School of Law
Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College
Charles Iacovou, Dean of the School of Business
Penny Rue, Vice President for Campus Life
José Villalba, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
Jonathan L. Walton, Dean of the School of Divinity

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Campus events Sept. 18 to recognize Campus Fire Safety Month

In recognition of Campus Fire Safety Month, Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey is partnering with Wake Forest this month to raise awareness of campus fire safety.

Sept. 18 is Campus Safe NC Day for North Carolina colleges and universities. The Wake Forest event is one of several similar efforts by the State of North Carolina on campuses to inform college students how to avoid injury due to fire.

An event at 10 a.m. on Sept. 18 will involve Winston-Salem firefighters setting fire to a mock dorm room outside Scales Fine Arts Center.  It will take place in the traffic circle outside Scales on a flatbed trailer especially set up for the demonstration.  The demonstration is intended to demonstrate how sprinkler systems in University and college residence halls can save lives.

The event is open to students, faculty, staff and others.

The Wake Forest event is one of several similar efforts by the State of North Carolina on campuses to inform college students how to avoid injury due to fire.

Several speakers will be present at the Wake Forest event. They include: Commissioner and Fire Marshall Causey,Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue, Winston-Salem Fire Chief Trey Mayo, Dr. Anju Bakhshi Saraswat of the Wake Forest Baptist Burn Center, T.J. McLamb of the Fayetteville Fire Department, and Chief State Fire Marshal Brian Taylor.

Wake Forest departments that offer safety programs for students, faculty and staff will host Campus Safe Day activities in Benson University Center, Room 401 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. featuring door prizes, food and safety information.

Following is a list of Campus safety partners who will participate:

·      Environmental Health and Safety

·      University Police

·      Emergency Management

·      Residence Life and Housing

·      Facilities and Campus Services

·      Counseling Center / Suicide Prevention Program

·      Information Systems

·      Student Health / Student EMTs

·      Deacon One  

·      Office of Chaplain

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Categories: Inside WFU

Events to be held in remembrance of 9/11

This announcement was emailed to students, faculty and staff on Sept. 9 by Wake Forest Communications and External Relations:

At 12:15 p.m. on Sept. 11, Wake Forest will hold a multi-faith moment of remembrance to honor the lives lost and pray for survivors who were greatly affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Open to the University community and the public, the 9/11 Moment of Remembrance will be held at the flagpole in Parking Lot C, next to Reynolda Hall, Benson University Center and Davis Residence Hall.  Wake Forest Army ROTC will participate. It is sponsored by the Office of the Chaplain.

At numerous times throughout the morning, the University’s carillon in Wait Chapel will be heard.  It will be heard seven times between 8:46 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.  It will also be heard at the start of the 12:15 p.m. service.

Much earlier in the morning, another event will be held in remembrance of 9/11. At 6 a.m., members of the Army ROTC battalion and military science departments at Wake Forest, Winston-Salem State University and Salem College will climb 2,997 stairs at BB&T Field to pay tribute to each victim.  The Climb to Remember is open to the public.  All are welcome to participate.

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A message from President Hatch

President Nathan Hatch emailed this message to students, faculty and staff on April 22.

Dear Wake Forest students, faculty and staff,

On Easter Sunday morning, as Christians around the globe gathered to celebrate their holiest of days, we once again were faced with the news of unimaginable tragedy. In Sri Lanka, during a series of eight bombings, at least three targeting churches, 290 people were killed and nearly 500 were injured. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who lost family members and friends in these horrendous attacks. To all Christian believers on campus and around the world, I offer my deepest condolences. What was to be a day of celebration was suddenly transformed into a day of mourning.

Regardless of religion or creed, we are all affected by attacks like this. In the past several months, we have witnessed people of various faiths suffer at the hands of those who profess hatred and practice violence. Let us not become immune to the horror of these events. Instead, let us redouble our efforts to reach out to others, seek to understand one another and work to build bridges with open and compassionate hearts and minds.

Please be conscientious about your personal wellbeing, and that of your friends, in the aftermath of this tragedy. Wake Forest offers support and counseling services for all students, faculty and staff who are struggling or just want to talk. The University Counseling Center may be reached at 336-758-5273 and the Office of the Chaplain may be contacted at 336-758-5210. The Employee Assistance Program is available to faculty and staff at 336-716-5493. We encourage anyone having a difficult time to seek support.

Sincerely,

Nathan O. Hatch
President

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