Due to an increase in homeland security alert status, which was recently raised to code orange, or “high,” because of the heightened probability of war in Iraq, Harvard has increased visible security on campus and urges faculty and students to check travel advisories, especially students who plan to travel over spring break and particularly those who plan to travel outside the United States.
All faculty, staff, and students are advised to check their established emergency notification systems within their schools and departments for specific updates.
It is important to emphasize that no threats have been made against the University. However, University officials remind students, faculty, staff, and visitors to Harvard to be aware of their own safety in these uncertain times. Schools and departments at Harvard have been strengthening their security procedures, which may include such measures as asking members of the Harvard community to show photo ID’s for access to buildings.
“The Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) has received no information about specific credible threats to Harvard or its community members,” said Chief Francis Riley. “Students, faculty, and staff should go about living their daily lives, but should report any suspicious activity immediately by calling the HUPD at (617) 495-1212.”
Students, faculty, and staff who are planning travel abroad should stay informed of travel advisories and should consider informing a colleague or administrator of their itineraries. It is important for travelers to exercise a high degree of caution and preparedness during these difficult times. Travelers should consider registering with their local embassies so that contact can be initiated, if necessary. International students and scholars are cautioned to check the Harvard International Office Web site before planning travel. Harvard College has also issued an advisory for students who are traveling over spring break.
In the event of an actual emergency, the campus community will be notified through a variety of mechanisms including the Web, e-mail, and voicemail. The Harvard Home Page (www.harvard.edu) will broadcast an alert and direct users to an emergency page outlining the University’s response. There will also be messages on the University’s 24-hour news line, (617) 496-NEWS.
Services available for students, faculty, staff
Even without a specific threat to the Harvard community, times of heightened alerts can be stressful and emotionally trying. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to use the University Health Services (http://www.uhs.harvard.edu/ClinicalServicesMentalHealthInfo.htm), Mental Health (617) 495-2042, Urgent Care (617) 495-5711; the Bureau of Study Counsel (http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~bsc), (617) 495-2581; and the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (http://www.fsap.harvard.edu/), (617) 495-HELP (4357). United Ministry Chaplains are also on call (http://www.ministry.harvard.edu), (617) 495-5529.
A special event, “Meditations and Prayers in a Time of War,” will be held at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 20, in the Adams House Dining Hall (http://www.ministry.harvard.edu/outbreak.html).