Office of the President

February 14, 2023

Dear William Paterson Faculty, Staff, and Students,

On Monday morning, I found myself in a meeting in Hobart Manor, where we discussed critical building safety issues and the importance of everyone downloading the RAVE app. I reflected on my hope that in the future we wouldn’t need to have such meetings. Unfortunately, on Monday evening, we were all reminded of how crucial it is to have a plan for our own safety and that of others.


Once again, gun violence has come to a college campus. I want to express my horror at last night’s tragic shootings on the campus of Michigan State University. Three students have died and five others are in critical condition. Students who were in their classrooms or sharing a meal with their friends—places in which they should have felt safe—were subject to the gun violence we see everyday in this country. We send our condolences to the Michigan State University community and everyone who has been affected by this terrible act.


When such a tragedy occurs, we react with shock, we react with emotion, and we want to feel as safe as we can in our own environment. It can be tremendously unsettling for every one of us in a community where we live, study, teach, and work. Like Michigan State, and many colleges and universities across the country, we have an open campus, and we understand that members of our community may feel anxious or unsafe because of this event.


I want to remind you that William Paterson is a safe campus but also, of some of the services available to our community, should you wish to utilize them or refer others.


We encourage you, if you have not already, to sign on for RAVE emergency alerts through WPConnect. Rave allows the University to push WP Alert messages to you via text, voice, email, Facebook, and Twitter during an emergency. This system also includes the Rave Guardian App, which can be downloaded to your phone. This app includes a wide range of safety features, including an emergency call button that directly dials University Police, and a “chat” button that allows users to enter a two-way text chat with University Police. Callers can submit tips, photos, or other information via text to University Police in the event of a possible crime or safety situation on campus.


In addition, William Paterson University provides Safe Walk, an escort service, to any person who does not want to walk alone at night. Our safety patrol staff will escort students to their location safely. The service operates Monday-Saturday, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. To request this service, please call 973.720.7400.


Students who would like to speak with someone may contact the Counseling, Health and Wellness Center at 973-720-2257 to be connected with a counselor. Our Employee Assistance Program is available to faculty and staff. Those who wish to learn more about this program may visit the EAP website or call 1-800-242-7371.


In times of great loss like this, we must turn to each other and take advantage of the strength of our University community.


Richard J. Helldobler, Ph.D.
Office of the President | 973.720.2222 |