Dear Virginia Tech,
I am horrified by what happened at your campus, and there is nothing I can say that will make any of the victims' families and friends feel any better. My prayers go out to them all.
That being said, I have a bone to pick with you.
GET A FUCKING INTERCOM SYSTEM.
Yeah, I get it, you thought the shooter had run away, and didn't realize he stuck around to shoot more people. You thought the danger was over. But I'm sorry to say that your assumptions are not a good enough guarantee of safety. People could have attempted to find a safe place to stay if they'd only KNOWN what was going on.
Seriously, you need to get some kind of system going on in your school, whether it's in-room emergency phones or a P.A. system, that alerts people when an emergency is occurring.
It's not just you, I know. Most colleges don't have a system like that in place, I'm afraid. Classrooms are spread out among many buildings, not contained in a single building as are most high schools. And it's not like the students are tuned in to the Emergency Broadcast System in the middle of a lecture.
But you have a chance, here and now, to be an example for the rest of the country. Get a warning system installed. Test it once a semester, just like you do with fire alarms (I know you have those fire drills, because I had to endure those once a semester in my day.) Do it. Do something. Anything is better than keeping your current system in place, which is to warn people by E-MAIL.
And I thought Columbine was the worst that could happen...