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WVU issues Community Notice in light of concerning letter

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UPDATE: The University issued an update on Monday evening, Dec. 6 :

We are grateful there was not an incident on campus today (Dec. 6) as suggested in the anonymous letter the University had received. It is our sincere hope the person who wrote the letter has received the help they need. If not, please call the Carruth Center at 304-293-4431 so we can help you. 

At this time, safety experts tell WVU it may resume normal operations activities on campus.


Trigger Warning: This message contains content about suicide. 

(Editor’s note: University Police Chief Sherry St. Clair and Carruth Center Director T. Anne Hawkins will be available for media interviews via phone, Zoom or in person at the UPD Office from 4:30 - 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5. All requests must be sent to Executive Director of Communications April Kaull at to facilitate coordination.) 

West Virginia University is in receipt of an anonymous letter that described content related to suicide taking place in public areas on campus. In light of recent local and national school safety concerns, the University is issuing a Community Notice to inform our Morgantown campus community.

Though there is no specific threat to any person or groups, the letter notes Monday (Dec. 6) at noon and includes both outdoors and an indoor location, the Mountainlair.  

The safety of our campus community is our highest priority. The University takes this issue very seriously and has consulted with regional and federal public safety officials, as well as mental health experts. Therefore, the University is taking the following actions:

First and foremost, to the person who wrote the letter, the University cares about you and has resources available to help. While we do not know your personal circumstances, we do know this is a very stressful time of year and it can become overwhelming. You are not alone. There are several local and national resources available. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 or you can call the Carruth Center at 304-293-4431 so we can help you during this difficult time.

To our campus community, if you are aware of someone who is struggling with thoughts of self-harm and may be sharing their thoughts through letter writing, poetry or illustrations, please call 911 immediately. 

The University has increased security measures across campus. However, if you see anything suspicious, call 911. You also need to be aware on how to protect yourself and others in case of an emergency. No matter the location, bystander awareness and quick action are critical in crisis situations.

Please review the safety information found at and what to do in various situations, such as a suicide emergency. A few tips to keep in mind include:

• Be alert. Pay attention to your surroundings.

• Unplug from earbuds and earphones when walking outdoors and in public areas. Keep your head up and be aware.

• If you see something suspicious, say something. Call 911 or message the University through the LiveSafe app.

• If you are concerned about your personal safety or the safety of others, call 911.

• If you are not signed up for WVU Alert, you can do so to receive urgent messages from the University.

• Follow the WVU Safety and Wellness Facebook page and @WVUsafety on Twitter.

• You also can get updates from the University at the Emergency website during emergency situations (

Also, shares various resources and information if you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues. In addition to the Carruth Center, students can access free, confidential assistance through the Crisis Text Line by calling 304-293-4431 and selecting option 1 or by texting “WVU” to 741741. There is an online therapy service called Talkspace that provides a secure, free platform for counseling. If you need assistance, please talk with someone.

The University is continuing to monitor the situation and will provide updates as necessary.

A Community Notice is part of WVU’s three-tiered emergency notification system used to enhance student and employee safety and provide useful information to the community.



CONTACT: April Kaull
Executive Director of Communications
University Relations

Call 1-855-WVU-NEWS for the latest West Virginia University news and information from WVUToday.

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