September 12, campus update

Friday, September 12, 2014

Below please find a message from Dean of Students J.J. Brown sharing information about Anna Smith and the crime alert shared earlier this week. The latest information regarding the search for Anna can be found at

Good afternoon, fellow Mountaineers,

I want to take a moment to share some of my thoughts with you regarding the events that have taken place on our campus that are very much in all of our minds right now.

On Tuesday, our Chancellor shared with us that the university is working toward the safe return of Anna Smith. I want to emphasize that Anna’s description and the most current information about the search can be found at

Also on Tuesday, in a separate incident, the campus was alerted about a sexual assault that occurred on our campus on August 29, 2014. University Police, in coordination with local law enforcement, are actively pursuing all leads related to this report.

We talk a great deal about being a part of a community. Some use the term “Appalachian Family.” Chancellor Everts, at the annual Black and Gold Ceremony in August, referenced home.

This is our home, and all of us – faculty, staff and students – are invested in doing what we need to do to keep our community safe. Our University Police work extraordinarily hard to keep our community safe, but when our campus faces events like these, it is a reminder that we must work hard every day to look out for one another, check in on one another. Be aware. Ask and Listen. Have a Plan. Say Something.

If you see something, please say something to the University Police. You can call them at 828-262-2150 with any information. You can also make an anonymous report to the police here:

It is important that you know that whatever you are feeling, you are not alone. We have some phenomenal people here at Appalachian who care about each and every one of you.

Please utilize the resources available for you, which include:

  • An excellent counseling center here on campus that is available to meet with you should you want to talk to someone confidentially.
  • Staff in our residence halls who care about you, and care about supporting you through this journey.
  • Your faculty, as well as the staff you interact with every day, are also great resources for you to talk to and share concerns about how you are feeling and dealing with the uncertainty which clouds our campus right now.
  • A number of other resources on the website and the AppCares mobile phone app, which is available free for iPhone and Android mobile phones.
  • Safe Ride, a free shuttle service, which provides rides to and from campus locations from 6:30pm – 2:15am. Call 828-262-RIDE(7433).

While we have a number of uncertainties right now, I am certain about these things: we are Mountaineers; this is our home, and we are going to work together to look out for one another and keep this community safe.

Today, as always, I am proud to be a Mountaineer with you, my fellow Mountaineers, at my side.

J.J. Brown
Dean of Students