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Caution appreciated

Rev. Thomas Doyle and Mike Seamon | Friday, September 9, 2011

Dear Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students,

Thank you for your cooperation and courtesy as you exited the stands and waited patiently for the game to resume last Saturday.

Your safety is a foundational concern for us. While you may occasionally feel that our abundance of caution is overly paternal, it is important that you recognize that there are occasions or patterns of danger that you cannot see.

It took approximately 17 minutes to evacuate (most) of the stadium. The dramatic bolt of lightning west of the stadium (that precipitated its total evacuation) was the visual and auditory evidence of our officials’ concerns. What you couldn’t have seen were the other 334 lightning strikes within a 10-mile radius of Notre Dame during the two game delays. The closest strike was 7/10ths of a mile from the stadium and carried an electric current of about 20,000 amps — some 100,000 times the lethal dose.

I bring this to your attention to affirm the importance of your cooperation with emergency warnings. Equally critical is your respect for occasions when we simulate emergencies and practice life-saving responses. When University safety officials issue an alert about any emergency — via text, phone, e-mail, the Web, or the campus-wide public address system — you can be sure that the danger is real or the practiced response is essential to your safety. We ask you to continue responding in the general manner you did on Saturday.

Please be perpetually conscious of your own well-being, and in the spirit of Notre Dame, be equally concerned for the safety of those around you.

Rev. Thomas P. Doyle

Vice President

Student Affairs

Sept. 8

Mike Seamon

Associate Vice President

Campus Safety

Sept. 8