Message to BraveNation Parents and Families from Chancellor Cummings

March 5, 2024 

BraveNation Parents and Families: 

Like me, I know you are troubled by the incidents that have occurred over the last month related to gun violence at on- and off-campus housing. As parents and loved ones of our students, I understand your concern to ensure our campus is providing a safe learning and living environment. In addition to providing an exceptional educational experience, I assure you the safety and well-being of our campus community is paramount to me, my cabinet and the Board of Trustees. 

I know the two recent incidents and the loss of young lives are difficult to process, especially for a close-knit campus community like BraveNation. If your student needs support, resources are available, and I urge you to encourage them to reach out. Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., located on the second floor of the Brave Health Center. Additionally, crisis services are available through a 24-hour crisis line at 910.775.4749. 

Our campus should be a place where our students feel safe and at home. Anything less is unacceptable. Earlier this year, we took steps to enhance campus safety, including an increase in law enforcement and security officers on campus, promotion of the LiveSafe App to receive and submit emergency notifications, and scheduled quarterly meetings with on- and off-campus housing management. 

At this time, we are implementing further actions. On Sunday, March 3, I, along with key members of our university’s leadership, met with representatives from the Pembroke Police Department, Pembroke Town Council, Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, Robeson District Attorney’s Office and Robeson County Manager’s Office, and with off-campus housing property owners and their management teams. In these conversations, we discussed areas needing immediate increases in safety and security measures and coordinated off-campus action plans. 

As a result of these meetings, the following actions are being implemented: 

• Students will notice an increase in law enforcement presence on and around campus. 

• The Pembroke Police Department and the Robeson County Sheriff’s Department are increasing routine patrolling in and around the four off-campus housing complexes. 

• Pembroke Town Council voted at its monthly meeting on March 4, 2024, following a presentation by university leadership and me, to extend UNCP Police jurisdiction to allow for their increased support and presence at off-campus housing locations. 

• UNCP Police and Pembroke PD will partner with other law enforcement agencies to increase the use of random traffic checkpoints, particularly in areas that neighbor our campus. 

• UNCP Police will meet monthly with Pembroke Police and Robeson County Sheriff’s Department to discuss ongoing issues within the town or county that may impact the university. 

• University leadership will increase meeting frequency with off-campus housing owners to ensure the implementation of changes, including zero tolerance of parties and weapons on their property. In addition, owners are to notify UNCP of any large gatherings in violation of lease agreements by all tenants, as well as unruly behavior and criminal acts involving our students. UNCP Police and the Division of Student Affairs will assist off-campus housing in taking disciplinary actions against students who violate laws or the University Code of Conduct. 

• In a direct response to the Saturday, March 2, concern regarding gunshots heard, which upon investigation were found to be by an individual participating in target practice on personal property, the Town of Pembroke and Robeson County have pledged to explore the development of ordinances to allow for more law enforcement action on items such as noise violations and the discharge of weapons near occupied buildings and spaces, such as churches, businesses, and educational institutions. 

The above actions will significantly enhance safety on and around our campus. However, campus safety is a shared responsibility. Students will begin to see signage around campus and housing areas encouraging the reporting of any activity that appears suspicious, unusual, or concerning to Campus Police and Public Safety or through the LiveSafe app. I hope you will join me in encouraging your student to reinforce the “if you see something, say something” message among our campus community. 

Thank you for entrusting your student’s education to UNC Pembroke. We will continue to review and assess the measures we have in place and those we are putting in place to ensure they have a positive impact, and we will adjust when necessary. You have my commitment; we will continue to do everything possible to provide a safe campus that supports the personalized learning experience for which UNCP is known. 


Robin Gary Cummings, MD