JMU News

Message from President Alger on Southview Fire


As many of you are aware, a fire in Southview, an off-campus apartment complex, broke out yesterday afternoon. While the fire displaced more than 40 of our students, we are thankful that all of our students involved are safe and did not sustain injuries.

It is with the utmost gratitude that I extend my appreciation to the first responders who rushed to the scene, risking their own lives, to ensure the safety of all those involved in the fire. I also want to applaud the resiliency of the students and families involved, as they work toward regaining normalcy during an incredibly difficult time.

The outpouring of support for the affected students has been overwhelming. I cannot commend our students, families and community members enough for their deep compassion and gracious gifts. So many have stepped up to answer the call, but there is still great need, especially for essential items like clothing, bedding, toiletries and non-perishable food items.

The Student Government Association is collecting such items and has set up a donation site on campus on the third floor of Madison Union. Donations are also being accepted at Festival. JMU’s Office of Off-Campus Life will partner with organizations leading these and other collection efforts to disseminate resources to those affected.

There are also many admirable efforts underway spearheaded by individual students and student organizations to raise funds to offer immediate support to affected students. Concurrently, JMU is also launching the Student Financial Emergencies Fund. Gifts to this fund will help replace students’ essential academic and educational supplies, including textbooks.

The university stands ready to support students impacted by this fire and will continue to do so in the days and weeks ahead. If you are a student or family in need of help, whether that’s class accommodations or mental health counseling services, contact the Division of Student Affairs at or 540-568-3550.

With great gratitude,
Jonathan Alger

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Published: Friday, March 29, 2019

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 3, 2019

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