Our campus community joins those grieving across the country after a very violent and sorrowful week.
There have been more mass shootings (251), where at least four people were shot, in the United States, than there have been days in the year (August 5th is the 217th day of 2019).
This statistic is incomprehensible.
In the past eight days violence took the lives of three people at a festival in Gilroy, California, one person at a block party in Brooklyn, New York and two people at a Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi. Over the weekend, 29 people lost their lives in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
Dozens more people’s lives were tragically altered by these cowardly and horrendous acts. Hundreds, if not thousands, more people at the shooting locations will have long lasting emotional trauma. Personally, for me, reading about and listening to survivor stories is emotional and heart wrenching. We are all diminished by these senseless acts of hate, terror and violence wherever they occur in our city, state, country and world.
While the investigations into the weekend shootings are in the early stages, motive points to extreme ideologies driven by hatred, racism, bigotry, and racial and ethnic supremacy in the El Paso incident. These ideologies have no place in our society and are in direct conflict with the ideals of a free society.
As I conclude my first year as chancellor, I have come to appreciate how UM-Dearborn is distinguished as an inclusive, welcoming and nurturing community where we are vested in each other’s success. We must never tire of these important efforts and work to share what works well on our campus with our larger communities.
Students that need assistance during this difficult time can receive support through Counseling and Psychological Services, 313-593-5430. Faculty and staff may seek support through the Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office, 734-936-8660.
It is essential that we build supportive relationships and stand together against violence. Compassion and respect for others are foundational values of our university and they will not be compromised.