Dear Members of the UMass Dartmouth Community,
We are all heartbroken after learning of the mass shooting at an LGBTQIA+ nightclub in the college town of Colorado Springs, where five people were killed and many more were seriously injured late Saturday evening, on the eve of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. UMass Dartmouth strongly condemns this hateful act and stands with the LGBTQIA+ community and all historically marginalized communities that face discrimination and violence. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this vile hate crime.
Tomorrow, the Center for Women, Gender & Sexuality and Counseling Center staff will be hosting guided discussions on processing these events from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the Center (Campus Center Suite 207). In addition, our Counseling Center is available to help. You may request an appointment during weekdays by calling 508-999-8648, and the after-hours crisis line (508-910-4357) is always available when the Center is not open. For faculty and staff, please call Human Resources (508.999.8060) and take advantage of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for free counseling. EAP benefits may be accessed by calling 844.393.4983 or visiting their website and entering our company ID: UMASS to speak to a counseling professional.
With this latest hateful violence coming on the heels of the mass shooting that resulted in the deaths of three football players at the University of Virginia and the recent killing of four students at the University of Idaho, we are also reminded that there is nothing more important than the safety of our community. We want everyone who comes to campus, whether to learn or to work, to feel safe. Please be assured that we continue to review our emergency preparedness protocols in alignment with national best practices.
Mark A. Fuller, PhD
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth