Chancellor Memo: Inclusion a campus value

June 14, 2016

To the Campus Community:

Pam Shockley-Zalabak
Pam Shockley-Zalabak

The shootings in Orlando have generated a preponderance of emotions in all of us. Anger. Confusion. Frustration. Helplessness. I am saddened by this tragedy and my heart goes out to all the victims and their families and friends.

As a community of scholars and as Americans, we seek answers as to why a gunman would target a gay nightclub, and what possesses a human being to undertake such violence.

My hope is that over the coming months many of these questions will be answered. I recognize, however, that the most perplexing question – why – will likely never be fully understood. I am encouraging the campus community to join me in expressing support for those who may feel personally targeted or who are angered, confused or fearful. I also want to make the campus aware of what resources are available and what we, as members of this community, can do to ensure that we remain a place of learning, respect and decency toward each other and toward strangers.

As always, counselors in the Wellness Center – now part of the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center – are available for those who are having difficulty dealing with either grief or anger following this tragedy. My message is that you are not alone. Asking for help is a sign of strength and recognition. Please do not hesitate to call 255-4444 for assistance.

Additionally, our LGBT+ Resource Center, part of the MOSAIC Office in the University Center, is available if you want to talk through your emotions or show support for the LGBT community. There, you can talk with others and sign posters both in support for the victims and human respect. The posters will be displayed at the LGBTQ Pride Festival in Denver this weekend. That festival is receiving CU support (see https://connections.cu.edu/stories/glbti-committee-invites-participation-pridefest).

I also understand that the local Bonfils Blood Centers, which frequently conducts campus drives, are accepting donations of blood or plasma. Organizations such as Equality Florida are collecting monetary gifts. For information on Bonfils, please visit http://www.bonfils.org/

As a community, we must show support for those killed and injured in Florida and for each other. Inclusion and support are critical UCCS values.

Our responsibility as a community of learners is to rise above our base instincts and emotions and to embrace those who we may initially see as different but with whom we share many similarities, including horror about the events of the weekend. Please join me.

Respectfully,

pam-shockley-zalabak-signature-300x48

 

Pam Shockley-Zalabak, Chancellor

1 Comment on Chancellor Memo: Inclusion a campus value

  1. I do think (as many have said in the wake of the Orlando shooting) that words alone are no longer sufficient and in fact are becoming morally blind if not offensive. As the New York Times said, the “moments of silence” are killing us because they create the illusion that we’re doing something. What is needed is action, such as (just to pick one example) rolling back the egregious act of allowing firearms on our campuses, including our classrooms – we are, in effect, asking for more bloodshed by caving into such NRA-inspired policies. The rest is just feel-good talk about “inclusion,” talk will be rolled for the next inevitable act of madness, which just last year claimed one of our own.

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