Oregon State University colleagues and students,
The OSU community stands in solidarity and support for the LGBT community and all impacted by the tragic terrorist shooting Sunday morning in an Orlando gay night club where 49 innocent people were senselessly killed and at least 53 others were injured.
As a community, we mourn in anguish the loss of those killed and the pain suffered by the families and friends of those killed and injured.
Terrorism has no place in America. Nor anywhere in the world. Terrorism is a global challenge that all people, all communities and all nations -- regardless of national heritage, religious beliefs, gender and political identity -- must condemn. As a world society, we also must work together to end terrorism once and for all.
This shooting targeted a place of gathering for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community members and as a result LGBT community members everywhere are feeling targeted by this violence. This terrible attack also impacts Muslims in America and worldwide, who this month are observing Ramadan, one of Islam’s most holy periods. We must stand united with members of our LGBT and our Muslim communities, both of which are suffering greatly at this time, and internalizing both stigma and fear as a result of what occurred. Please reach out to offer your support and to let them know you care.
The responsibility for this devastating attack lies solely with the perpetrator, who died at the scene. And yet, this tragic shooting reminds each of us to be mindful of our surroundings and the safety of our families, friends, co-workers, community colleagues, and those we encounter wherever we travel and at home. We must be aware of our surroundings and those around us, and when we perceive a threat, act safely and quickly to inform law enforcement as possible.
While many of our students, faculty and staff have left – or will soon leave -- for summer breaks, jobs, travel, research and other activities, we are here to help and to support impacted members of our university community. Regardless of your summer whereabouts, if you are a student and have been impacted by this tragedy, please reach out to OSU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or one of our many student cultural resource centers for assistance. CAPS can be reached confidentially by phone at 541-737-2131 or by e-mail at: email@example.com. You can contact OSU’s student cultural resource centers on-line at: http://dce.oregonstate.edu/crcs
Employees needing assistance may utilize the OSU Employee Assistance Program by confidentially calling 1-800-433-2320 at any time, or by calling the Human Resources Department at 541-737-3103.
In the meantime, please take a moment to individually – or with others – observe a moment of silence or reflection for those killed or injured this past weekend. And to make a pledge to join others here at Oregon State -- and throughout our state, nation and world -- to call for an end to terrorism and hate, and to help build a future where all peoples can live, play, go to school, work and celebrate safely without fearing for their safety.
Edward J. Ray