Dear College Community,
A weekend of violent events locally and nationally has had a palpable impact on our students, faculty, and staff. I want you to know that you are not alone if you are struggling to comprehend this weekend’s shootings in downtown Lawrence and Las Vegas. The shell casings found outside Strong Hall yesterday only have added to the feelings of uncertainty, vulnerability and discomfort for many in our community.
The regular demands and pressure of learning, teaching and working during the busy school year is stressful as it is. That stress is magnified for many of us following the tragic events of this weekend. You may be feeling distracted at best, or unsafe or uneasy at worst.
One of the great resources on our campus is our people. Now is the time to reach out, both to those who can help and to those who need help. This might include a much-needed ear to listen or shoulder to cry on from friends, family, professors, advisors and colleagues. This might also include seeking professional help. As someone who has sought help from others in times of emotional need, and as a clinical psychologist who has worked in communities greatly affected by violence from Washington, D.C. to Iraqi Kurdistan, I know firsthand how valuable such help can be. As Provost Bendapudi recently reminded us on Twitter, the Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) office is here for you as well. Their counselors are available to talk with students and provide guidance to faculty and staff. You can learn more about their services at https://caps.ku.edu/why-caps. Whatever outlet you choose, the important thing is to reach out when you need help, and that you are there for other Jayhawks when they need it.
The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences will continue to collaborate with campus offices to advocate for services and resources to help our community cope in times of need. We are especially committed to partnering with the Office of Diversity & Equity to fulfill our duty to provide a safe, equitable and inclusive environment at KU. We understand we have much work ahead of us in the College to achieve this goal, but it is a commitment we take seriously and work at on a daily basis.
Whether it is via email (email@example.com), phone (240.535.0467), or stopping by the College Dean’s Office in Strong Hall, I always welcome your feedback and suggestions on how we can be most effective in serving your needs and in building a stronger College community.