Division News & Statements

Tragedies in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio

August 08, 2019

Dear Campus Community,

Sadly, we once again need to make a statement about violence that has struck our country. We have endured what has become a ritual with two more mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Our hearts ache and we grieve for those impacted while they were simply living their lives. We should all feel outrage by the senseless harm that continues to impact our country at an alarming rate. 

In this difficult time, I find a reflection of César E. Chávez to be appropriate, “there is enough love and good will in our movement to give energy to our struggle and still have plenty left over to break down and change the climate and fear around us.” As we start a new academic year, let us continue to be a university where love is part of our mission. Let us go out of our way to meet people who we didn’t know before, let us listen to other people’s lived experiences and let us seek to dismantle prejudices that cause distrust. Let us speak up when we see efforts that seek to divide our community or target people based on identity. Let us be the leaders the country and the world need right now.

As always, the well-being of our campus community is our top priority. The University Counseling Center (616-331-3266) offers support for students experiencing overwhelming emotions following a tragic event, and the Human Resources Office (616-331-2215) provides a number of resources for employees. Any member of the Grand Valley family who needs support or information on resources can also contact the Division of Inclusion and Equity (616-331-3296).

Very sincerely,

Jesse M. Bernal, Ph.D.

Vice President for Inclusion and Equity

Grand Valley State University

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Page last modified August 8, 2019