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On Sunday's Tragedy

Sara Rosen, Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Nate Thomas, Vice Provost for Diversity and Equity
Thursday, June 16, 2016, 8:30 a.m.
KU Lawrence Staff, Faculty and Affiliates
KU Lawrence and Edwards Students

Students, faculty, and staff:

A thousand miles away we witnessed tragedy.  Early Sunday morning, a domestic terrorist murdered 49 individuals and wounded scores more.  It is a hate crime that carved a fresh scar on our nation.

It took place during Latin Night at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, and took its heaviest toll from the Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities.  All of us at KU, and especially those in our queer community, are affected.  As the stories of the victims are being told, we can see they are our family and friends, our colleagues and acquaintances.  

Although the Jayhawk community may feel physically isolated from the scene, the emotional tug has been immense.  Through our personal connections, social media, and 24/7 news reporting we, too, are experiencing the grief and anger over the injury and loss of life.

Last Sunday night, the KU Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity held a vigil at Danforth Chapel to assuage the heartache.  As we each navigate and work to comprehend this tragedy, the Center is here to provide support for KU’s LGBTQ+ community.  Students can also seek assistance at Counseling and Psychological Services.  Faculty and staff can contact Kathleen Ames-Stratton in Human Resource Management for appropriate community resources.

More remains to be done.  Each of us can reach out to support one another and promote understanding and compassion.


Sara Rosen,
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Nate Thomas,
Vice Provost for Diversity and Equity

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