Standing together to support our community

Febuary 8, 2017 

To students, faculty and staff:

Hate has no boundary; racism, no border. We stand with our neighbors at the University of Michigan in condemning the hateful acts that occurred on their campus in the overnight hours last night. Whether it is on our campus, another campus six miles away, or in another region of our nation, hateful speech has no place in our society and must be condemned.

Given the closeness of the University of Michigan campus to our campus, and the underlying fear generated by the incidents that took place on Eastern’s campus this fall, I want to assure our students, faculty and staff that we will do everything we can to help them feel safe. Our academic and student support staff are aware that an incident such as this affects everyone, and can create a new sense of fear and uncertainty.

It is not enough to only share words about these actions, as we all know. There must be actions. In that vein, I have instructed our Department of Public Safety to increase their patrols effective immediately. We will do our utmost to help everyone on our campus feel as safe and secure as possible.

Our Academic Affairs team is encouraging faculty members and others to continue in their critical role of assisting and supporting our students, particularly when they express concerns about these matters.  

Our Student Affairs staff is prepared to assist as well. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers free and confidential counseling to students seeking additional support. Students can make an appointment to talk to a counselor by calling 734-487-1118 during business hours. Students may also access CAPS’ after-hours phone support in the evenings and weekends by calling that same number. Students whose first language is not English may talk to a counselor in their preferred language. To access the International Student Support Program (ISSP), students may call 1-866-743-7732 or chat online with a counselor at https://us.myissp.com/Home/ UniversitySearch.

Also, I want to remind our community about SEEUS (Student Eyes and Ears for University Safety), which provides walking and mobile escort services to persons traveling alone to on-campus destinations. SEEUS also provides additional eyes and ears for the EMU Police Department by observing the campus environment. Hours and additional information can be found on the website.

It is our objective to assist our students and to help address any concerns or fears they may have. These are certainly challenging and uncertain times, and incidents such as that which took place last night in Ann Arbor exacerbate existing fears and concerns. I ask us to continue to stand together as a community, to work together to address the issues of hateful speech directed at any group, and to support one another in every way that we can.

 

Jim Smith