President Green Responds to Mass Shootings
Dear Governors State University Community,
Our campus community is again horrified, angered, and deeply saddened by yet another mass shooting. Twenty-one lives were taken at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas —19 innocent children and two brave teachers.
These tragedies—more than 200 U.S. mass shootings this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive—are grim reminders that there is still work to be done to make this country live up to its ideals of a fully united and indivisible nation. These crises rarely exist outside the United States of America, a free nation where citizens have the right to vote for legislators who support the reduction of deaths by gun violence and control laws.
News of this tragedy comes two weeks after two May 14 massacres at a Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California.
While Governors State University celebrated our 2022 Commencement, witnessing students of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds gather to recognize their highest educational achievements, dozens of people in Buffalo and Laguna Woods were being terrorized and killed because of the color of their skin or their religious beliefs.
There is no place for racism, supremacy of any race, or hate crimes in any society – a concept that was present at the founding of Governors State University in 1969. It was a time of racial unrest in this country, and even then GSU was clear on its mission symbolized by the university’s inaugural triad logo that was created black and white as an expression of racial unity. Today, we are a vastly diverse campus—a place of belonging where all are welcome. I will continue to make GSU a place where the content of someone’s character, passion for our mission and students, and a commitment to academic excellence are what matters most.
I am also committed to advancing the ideals of social justice through GSU’s emerging Social Justice Initiative, which will be a place for healing and educational excellence. Here, solutions to how we can create a better world will be birthed, and we are counting on your talents and contributions.
For the families who lost loved ones in New York, California, and now Texas, we express our condolences, and our hearts go out to all those who were affected by these heinous acts of violence. To members of the GSU family who are personally connected to these tragedies, please know we care.
We want to remind students to seek support through the Counseling and Wellness Center. Please contact the Center at 708-235-7334 for an appointment. To our faculty and staff, please take advantage of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for free counseling.
For immediate assistance, please call:
GSU public safety: 708.534.4900
24-hour crisis lines:
708.429.7255 or 815.744.5280
As we navigate these turbulent times of health and political crises, we must remember that we will get through this together, and together, we must.
Cheryl F. Green, Ph.D.
Governors State University