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Message to the DU Community

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Rebecca Chopp

Letter  •

Dear Friends,

As we are too often reminded, the University community is not isolated from the events of our nation and world. Recent natural disasters in Chile and Nepal have caused distress among members of our community, especially those with families living near the affected regions. And the tensions and discord that erupted last week in Baltimore affect members of our community in varied and profound ways.

Those whose families live in and near Baltimore have undoubtedly worried about their loved ones. And there are many in our community for whom these events trigger frustration, fear, outrage, depression, or simply the need for space to talk openly and to process.

Student Life, in conjunction with a number of groups on campus, will be holding a community forum this Thursday, May 7, from 1-3 p.m., on the ground floor of Driscoll for any of us who want to engage in conversation and find ways to keep the discussion going.

What has unfolded in Baltimore is not unique or isolated, but merely a reminder of racial tensions that continue to plague the United States. Importantly, these events remind us that there is still far more progress to be made. But we can harness the power of this moment—when the nation as a whole is once again confronting the realities and difficulties of race relations—by continuing to engage one another and discuss how we can promote the principles of inclusive excellence here on campus and throughout our world.

The Office of the Chancellor, the Division of Student Life, the Center for Multicultural Excellence, the Health & Counseling Center, the Undergraduate Student Government, the Graduate Student Government, and other offices and individuals across campus have been in communication about how we can best support fellow community members. I remind you that all students, faculty and staff are entitled to a number of free counseling sessions each year, and I encourage you to learn more and to schedule an appointment if you think counseling may be beneficial to you. Additionally, faculty and staff members in so many departments across campus are also eager to support students and each other.

As DU community members we must rely on each other in times of crisis and distress. I am heartened by the number of colleagues who have expressed a genuine interest in using our community as a means of support and of progress, and I hope we will continue to be guided by a shared concern for one another.

Rebecca S. Chopp
Chancellor, University of Denver