The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Stephen C. Sutton sent the following message to all Student Affair staff on
Dear Student Affairs colleagues-
I am deeply saddened by the mass shooting and violence at a Buffalo, NY, supermarket. The FBI is investigating this shooting as a racially motivated hate crime. Early reports indicate the shooter drove for hours to target the supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood and a document allegedly attributed to him contains racist, anti-immigrant, and antisemitic views.
My condolences go out to the families of the victims. I am angered and heartbroken that the Black community across the nation and within our division have had to witness another senseless and horrific racist attack. This hate crime not only hurts those directly affected but many in Black communities and other communities of color may experience a chilling sense of fear, impacting their ability to feel safe as they go about their lives.
Some of you may feel vicariously traumatized by hearing and reading about this targeted shooting, while others may feel almost numb to a horrific event that has unfortunately become all too common. The shooting in Buffalo, NY, was one of a few incidents of deadly violence this weekend across our country; Houston, Chicago, and Orange County, CA, all witnessed shootings. Please take care of yourselves and exercise patience with each other. If you are struggling, University Health Services Employee Assistance offers no-cost, confidential counseling and referrals for staff. Impacted staff may find community support and resources offered through the various staff organizations, including the Black Staff and Faculty Organization and the multiple identity-based staff organizations on campus.
I ask all managers and supervisors to check in on their staff and be flexible and accommodating as people cope with this hateful event. I also acknowledge that this can be particularly difficult for our Black leaders who are balancing taking care of their staff and themselves.
My thoughts are with the victims of this hate crime and with all of you.
Stephen C. Sutton, Ed.D. (he/him/his)
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs