It is with a heavy heart that I reach out to our campus community today. We once again find ourselves mourning further loss of life from escalating gun violence in our country.
Within 13 hours of each other, mass shootings this past weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, took the lives of 29 people and injured dozens of others. Sadly, these mass shootings came on the heels of three deaths and the wounding of 13 people in Gilroy, California, following a shooter's rampage there less than a week ago. Our deepest sympathies go to those who lost loved ones this past week, and to all who have lost loved ones or suffered injury at the hands of gun violence.
Please know that KCU is committed to our country's founding principle of E pluribus unum - from many, one - and to ensuring an environment of safety, peace and inclusion for all.
As citizens, we face extremely difficult times, with heightened rhetoric that continues to perpetuate fear and division and fuel acts of domestic terrorism. We cannot give in to a sense of futility, and we must not remain silent. We must continue to speak up, going beyond condemnation and insisting upon laws that will place more stringent controls on access to firearms, making it far more difficult to carry out violence in the name of hate, racism and bigotry.
For the safety of our campuses, KCU employs full-time security officers 24 hours a day, who are supplemented by Kansas City and Joplin Police Department officers. The KCU Safety and Emergency Management team leads an active shooter training for employees twice a year and also provides classes for incoming students on safety strategies and to familiarize them with our safety management processes. And, we continue to identify new resources and training to ensure the highest degree of safety for our campus community.
If you are ever in need of counseling or support during these difficult times, please reach out. We have resources for both students and employees. If you see something that seems suspicious or concerns you, say something.
As a health sciences university, we remain dedicated to the preservation of human life. As individuals and as a campus community, we must stand strong, stand together, and denounce these continued acts of violence that plague our country.