The following is an email sent to students and faculty at the University of Pennsylvania on Tuesday, October 17.


Subject: A Message to the Penn Community

A message to the Penn community
regarding recent tragedies,
and the help and support available to you
From
Amy Gutmann, President
Wendell Pritchett, Provost
Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President
Larry Jameson, EVP for the Health System and
Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine

This has been a challenging year for everyone in the Penn community. Students, faculty and staff have been personally impacted by devastating natural disasters and the horrific mass murder in Las Vegas; political uncertainty affecting DACA students and those who travelled to Penn from around the world; and the tragic deaths of four Penn students since the start of the semester: undergraduates Nicholas Moya and Henry Rogers, Penn Vet student Brett Cooper, and Penn Law student Justin Hamano. Our sense of loss is enormous and the sadness felt by the family and friends of these four promising young people is heartbreaking.

As a community, we are grieving and coping in many different ways.  Penn’s exceptional staff and faculty have been working diligently to be as supportive as possible.  They have been reaching out to friends and classmates who have been most deeply impacted and they have been meeting with all who seek help. 

To strengthen and support our campus community, and as part of our ongoing Campaign for Community, we hope you will join us for a Campus Conversation on Monday, October 30, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Zellerbach Theater in the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.  We will be joined in discussion by members of our community from across campus to discuss what we can do, individually and collectively, to take care of ourselves and others and to foster individual and community resilience.  A community that values wellness, community support, and resilience is best poised to find creative and constructive solutions to our challenges.

The Campus Conversation will be one part of our ongoing effort to support and care for one another.  We intend to have follow-up conversations through College Houses and Academic Services and elsewhere around campus in coming weeks.  Through these follow-up conversations, we hope to gather and refine additional ideas to support our community. We welcome your input.

It is in challenging times such as these that we are blessed to be members of the Penn community.  Everyone needs to know that we are here for each other. If you are in distress, please reach out to friends, colleagues, or the professional staff at Penn.  If you know of a friend, colleague, or student in distress, please reach out as well. And please consider attending our Campus Conversation.

As additional details of the meeting are developed, information will be posted on the Campaign for Community website at https://provost.upenn.edu/initiatives/campaign/events/campus-conversation.

Below are resources that are always available to those in need of support or who are supporting others:

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS): 215-898-7021 (24/7 access to clinicians.)
Student Health Service: 215-746-3535
Student Intervention Services: 215-898-6081
University Chaplain’s Office: 215-898-8456
Employee Assistance Program: 1-888-321-4433.
The University’s HELP Line (215-898-HELP or 215-898-4357) is available 24/7 to respond and direct members of our community to the appropriate resources. 

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