In Sadness and Solidarity

Oct. 2, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

We have all been stunned by the shooting deaths at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Our thoughts are with our colleagues there, and with our De Anza colleagues who know people at Umpqua and are hanging on every news item to learn more about what happened, and to whom.

Among the first things we did yesterday was check in with our own district police. They were tracking everything happening at Umpqua and in touch with police in Oregon. Chief Levine assured me they would bring to us any "lessons learned" from the shootings as soon as possible. We have existing protocols for these kinds of terrible events, and this quarter are in fact providing scheduled training, organized well before the events of yesterday.

It is a sad commentary that we would even have protocols and training for active shooters, but we do, and we are glad to be better prepared. Yet there is cold comfort in it, as each event is frightening in different ways, and shakes our ordinary sense of security.

Let's be mindful over this next week that many among us will be shaken, and many among our students will want to know if they are safe. The anxiety will be real and immediate, and I urge both generosity and support to one another. 

It's a horrible way to start the quarter, otherwise off to a good beginning here. The students are back and we are happy to be here with them. No amount of madness will shake us off our core commitments to our students and their communities, and to each other in our work.

Thank you.
Brian Murphy 

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