Dear UC Community,
The tragic shootings in Pittsburgh this weekend have stirred many emotions. Sadness, grief, sympathy, anger, confusion and frustration are just some of the feelings we have been experiencing. Such is often the case when events occur that we have difficulty comprehending and explaining.
As many of you know, I grew up in Pittsburgh. In fact, my family is from Squirrel Hill, the neighborhood where the shooting occurred. My mother, sister and other friends and relatives still live there; I visit often. I know that you join me in mourning those who died and have in your hearts and minds their families, the injured and their families, and all who are or will be affected by this horrific event.
As you know, the University of Charleston is committed to enlightened living. At UC, enlightened living means having a broad range of knowledge to thrive in modern society. We possess a sense of history and shared values, and a commitment to moral purpose and personal character.
We do not thrive as a society or individually through hate, disrespect, and violence. Rather, we thrive by embracing opportunities to learn about and from others, valuing differences of opinion, and engaging in civil discourse. Diversity is not our enemy, but an ally that enriches our lives.
In the wake of such senseless violence, we must not be deterred. Rather, we must focus relentlessly on making ourselves, our UC community, and the world a better place for all. I know that you join me in committing to do so. In fact, how timely that today begins UC’s International Education Week, with activities to honor, celebrate, and learn from our own students who come from 45 countries and add cultural richness to our community. Let’s each make time this week to become more enriched.
If you are struggling with these events, please know that UC offers grief support, counseling resources, and access to other helpful services. Do not hesitate to avail yourselves of these services. Simply contact our Office of Student Life for assistance.
Martin S. Roth
University of Charleston