Opinion, Berkeley Blogs

Reflections on Las Vegas, and resources for the campus

By Carol Christ

Like many of you, I am struggling to process the tragedy that unfolded Sunday evening in Las Vegas. The immense loss of life, the hundreds of injuries, the panic on the ground brought to life in video and audio recordings, the renewed acrimony about gun control, and the search for answers all weigh heavily. I extend my deepest condolences to those who may be connected to the victims of this terrible event.

I want to make sure everyone is aware of the support programs we offer to our campus community. I encourage you to take advantage of these resources in times of need.

First, Berkeley’s Tang Center has a host of services that include drop-in counseling for students, confidential employee assistance for staff, and information on how to cope with traumatic events. Students can also access well-being resources on the Dean of Students site, as well as get in touch with Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell himself.

Some may find comfort in their faith communities, both on campus and throughout the local area. Information about many of these faith communities can be found on the Equity & Inclusion site and on the Cal Link site.

As is the Berkeley way, many will find that another way to respond to tragedies like these is to endeavor to effect positive change through advocacy and public service. The Public Service Center can facilitate your engagement. You can also contact your elected representatives.

In closing, I want to assure you that as a campus we make your safety and security a top priority. Our UCPD officers have gone through extensive training about how to respond to incidents involving targeted violence. In addition, there are sound monitors placed throughout campus and in the immediate surrounding community designed to detect the sound of gunfire so that officers can respond quickly. Finally, we encourage you to review information about how critical your own immediate response to a crisis situation can be. It is an unfortunate fact of life in America in the 21st century that we must consider such possibilities and take such measures, but I share this with you in hopes that it will make you feel more secure on our campus.