Nov. 22, 2022

Dear Roadrunners,

Presidential Statement graphic

Sunday morning, we woke to news of yet another horrific mass shooting. On the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, this tragedy unfolded at an LBGTQ club in our own state following last week’s senseless student killings at the universities of Virginia and Idaho. As a mother, sister, cousin, aunt, friend and colleague of so many brilliant LGBTQ+ human beings and the president of a university so proud of and committed to its robust and resilient LGBTQ community, my heart simply breaks.

It goes without saying that MSU Denver stands in support of our LGBTQ community on campus and all of those impacted by the weekend’s tragedy, and we want to help provide the space necessary to foster healing and safety. We are organizing events and resources to help students, faculty and staff members process last weekend’s shooting, and we will make additional community spaces, both virtual and in person, available for students when they return to campus next week. Stay tuned to the ‘Runner and Early Bird for more information on these specific initiatives. In the meantime, please support each other through compassion, patience and flexibility as we grapple with this tragic situation.

It can be hard to keep our sense of awe and optimism after a week like this. Beyond the anger and grieving, such news is a reminder of how precious life is. I hope you’ll use the Fall Break not only to get much deserved rest and rejuvenation, but to reflect. Apart from everything else in the world, this is a week for gratitude, love and grace.

As a reminder, the MSU Denver community always has access to robust support services and resources, including the below.

Students can receive free and confidential mental-health assistance from the Counseling Center (303-615-9988) and the Health Center at Auraria (303-615-9999, or 303-615-9911 after hours).
The Student Care Center (303-615-0006) provides holistic, non-clinical support.
Contact MSU Denver’s CARE Team if you are concerned about the well-being of another student.

Here are some ways we can help prevent violence in our community:

Support the LGBTQ community:
Tyrell Allen, director of the LGBTQ Student Resource Center, encourages all Roadrunners to reach out to the Center to offer support and to uplift and empower our LGBTQ community by:

  • Creating practices in your space for individuals to share pronouns and preferred names.
  • Being intentional about the language you use.
  • Including LGBTQ content in curriculum or programming.
  • Being transparent and thoughtful if using information related to gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • Attending workshops and trainings to identify other ways in which to be inclusive.

The state-backed Colorado Healing Fund is collecting donations and will work with local partner organizations to help direct the money to victims and community services. In addition, GoFundMe has verified two fundraisers, one led by a local business owner and another by a former Club Q employee. Both pledged to support the victims and their families.

Get engaged:
Contact your legislators to advocate for change.
Make sure you’re registered to vote, so that your voice is heard when your representatives are chosen and relevant policy is on the ballot.


Janine Davidson, Ph.D.