SVSU: Delay Opening of Campus and Provide Trauma Services

This petition made change with 3,355 supporters!

SVSU Administration: 

We, the members of your Cardinal Family beseech you to delay the opening of our campus.

We understand your desire to keep your academic economy open, but are appalled at the lack of compassion and care you are showing to your student population.

Students are traumatized by the "public safety emergency" that occurred two days ago- one of our professors took his own life on your campus.

This kind, gentle, approachable professor, who was passionate about botany and cared for our greenhouse, is not just an anonymous tragedy to us.

Some of us were his students, or former students, who had a relationship with him.

Some of us were formerly or currently engaged in research projects with him.

Many of us studied in the faculty suite outside his office. As we did so, we saw him interacting lovingly with his two small children. Their hand-drawn pictures adorned his office door.

Some of us were escorted out of the building Thursday night by SWAT teams and swarms of police who descended on the campus, wielding AR-15s.

Some of us stood outside or frantically refreshed social media feeds, horrified and terrified, not knowing whether our fellow students were safe.

Many, many students have classes in that building- and your communication stating: “….some portions of the Science West building will remain closed, but campus operations will resume” (today) is highly distressful. It is traumatic to even consider entering that building, which will still feel like a crime scene.

Your suggestion that mental services are available may appease the general public, but when calling the counseling center this weekend, we are greeted only by an ANSWERING MACHINE. It advises us to call 911 if we are in crisis. It is not staffed despite the trauma in the campus community. However, we are accustomed to not receiving help there. ANY student who has ever attempted to obtain services on campus knows appointments are sometimes months out, the center is primarily staffed by unlicensed students, and some students struggling with anxiety and depression have reported that, in lieu of mental health attention, they were handed a list of local agencies- for which many have no money, no insurance, and no transportation.

SVSU administration, we cannot understand how you could smooth over such a devastating event and act as if this were business as usual. We are a close knit community, and what affects one of us affects ALL of us.

Students are communicating with each other in grief and horror- we cannot study, we cannot focus.

We cannot believe that you are not allowing time for us to process this horrifying and tragic event.

SVSU administration- you need to do better. Please delay the opening of campus and expand access to mental health services on campus. 

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