In Solidarity

Wednesday, November 23, 2022, 12:15pm

Dear Seawolves,

As many of us gather with family and friends during this holiday week, I am mindful that on Sunday, November 20 was Transgender Day of Remembrance. Established in 1999, the day provides us with the opportunity to acknowledge the violence that was – and still is – directed at the LGBTQIA+ community. Violence that blasted into Club Q in Colorado Springs on Saturday night, killing 5 and injuring 19 people. The casualties would be much higher were it not for the quick intervention of two club patrons, one of whom was injured while subduing the gunman. For any of us who believe that things are so much better now for individuals from historically marginalized and targeted communities, that society is more accepting of diversity, and that most of the time everyone is safe, the Club Q shooting is a devastating reminder that most of the time, not everyone is safe. That most of the time, lately, fear of targeted violence against Jewish, LGBTQIA+, Black, and Asian people, as well as college students from Idaho to New Mexico to Virginia, is being met with actual, horrifying violence.

While there is nothing I can say to stop what is happening across our country right now, I do want to make sure that all of you in our campus community feel welcome, respected, and valued. To those of you who hail from communities who face or have faced systemic violence, please know that each and every one of you is an important member of the SSU community. That you deserve acceptance and affirmation of who you are and who you want to be. That you deserve to be acknowledged and included and loved, just for being you. Indeed, everyone in our community deserves kindness, compassion, and love, just as we should be generous in offering those very same gifts to each other. Violence is contagious, but so is kindness. Let all of us be known for our acts of kindness rather than those of intolerance and bias.

And let all of us show kindness to ourselves. Should any of us need support, we can reach out to campus support services:

  • The campus Confidential Victim Advocate at (707) 664-2698.  
  • Counseling and Psychological Services are available for any student seeking support at (707) 664-2153. 
  • Our Employee Assistance Program, LifeMatters by Empathia, is available as a support resource for staff and faculty at (800) 367-7474. 

To learn more about the issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community, or other communities of diversity on campus, the HUB Cultural Center provides programming throughout the year, including a spring 2023  workshop on LGBTQIA+ allyship.

The success of our campus community depends on our intentions. As the end of the semester quickly approaches, drawing forth a new year, let us all set our intentions to integrity, excellence, respect, and responsibility – the “highest ethical standards,” of our Seawolf Commitment. Let us set a new national trend, one that reflects the best of who we are and who we want to be.




Mike Lee, Ph.D.