NKU president Dr. Ashish Vaidya called for a unified campus in light of recent violence around the country.
“There is no place for hate at NKU,” Vaidya wrote in a Friday email titled “Reflecting on Recent Events” sent to the campus community.
Vaidya said he was “saddened and sickened” by the “senseless” shootings in Pittsburgh and Louisville and by explosives addressed to high-profile targets, including two former presidents and a news organization.
“We must come together to condemn acts of violence fueled by hate,” Vaidya wrote. “We must also come together to demonstrate what we believe and hold dear. Through our actions and speech, we need to continually affirm our respect for all members of our community, and engage in practices of inclusiveness that create a sense of belonging for everyone.
“We must reinforce our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and highlight this commitment as a defining characteristic of our university,” Vaidya wrote.
Vaidya encouraged students struggling with the tragedies or other stressors to visit the Health, Counseling & Student Wellness Center and to contact NKU police with security concerns.
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Last week, an armed man gunned down 11 people at Tree of Life Synagogue in a Pittsburgh neighborhood. The suspect, who also wounded two others and four police officers, was arrested and charged with 29 criminal counts.
Three days earlier, a man shot and killed two people in a Kroger near Louisville before an armed bystander fired at him and caused him to flee. The suspect was arrested and charged with two counts of murder, The New York Times reported. Before killing the victims, who were black, the suspect, who is white, tried to enter a predominantly black church, police said. Authorities are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Late last month, authorities intercepted pipe bombs addressed to high-profile targets including the Clintons, former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, CNN’s New York offices and others. A Florida man was arrested on Oct. 26 in connection to the devices.
Read Vaidya’s full email below:
Office of the President, Dr. Ashish Vaidya
The coming weeks will see our nation hold elections that are an important tenet in our democracy, salute our veterans and celebrate Thanksgiving with our friends and families. As we look ahead at these important milestones, it is also a time to reflect.
As a campus and country, we are once again faced with the news of violence, acts of hate and intimidation. The shooting of two African Americans in a Kroger store in Louisville, the senseless violence in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and explosives being mailed to high profile citizens, were incidents that saddened and sickened me. The impact of these events are resonating across the nation and here on our campus. I have been affected by them, as I know many of you have as well. I offer my deepest condolences to all those who are grieving from these senseless tragedies.
We must come together to condemn acts of violence fueled by hate. We must also come together to demonstrate what we believe and hold dear. Through our actions and speech, we need to continually affirm our respect for all members of our community, and engage in practices of inclusiveness that create a sense of belonging for everyone. We must reinforce our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and highlight this commitment as a defining characteristic of our university.
There is no place for hate at NKU. We have dedicated faculty, staff, students and alumni who work to create a campus that welcomes people from all backgrounds and perspectives.
I know these are trying times happening at a busy point in the semester, and emotions can build. Please remember, we have support available for you–whether you’re affected by these incidents or overwhelmed with a difficult class.
There is someone who will listen.
Please visit the Health, Counseling & Student Wellness Center at (859) 572-5650 or click here to view all the resources available to you;
Please contact HR about Aetna’s Resources for Living that provides articles and tools to support your health and wellbeing;
And do not hesitate to reach out to NKU Police with any security or safety concerns you may have.
Ashish K. Vaidya, Ph.D