President Frank’s message: Las Vegas

Editor’s note: This message was sent to the entire Colorado State University campus community on Oct. 2, 2017, by President Tony Frank:


We awoke this morning to news of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history at a concert last night in Las Vegas. If you have been personally impacted by this terrible event, please know there is support and assistance immediately available to you:

  • Counseling services for students are available through the CSU Health Network; your student fees pay for several free sessions every year.
  • Students can contact Student Case Management for assistance if they are personally impacted by this situation. Student Case Management helps students navigate academic, medical, or health concerns and offers guidance on resources.
  • Free counseling resources for employees are available through The Office of the Ombuds and Employee Assistance Program, which offers resources to address personal issues and concerns.
  • Tell Someone is a confidential reporting line for anyone with concerns about safety or mental health issues – either your own or someone else’s.  This includes concerns about discrimination and harassment. You can reach the Tell Someone phone line during working hours (or leave a message after hours) at 970-491-1350 or use the online referral form at Call 911 if you believe someone is a threat to themselves or others.
  • Members of our campus community with safety concerns at any time can directly contact CSUPD – either 911 for emergencies or 970-491-6425 for non-emergencies.
  • CSUPD also provides the free SafeWalk program (970-491-1155) from dusk to dawn to escort people from any point on campus to another campus location or anywhere within a three-block radius.
  • We will keep the campus apprised, through SOURCE, of efforts to support victims, first responders, and their families. In the meantime, blood donations through the Garth Englund Blood Center in Fort Collins are always a strong way to show your support.
  • As always in the face of such attacks, law enforcement officials ask that we use this opportunity to remind all of us to be mindful of our surroundings and to report anyone who appears to be acting suspiciously — or vehicles, packages, or bags that appear to be out of place — to CSUPD or to any law enforcement agency without delay. In all situations, trust your instincts and do not minimize what you are seeing or experiencing if you see something that does not feel right.

This tragedy in Las Vegas comes at a time when we are still confronting the recent devastation in Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas and the need for healing and recovery in the wake of those storms. And yet, this is also different because the damage inflicted was intentional. When immediately confronted with such a senseless act of violence, it’s obviously difficult to find words to give rise to the breadth of emotions we all are struggling through.  To some extent, as I’ve done here, we turn our focus and attention to immediate action where we can support those around us.  But what words will serve us in a few days or even months?  Can we find any words to give voice to our anger, fear, and frustration?  Do words even exist that would soothe the deep wounds of loss and grief that are affecting so many?  Mary Todd Lincoln wrote, “In grief, words are a poor consolation – silence and agonizing tears are all that is left the sufferer.”

But we know that time will, at least to some extent, heal.  And we know that we will go on. And we know we will support those directly affected.  And we know that in our common, ordinary, everyday actions, we carry within ourselves the ability to nurture, strengthen, heal, and improve the lives of all those around us.  Indeed, perhaps these ordinary acts are the only response to extraordinary evil.  Take care of each other, CSU — remember that Rams take care of Rams, and if you need support today, just reach out.


Dr. Tony Frank