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Tragedy in Orlando

Again, we find ourselves mourning for the loss of our fellow citizens as a result of gun violence. The tragedy at the Pulse Bar in Orlando, Florida is not just a loss to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender and Latino communities but it rips at the heart of all of us. I join with the Minneapolis Community and Technical College community in expressing our grief in light of this horrific shooting.

This senseless act is especially heartbreaking because many are in the midst of celebrating PRIDE month and the month of Ramadan. I urge all of us to respond with open arms, love and concern and to forsake blaming, baseless accusation and hatefulness. Please note that employees in our Student Support Center (T.2300), including counselors, as well as others on campus stand ready to offer our care and support. Additionally, the Student Health Clinic (H.3400) has a mental health provider who is able to assist.

I urge all to hold fast together against such violence and hate that seeks to divide and antagonize all of us. Let us not blame innocent Muslims for the actions of a few radicals who are using the name of Islam to support their actions. The vast majority of American Muslims in the holy month of Ramadan are saddened and are finding the event difficult to comprehend because the LGBT community has stood with them time and time again.

Additionally, we must not succumb to scapegoating those who live with mental health concerns. Our MCTC community is committed to creating a welcoming environment for all.

Finally, Student Affairs and Diversity have planned a session, Prince and the “Gender” Revolution to be presented on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 from 1–2:30 p.m. in T.1400. Students and staff will be the presenters and the session is open to all. This session, which was previously planned, will touch on LGBT experience as well as related college policies.