Today's Update: Monday, May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Dear Student Life team, 

I was having a wonderful and busy weekend full of friends and fun, and then I awoke on Sunday morning to read the unimaginable news about the mass-shooting at a Buffalo grocery store. These horrendous losses were then compounded by the news of shootings at a Houston-area flea market and a church in Southern California.

The U. S. Attorney General and officials in the Buffalo area have shared that the tragedy is being investigated as a hate crime, and news outlets have reported that the perpetrator targeted that particular community due to its high population of Black people.

Loss of life in any way is terrible, and it is hard for me to put into words the pain, hurt and utter astonishment I feel that a person may have deliberately sought out to do irreparable harm to others because of the color of their skin. As a Black woman myself, the tragedy in Buffalo hits home in a way that I truly can't describe and that I wouldn't wish on anyone else.

This morning, President Johnson and I sent a message of support to students from New York, Houston and Southern California. I also thought it was important to send a message to you all because I know many of you may have been affected by this news in a variety of ways. You may know someone from the areas, you may have skin that looks like mine and many of the shootings' victims or you may be an ally in the fight to create an anti-racist society. Whatever your experience, please know that I care deeply about each of you, and I hope you will reach out for support if you need help processing this terrible tragedy. Ohio State's Employee Assistance Program ( is also available to you.

Times like these are truly shocking, heart-breaking and remind us how precious life and our loved ones are. Be kind to yourselves and others today and know how very much I appreciate you.


Melissa S. Shivers, PhD 

Senior Vice President for Student Life 
The Ohio State University