Today's Update: Wednesday, March 17

March 17, 2021

Dear Student Life Team, As you know, with Today’s Update, I try to provide timely topics that are meaningful to our work as a team. Many times these messages feature operational and process-oriented updates, and then some days what we intend to share has to be changed in response to campus, nation or world events. 

Unfortunately, today is one of those days.

Today, it seems important to illuminate the inner struggle that many of us are feeling over the unimaginable acts of violence that took place in the Atlanta area yesterday. You may know that I am from Georgia, so it hurts my heart that something like this took place in my home state. And I am also simply devastated that the lives of eight individuals were stopped so abruptly and in such a violent way.

There is much we still don’t know, and the investigation is ongoing. The Cherokee County Sheriff recently shared that the killings may not have been racially motivated, although it has been reported that six of the eight people who passed away were of Asian descent. As we consider our support for students and for each other, we should recognize that these killings have occurred while reports of violence against Asian Americans are on the rise. Coupled together, I can very much understand the mounting sense of anxiety, distress and fear about the future. 

I want to use Today’s Update to express my deepest condolences to the families and friends of all eight of the victims of yesterday’s rampage. I think it is also an important time to remind the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) community and our international students who hail from Asian countries that we see them, hear them, value them, and we are here for them. 

Too many times we are reminded that the world is not always Scarlet and Great, and again, I am so sad that this is one of those days.