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Moving Forward and Healing our Community

Dear Emerson community members,

Yesterday, an international sporting event of human endurance and triumph was transformed into scenes of horror and unspeakable heartache for our great city. And while we wept and held hands, we consoled each other and found strength in our common humanity.

All of our thoughts and prayers go to the injured, their families, and their loved ones.

This event occurred in our back yard. It struck a deep chord for us because of its proximity to our campus and because many members of our community, especially our students, were stationed along the marathon route to cheer on Emerson runners.

Some of our students were injured. All of us were touched by the enormity of what had occurred. Many of us talked well into the night, aided by old friends and grateful for new friends forged in the aftermath.

As you may know, the area immediately surrounding Copley Square remains an active crime scene. I urge you not to venture near the cordoned off streets to allow safety and law enforcement officials to continue their investigation.

Last evening, we began the healing process. We will continue that process moving forward together with thoughtful compassion.

Today, if you are on campus, I encourage you to talk with one another. Counseling and Psychological Services is available to you today for walk-in appointments, and there will be counselors available during meals in the Dining Hall.

The Iwasaki Library will be open until 1 am.  The Fitness Center is open following their normal hours of operation. The dining facilities are operating and we have arranged some special items, such as a brownie cookie ice cream sundae bar in the Dining Hall and half price breakfast sandwiches all day in our cafes.

If you are living off campus or you are a graduate student, I understand you may be feeling isolated today. Of course, you are welcome to come to campus, if you feel comfortable traveling. Otherwise, I hope you may find ways to connect with one another. We will be reaching out separately to graduate students and international students.

Tomorrow morning, Wednesday, April 17th at 11:10 am, I encourage you to join me in the Cutler Majestic Theatre for a community gathering. I would ask for the faculty to be considerate in enabling students to leave class at 11 am to join us. (Faculty and staff are encouraged to attend as well.) Professor and Faculty Assembly Chair Jan Roberts-Breslin, SGA president Tau Zaman ‘13, Counseling and Psychological Services Director Elise Harrison, Chaplin Kristelle Angelli, Rabbi Al and I will provide brief remarks. There will also be an opportunity for students, staff, and faculty to share their thoughts via an open microphone after the formal remarks. If the Cutler Majestic fills, there will be overflow seating in the Semel Theatre.

I am confident that faculty will be mindful of the difficult emotions our students are experiencing. I thank you in advance for the support and understanding you will extend to them in the days ahead.

For students who have registered for summer term, we are extending the payment due date to April 18. Students registered for summer classes should pay their balances by this extended date to avoid having their registrations cancelled.

Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance during this difficult time. I look forward to seeing you at the Majestic tomorrow at 11:10 am, if not before.

Sincerely,

Lee