February 8, 2012
Dear UT Pan American Family and Friends,
The Valley suffered a tremendous loss Monday morning, and the hurt burns deep in our hearts. Any loss of life is tragic, but this tragedy is especially difficult because it happened on our campus and happened to someone so young. Jody and I know what it is like to wake up one day to know that your child is no longer with you. We grieve for the family and the pain that they are experiencing. The pain never goes away. But an outpouring of love from friends and from the community can truly make a difference.
The University of Texas-Pan American is dedicated to serving the youth in the Valley and to having a safe environment not only for our students and visitors but also for our faculty and staff. As Jody and I have learned, not all tragedies (such as this suicide) can be averted, but the University will continue to do everything that we can do to protect those who visit, study, and work here. Please know that the police will be actively patrolling the campus at all hours and that we will do everything we can to keep the campus safe. The President's Cabinet met Tuesday to reinforce that safety remains our top priority and to make certain that we are putting sufficient resources into our safety efforts. We will continue to meet and will closely monitor what is happening on our campus.
Now more than ever it is a time to come together and to heal. The Department of Counseling and Psychological Services will be available to provide help both in the Science Building (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday through Friday) and in the University Center (8 a.m.-7 p.m., Wednesday through Thursday, and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday). The Department will resume its regular service hours thereafter. We urge anyone needing their services to please visit with the Counselors; and we ask that all supervisors and faculty provide flexibility and leniency so that people can receive the services that the Department provides.
The tragedy that we have witnessed is not something that any of us will ever forget. I sincerely hope that we take this opportunity to look out for one another and to make the Pan Am family even stronger.