Dear Beach Community:
Once again, I am reaching out in the wake of a senseless tragedy. This one, a massacre at a nightspot popular with students, has touched other campus communities in Southern California.
Wednesday night’s shootings in Thousand Oaks had an immediate impact on Cal State Channel Islands, Cal Lutheran University, Pepperdine University and Moorpark Community College. Each of those schools had students at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks where the incident took place. As authorities begin releasing victims’ names, we know the respective campus communities are dealing with the first waves of grief. On behalf of our community, I want to express our condolences -- and our hope that we, as a society, will find solutions to these horrific acts that plague us.
While it seems there is little that we can do beyond feeling the shock and sadness of these events, we can do a lot.
First and foremost, we can look out for each other. We can look for those among us – on and off campus – who are struggling to cope with the daily demands and pressures of life. If you or someone else is having these kinds of challenges, I urge you to call Counseling and Psychological Services at 562-985-4001.
When it comes to our campus personnel, members of the Beach team have reached out to officials at the four affected institutions to offer assistance. We want them to know that we are in this together.
And if you want to do more about the larger issues confronting us, I urge you to get involved -- socially and politically. If we are going to change things and keep these types of tragedies from occurring again and again, we have to make it happen.
Jane Close Conoley, Ph.D.
Jane Close Conoley is president of California State University, Long Beach. She has previously held academic positions as professor of counseling, clinical and school psychology; dean and professor of educational psychology; and associate dean for research. Conoley is the author or editor of 21 books and more than 100 chapters, refereed journal articles and technical reports. Her areas of primary interest are interventions with children with disabilities—especially serious emotional disturbance and aggressive children and youth—and family intervention. Her most recent work investigates the application of the science of positive psychology to educational settings.