Campus officials, students reflect on tragic event and the start of healing
By Chris Casey | University Communications
AURORA, Colo. – Signs of healing, courageous responses to tragedy, and a re-dedication to the important work at hand were all acknowledged during a brief community gathering at the Anschutz Medical Campus on Wednesday.
The get-together at Boettcher Commons was hosted by the Anschutz Medical Campus Student Senate. It featured music by the Arrhythmias Student Choir, comments by campus leadership and opportunities to donate to the Aurora Victims Relief Fund and to sign a card that will be placed at the Aurora memorial for the victims of the July 20 shooting.
The event follows a guest column by university leadership to The Denver Post.
Henri Jupille, Student Senate president, said, “During the last couple of weeks here, life on campus has just kind of been flipped upside down and a lot of people have been going to really great lengths to try and get everything back to right.”
He thanked campus leadership, University Police and the counseling departments at all of the University of Colorado campuses for their tireless work. “Everyone’s efforts have been really incredible, and I’m humbled to be part of this campus community,” Jupille said.
Chancellor Don Elliman said, “everybody here has done an extraordinary effort to get us through this period of time.” He noted that the campus community is returning to a sense of normalcy.
“That doesn’t mean you take the victims and their families out of your thoughts and prayers, but it does mean we’ve got a job to do and it’s time we got back to doing it,” he said.
Also speaking at the gathering were Executive Vice Chancellor Lilly Marks, Graduate School Dean Barry Shur and Raul Cardenas, associate vice chancellor for student affairs.
Shur praised the campus community’s ability to rise to the occasion in the face of tragedy. “The best way we can pay tribute to the victims and survivors and families and all those who have suffered throughout this is to look in the mirror and say this is what I’m here for,” he said. “I’m going to put my passion and vigor into my studies and create the best scholarship I can and do whatever I can as a person, as a student, as a physician, as a scientist to positively impact … the public good.”
Marks thanked Colorado Rep. Nancy Todd as well as representatives from U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter and Sen. Mark Udall’s offices for attending. She said the work of faculty, staff and students has been “absolutely heroic under the most excruciating circumstances. … That really is what defines us and what will always define us and is something we should take great pride in.”
She noted that a positive could be taken from the light attendance. “The fact that there is not a broader attendance, perhaps, reflects that the healing has begun and people have started to look at this and …, not that we could ever understand it, are beginning to heal.”
(Photo: The Arrhythmias Choir sings during the community gathering at Boettcher Commons.)