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President Barron Offers Support Following El Paso, Dayton Shootings

Penn State President Eric Barron offered a message of support and condolences to anyone affected by this weekend’s mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, that took the lives of at least 31 people.

“For anyone at Penn State who may have family or friends that have been impacted by these tragedies, we offer our support and note that counseling is available,” he said in a release Monday morning.

The university president noted that the two violent attacks are contradictions of Penn State’s belief in community and freedom. He went on to remind readers that on-campus safety is crucial for Penn State.

“As part of the leadership team at Penn State, I would like to reaffirm that the safety of everyone in our campus community is always our highest priority,” said Barron.

He also offered links to resources such as Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Penn State Crisis Line to help students affected by the tragedies.

You can read Barron’s full note to the Penn State community below.

To the Penn State Community:

We reach out to you today with heavy hearts. Over the weekend, two mass shootings in America occurred just 13 hours apart, taking the lives of many innocent people and injuring more. To the communities of El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, — the sites of those tragic events — we offer hope for their healing. To the family and friends of those who lost their lives, we express our deepest condolences, and to those who were wounded, we wish them a quick recovery. For anyone at Penn State who may have family or friends that have been impacted by these tragedies, we offer our support and note that counseling is available.

These senseless acts of violence, which have become too frequent, are reprehensible and truly inexplicable. This violence without a doubt contradicts our belief in community and our acceptance of freedom, which are valued and treasured ideals. We know that horrific acts of violence — these and other recent events across our country — are unsettling, but we cannot let acts of senseless and random violence chip away at our collective feeling of security, safety and comfort.  

As part of the leadership team at Penn State, I would like to reaffirm that the safety of everyone in our campus community is always our highest priority. Those who feel they have been impacted by the recent events can seek support or counseling in the following ways:

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) are available at each of Penn State’s Commonwealth Campuses.

The Penn State Crisis Line (1-877-229-6400) is a 24/7 toll-free service staffed by licensed professionals available to all Penn Staters at University Park and Commonwealth Campuses

Community member can also text the 24/7 Crisis Text Line by texting “LIONS” to 741741.

The Penn State Employee Assistance Program, through the EAP+Work/Life program.

Again, as we express our sadness and mourn the recent tragic losses in communities around the country, we ask that as a member of our campus community, you remain vigilant and proactive. If you “see something, say something.” 

Eric J. Barron

President

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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