Information about the Orlando Nightclub Shooting
On Sunday June 12, 2016 a mass shooting occurred at Pulse, a gay nightclub in downtown Orlando, Florida. In this tragedy, 50 people were killed, including the gunman, and 53 individuals were wounded. Orlando is in great need of our help and support, as our President Susan Herbst urged, “What can we do as a University?”
Message from President Susan Herbst
Dear Colleagues and Students,
Our campus community, like the nation, watched what took place in Orlando with a sense of horror and helplessness. It is far too familiar a feeling, especially here in Connecticut, where the nightmare that was Sandy Hook is seared into our minds. Yet again, innocent human beings have been senselessly slaughtered. And again, scores of people grieve for someone they loved. This is the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
It is an occurrence that has become so common, that we have come to know each by its shorthand name: Columbine, Fort Hood, San Bernardino, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook. And now, Orlando. These are only a few. They happen in offices, restaurants, schools, college campuses, and clubs. Whether those responsible are motivated by madness or hate – or both – the result is the same. In this case, it cannot be a coincidence that a gathering place for LGBT people was targeted.
What can we do as a university? In some sense, we can do what every community is doing: watch yet another tragedy unfold and do all we can to ensure the safety and security of our own community. But in another sense, we are already doing what we ought to be doing: making certain that care, compassion, respect, and love for our fellow person defines who we are as a university, and as individuals. There is a reason UConn embraces diversity and rejects hatred, in any form. No, that alone will not stop tragedies from taking place. But it does mean that we live our lives on- and off-campus according to our highest and most precious values. That is who we are, and will continue to be.
Ways to Support the Victims and the Orlando Community
Links to Make Online Donations:
- Planting Peace, a global humanitarian and environmental nonprofit, has started a CrowdRise Campaign to cover expenses incurred by the victims and their families: https://www.crowdrise.com/we-stand-with-pulse-fund
- Equality Flordia, a nonprofit LGBT civil rights organization, has set up a donation page GoFundMe to support the victims: https://www.gofundme.com/2942a444
- Orlando Hospitals are in need of donations: https://secure2.convio.net/orhefo/site/SPageServer;jsessionid=22182B795C469998A8BC3A681A189D8F.app296a?pagename=donate_online
Candlelight Vigils and Events:
- Orlando Solidarity Breakfast: Thursday June 16th, 8:30-10:00am, Rainbow Center-SU 403 Link to events page
- Connecticut Vigils: http://theriver1059.iheart.com/onair/renee-25581/how-to-help-victims-of-orlando-14807142/
- Orlando Solidarity Vigil: Thursday, June 16th 5:00 pm, Jillson Square Willimantic, CT Link to events page
- Candlelight Vigil for Orlando: Tuesday, June 21 at 8:00pm-9:00pm, Town Square; Downtown Storrs Facebook events page
- Nationwide Vigils: http://www.weareorlando.org/
- The OneBlood center has an urgent call for blood donations for the Orlando victims: https://www.oneblood.org/
- Federal rules on who can donate blood: http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/BloodBloodProducts/QuestionsaboutBlood/ucm108186.htm
- Red Cross Blood Donor App or call 1-800-RED-CROSS