In a message to the Valencia College community, President Sandy Shugart extended his sympathy to the victims and loved ones impacted by today’s terrorist attack, while making the college’s resources available to help students, faculty and staff.
To the Valencia community:
We are heartbroken to learn of the mass shooting that took place at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando earlier today. Our deepest condolences go out to the victims, families and friends whose lives were forever altered by this senseless attack. We also extend our sincere appreciation to the first responders who rendered care and assistance.
As we open for classes tomorrow, Student Services staff, including grief and trauma counselors, are available on all Valencia campuses to assist you. Free, confidential counseling is also provided to students through Baycare at 800-878-5470, while faculty and staff can avail themselves of the Employee Assistance Program at 866-248-4094.
Concerned family members, as well as other individuals looking to offer assistance or information related to this incident, should call the OPD hotline at 407-246-4357.
While the FBI has reported that there are no known credible threats to the Orlando area at this time, Valencia’s office of Campus Security will be increasing the number of security officers and law enforcement present when classes resume tomorrow. Security officials at the college have been in close contact with OPD and local law enforcement throughout the day and will continue their outreach as the investigation continues.
If you are following the news on this tragedy, I’m sure you’re aware, as we are, that there are many ways to offer your support on a personal level. We encourage you to follow your heart, whether it’s by donating blood, making a donation to a local organization, or attending a community vigil. In the coming days, you may receive communications from the college on campus-based events that will provide other avenues for you to show your support.
As a student or employee, you know first-hand that there is no more inclusive community than Valencia’s. We remain committed to a diverse and caring community, fostering the understanding it brings and appreciating the dimensions it adds to our quality of life.