Dear Southeast Community,
The Greater St. Louis Region is home for approximately 40 percent of Southeast Missouri State University students. Located just two hours from St. Louis, our University community has closely followed the process and events that led to the grand jury decision announced yesterday with great interest and emotion. As the events unfolded last night, I thought of the more than 300 current Southeast students and many employees who grew up in the Ferguson-Florissant vicinity who may still have family living in close proximity to the affected neighborhoods. Those individuals and their loved ones are in our thoughts and prayers.
Our first concern is for the health and safety of our students. The University has many professional staff available to assist students who are directly affected by this event and its aftermath. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Dean of Students at email@example.com to be connected to campus support services. Since our residence halls are open during the Thanksgiving Break, students are welcome to stay over the break. If students plan to remain on campus during this break period, they should let their resident advisors know as soon as possible.
This week and in the weeks to come, I am hopeful that our University community of students, faculty and staff will support one another and take the time to talk respectfully about the greater societal issues raised by these events. The diversity of our student community is one of the characteristics that makes Southeast Missouri State University a wonderful place to learn and to freely express personal beliefs.
Best wishes for a safe Thanksgiving holiday,
Kenneth W. Dobbins