June 14, 2016

After this weekend’s tragic shooting, our campus is in mourning. As faculty, our focus is on caring for our students and colleagues, and providing them the support and assistance they need during this terrible time and into the future.
We have received several calls and questions about resources available, and wanted to ensure that you have this information. Please share this email with your colleagues, and I encourage you to check the front page of the Faculty Center’s website (http://www.fctl.ucf.edu), where we will continue to post resources, including information about a special event on Thursday hosted by the University Writing Center.
The university also has established a site – http://ucf.edu/orlandounited – dedicated to our campus community in the wake of the shooting, with campus resources and events, such as blood drives and vigils, as well as volunteer, counseling and community activities.
I encourage you to watch and share this message from the President about UCF’s response to the shooting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?vyb=7126u5gGc.
A candlelight vigil will begin at 7 p.m. today – Tuesday, June 14 – at Memory Mall. The event is being organized by members of UCF’s LGBTQ+ community with support from UCF’s Social Justice & Advocacy office.
Teaching and learning literature suggests that students appreciate and benefit from faculty leadership in moments like this. Some students in your classes may need special accommodations related to course work or attendance. Others may need to talk with a counselor or other resource person on campus. International students may have particular needs, as well. If you have questions about policies related to these instances, feel free to reach out to the Faculty Center.
UCF’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) advises us to keep an eye out for students or colleagues who may need additional support, and to acknowledge the events by saying a few words and allowing others to speak in a safe space about how it has impacted them. Additional resources from CAPS about coping with grief are on its website (http://caps.sdes.ucf.edu/resources).
As we care for others during this difficult time, we need to remember to care for ourselves, too.
You can access a white paper from Dr. Deborah Beidel, a UCF Pegasus Professor and expert in trauma and anxiety, that offers guidance for helping ourselves and others through this difficult time at this link: http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/content/Aftermath.pdf.
A social worker from UCF’s College of Health and Public Affairs will be available in the Faculty Center to talk with faculty members who have questions about how to provide the best possible support for students, how to approach classes in the aftermath, and how to help us cope and grieve as community members, colleagues, and friends. She will be available from noon to 4 p.m. beginning today (Tuesday, June 14) and tomorrow (Wednesday, June 15). Anyone needing assistance outside of those hours should call our office (407-823-3544), and we will help to arrange it.
Additional phone numbers and links are at the bottom of this email.
Just as Dr. Hitt has said, UCF stands with our entire community, and the Faculty Center stands with you and is here to support you.
Thank you for reading, and best wishes for a peaceful week.
Melody A. Bowdon, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Karen L. Smith Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning
Director, SACSCOC Reaffirmation
Professor of Writing and Rhetoric
University of Central Florida
P.O. Box 160066
Orlando, FL 32816-0066
Phone: 407-823-3544
[email protected]
Additional UCF offices that can offer support:
CAPS, http://caps.sdes.ucf.edu/, 407-823-2811 and Dr. Teresa Chmelir, Associate Director for Outreach and Prevention, [email protected]
Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, http://www.eeo.ucf.edu/, 407-823-1336
Victim Services, http://victimservices.ucf.edu/, 407-823-1200
Office of Diversity and Inclusion, http://diversity.ucf.edu/, 407-823-6479