Tony Frank responds to Las Vegas mass shooting

Natalia Sperry

A lone gunman killed at least 50 people at a concert in Las Vegas late Sunday night, injuring more than 400 in the worst mass shooting in modern American history.

Colorado State University President Tony Frank. ( Tony Villalobos May | Collegian)

Colorado State University President Tony Frank addressed the shooting in a campus-wide email Monday morning, offering support and assistance for those who may have been personally impacted. 

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The shooter, identified by law enforcement officials as Stephen Craig Paddock, 64, opened fire from a room in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the crowd of about 22,000 attending a country music festival. 

Frank’s email listed on-campus resources for impacted students, faculty and staff. Counseling services are available for students through the CSU Health Network and similar resources are available for employees through The Office of the Ombuds and Employee Assistance Program.

Frank noted that further University updates of efforts to support victims, first responders and families will come through SOURCE, and encouraged those who want to show support to make blood donations through the Garth Englund Blood Center in Fort Collins. On behalf of CSUPD, Frank urged the community to be mindful and report anything if something does not feel or seem right. 

“When immediately confronted with such a senseless act of violence, it’s obviously difficult to find words to give rise to the breadth of emotions we all are struggling through,” Frank wrote. “To some extent, as I’ve done here, we turn our focus and attention to immediate action where we can support those around us.  But what words will serve us in a few days or even months?  Can we find any words to give voice to our anger, fear, and frustration?  Do words even exist that would soothe the deep wounds of loss and grief that are affecting so many?”

Frank’s email also addressed the still prevalent devastation in Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas, and stressed the need for healing and recovery in the wake of Hurricanes Maria and Harvey. The email went on to discuss what can be done to heal following such acts of mass violence.

“But we know that time will, at least to some extent, heal.” Frank wrote. “And we know that we will go on. And we know we will support those directly affected.  And we know that in our common, ordinary, everyday actions, we carry within ourselves the ability to nurture, strengthen, heal, and improve the lives of all those around us.  Indeed, perhaps these ordinary acts are the only response to extraordinary evil.  Take care of each other, CSU — remember that Rams take care of Rams, and if you need support today, just reach out.” 

Collegian reporter Natalia Sperry can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @Natalia_Sperry.