Chief Diversity Officer offers advice in wake of recent shootings

Gabriel Shields, Multimedia Contributor

The recent shootings in Minnesota, Louisiana, and Dallas might seem half a world away, but for many in the Corvallis community the impact hits very close to home.

Many students and faculty of Oregon State University have family members who are out of state or even out of the country. As America enters a vulnerable time while discussing difficult issues some people in our community are seeking healthy ways to engage with each other. With the stream of social media navigating around emotional triggers from continuous coverage of violent images can prove challenging.

“Times like this are really hard,” said Angela Batista, Chief Diversity Officer of OSU. “These events continue to be in the news for extended periods of time and it’s hard to get away from them.”

Batista is part of the Student Care Team which also includes seven Cultural Centers, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which provide a variety of outreach programs to assist those who may be struggling during these tragic times.

Batista stresses the importance of seeking help, and wants people to understand that the ways in which we engage with each other might look different depending on the situation and the individual.

“It’s important to take the pulse of the community,” Batista said. “When people are feeling vulnerable sometimes doing big open events isn’t always what they feel comfortable with so some of what we’ve been doing and have been doing is meeting people where they are.”

For those in need of support Batista offers up this encouragement.

“Think about what need and not be afraid to ask for that because we are here to support you in any way that seems helpful.”

If you or someone you know is in need of support contact Dean of Student Life, CAPS, the Office of Institutional Diversity or and of the Cultural Centers.

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