Western Cares - On the Cascade Mall Tragedy

Published On

Mon, 09/26/2016 - 2:32 pm

Dear Western Community:

Friday evening a tragedy occurred at the Cascade Mall in Burlington that impacted lives throughout Skagit County and beyond.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the five victims and the countless others who were impacted by this senseless and horrific action.

Our Western community has been affected by the event in ways that will not be in the news or in ways one would not normally think of.  Some of the victims have ties to Western.  The grief of their families and friends is unimaginable.  I know that we have numerous WWU students and family members of WWU employees who are employees in the Cascade Mall.  Their worlds have been touched as well.

It is at times like this that I think about the importance of community, of a Western community that Uzma and I have come to realize very quickly is compassionate and caring.  For those who have lost a family member or a friend, the pain may never heal.  As an educational institution, we need to redouble our efforts of supporting our community and the communities we serve through live-giving and life-affirming relationships and be conscious of our attitudes and behaviors we bring to our relationships with each other.  It is a reminder that we constantly need to be looking out for each other, to take time and show our care for each other, to be empathetic to others.  I have heard a great deal about how Western Cares, and have already seen it in action.  I encourage all to take this to heart by striving to touch another person with a positive word or action.  Maybe, just maybe, we can start to change our world with one positive action at a time.

Please know that if you or someone you know is struggling in the aftermath of this event, counseling consultation services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at https://counseling.wwu.edu/ or by calling 360-650-3164.

I know you all join me in sending our heartfelt support to all impacted by the events of Friday evening.