New Academic Year Has Positive Start, Despite Unfortunate Events

Posted on 9/15/2015 2:31:03 PM

Overall, IUP had a great start to the semester; however, several serious incidents have occurred on campus in a very short period of time, including the death of a student and the suspension of a fraternity. Perhaps you saw reports in traditional news venues or in social media, or perhaps you are learning of this for the first time.

I want to assure you that we are not taking any of these incidents lightly. When the unthinkable happens to a student, many people are deeply affected—the family, fellow students, and the entire university community. Sometimes bad things happen in spite of our best efforts to prevent them, but when they do, our student life, health and well-being, counseling, safety, and police staffs provide compassionate, empathetic support to victims and those around them and take steps, often with local law enforcement, to hold accountable those who have done wrong. They then redouble their efforts in education and prevention.

Most important, it is clear to me, based on the personal contact I have with students and what I see in social media, that students are looking out for one another, standing up for themselves, and reporting possible crimes so that university staff and law enforcement can respond quickly. This response, along with the excellent work of so many people to welcome more than 3,100 new students, fills me with optimism for this new academic year.

Homecoming is right around the corner, and I look forward to welcoming many alumni back to campus on October 3. While some things on campus might be new to you, please know that what hasn’t changed is the life-changing academic experiences and the opportunities for making lifelong connections and friendships. If you want to take an active role in campus life and have a direct and positive impact on students, I invite you to contact our Alumni Relations Office, which always seeks to connect alumni with students, as mentors or internship sponsors.

Thank you, always, for your continued interest in your alma mater.

Michael A. Driscoll