Supporting Each Other During Another Senseless Tragedy

Sent: March 23, 2021


Dear CU Denver Community,

Colorado experienced another heart-wrenching day yesterday when a shooter opened fire in a Boulder grocery story, killing 10 people. Our hearts ache for everyone affected, especially the surviving victims and those who lost loved ones. 

This senseless violence and loss of life, on the heels of last week’s murders in Atlanta, is tragic. It feels especially painful here in Colorado, which has endured gun violence far too often. Many in our community have already been affected by previous mass shootings in the state, and yesterday’s shooting feels distressingly familiar.

We also want to be fully transparent and inform you that the suspect in yesterday's tragedy applied to be a student on our campus in 2018 and was admitted. However, he did not take classes at CU Denver and was never an enrolled student.

The latest tragedy joins a host of events over the past year—COVID-19, Colorado’s fires, an attack on the U.S. Capitol, and ongoing violence toward communities of color —that have led to pain, suffering, and loss. It’s a lot.

That this latest shooting happened in a grocery store, one of the few places we’ve shared throughout the pandemic, affects our sense of safety. It is deeply unsettling.

We’ve put a lot of thought into the safety of our community over the past year, as we switched our entire way of operating to protect us all from the spread of COVID. And while we recognize that we can’t ensure complete safety, there are things we can do.  

In the face of unspeakable tragedy, it is easy to become desensitized. But it’s important to retain our sense of shock and horror at horrendous events and to continue to define ourselves not by these aberrations but by the goodness, compassion, and care in our community and in our lives. It’s also important that we take care of ourselves, reach out to others with empathy and compassion, and ask for help when we need it.

At the end of this email is a list of resources available to members of our campus community who are experiencing anxiety, stress, or grief. Please seek support from these. We are building a webpage that will list these and further resources we are working to add and will send that link soon. 

Finally, I ask that as we learn more about yesterday’s shooting in the coming days and weeks, we avoid rush to judgment. As a campus rich in diversity, we are all mourning the loss felt by those impacted; we want to make clear that knee-jerk reactions to blame any group for an individual’s action causes additional harm to our community.

We are better than that and we must continue to find strength, compassion, and understanding together as a Lynx community.


Michelle Marks




CU Denver Student and Community Counseling Center
Confidential campus resource for students
Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm
Main phone: 303-315-7270
Emergency after-hours: 303-615-9911

Office of Case Management
Non-confidential office to provide support and connect you to additional resources
Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm

For Online Students: 
For online students, counseling services can be accessed through the My SSP phone app for iPhone or Android, or through this website.


Colorado Crisis Line
Confidential community resource offering in-person and virtual crisis support
Available 24/7, 365 days 
Hotline: 1-844-493-8255


Colorado State Employee Assistance Program
Confidential community counseling resource for staff and faculty. 
Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm

The Real Help Hotline
Confidential counseling resource for staff and faculty. 
Available 24/7, 365 days 
Hotline: (833) 533-CHAT (2428)

Chancellor’s Office

CU Denver

Lawrence Street Center

1380 Lawrence Street

Suite 1400

Denver, CO 80204


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