Dear Campus Community,
We are writing to share with you the message the undergraduates received from us on Sunday night when they were returning from fall break. dean of the graduate school Rodney D. Priestley sent a similar message to graduate students.
Dear undergraduate students,
We are writing to acknowledge the sadness that is sweeping our campus over the passing of Misracha Evunetia ’24 last week. As VP Calhoun noted in it a message to the campus October 20thMisrah’s death is “an unimaginable tragedy.”
Misrah was an undergraduate sociology major with interests in computer science; she was a member of the Terrace Club and New College West. An immigrant from Ethiopia who settled in Ohio, Misrach was also active in African student organizations on campus. She is remembered as a kind and loving friend.
Since Misrah was reported missing Sunday evening, Oct. 16, the University’s Department of Public Safety has been working closely with local and state law enforcement and does not believe there is any threat to the campus or surrounding area.
Out of an abundance of caution, the University has increased staffing and patrols in student housing. Our campus is already patrolled 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by sworn law enforcement and security officers. Access to the residential areas of the campus is also controlled. As a result, the Department of Public Safety is confident it is safe for students to return to campus from fall break.
While we know that students across campus will react and absorb Misrah’s death differently, we urged faculty and staff to find ways to acknowledge the loss our community has suffered. Undergraduate Student Government (USG) has asked us to invite faculty to take a moment at the beginning of their classes this week to recognize Misrah’s death and to refer students to the support services VP Calhoun outlines in his message (linked above).
For many students dealing with such a loss, maintaining routine and structure is very important. But inevitably, some students will experience this loss more deeply and personally than others, especially those who were Misrah’s friends. Students may request academic adjustments during the next few weeks as they need time to process their grief.
We encouraged faculty to respond compassionately to students’ individual requests and to contact the student’s college dean or associate dean of studies to help support students through their grief and concerns.
Maiu Takeuchi ’23, USG president, and Austin Davis ’23, USG academic committee chair, suggest, “Above all, we appreciate the instructors, staff and administrators who continue to show compassion and care for students and the rest of the community college, especially during these trying times . Since these are tragic circumstances, we should not continue as normal; it is important that we continue to acknowledge the very real sadness that covers our community.
Deans of College and Campus Life are also available to advise students who have questions about student academic engagement during this sad time.
The university invited those community members who wish to remember Misrah and address our collective grief to gather for a private gathering with chaplains from the Office of Religious Life, counselors from counseling and psychological services, residential faculty staff, graduate school staff and others.
Once again, we ask that you acknowledge Misrah’s passing with your faculty, staff, and each other as a way to share our grief and support each other during this loss.
We keep the memory of all of you and Misrah in our hearts.
Dean Jill Dolan and VPV Rochelle Calhoun
Please note: This public version of the student letter omits the details of a private community gathering to express our collective grief.