Response to Tragedy in Colorado

Nov 22, 2022

Dear BC Community,

On Nov. 20, Transgender Day of Remembrance, which memorializes transgender lives lost to violence, our nation was rocked by the news of another mass shooting that targeted an LGBTQIA+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing five people and injuring 17 more. Were it not for the heroism of two patrons, certainly more lives would have been lost.

Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims and survivors, who will never be the same again. Unfortunately we cannot say that this is an isolated  senseless act of violence by a disturbed individual when we see the hate and vitriol directed at the LGBTQIA+ community – from legislation seeking to erode their rights to form families, access healthcare, and be represented in school curriculum; to celebrities and social media influencers who normalize transphobia and homophobia. Easy access to high-caliber weapons only adds to this toxic mix, the results of which we witness regularly.

To all those in our own LGBTQIA+ community, please know that the college is here to support you in this difficult time. And everyone, please take a moment to check in with colleagues and students who may be struggling in the aftermath. If you or someone you know needs counseling as a result of this incident, there are resources listed below that can help.

  • Counseling Center: Counselors are trained mental health professionals who assist students with a wide variety of personal life challenges and concerns that may be affecting academic performance.
  • Employee Assistance Program: Faculty and staff can contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 877-313-4455.
  • Report a Concern: Report any concern in the Bellevue College community online, including worrying behaviors. 

I appreciate your kindness and dedication to making our campus and communities inclusive, welcoming, and respectful for all.

Gary Locke

Interim President