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May 18, 2016

Administration responds to Tyler Molander letter

To the editor:

Beginning Sunday, Jan. 29, a University of Massachusetts student distributed a letter to several thousand members of the campus community. In the letter, the student expressed very real sentiments about loneliness, isolation and his angst about the compartmentalized nature of social circles on most college campuses. There were no explicit threats and after several days of investigating the matter, we now know there were no threats implied. It is clear, however, that the letter was disruptive and unsettling. Well-intentioned students called and emailed several offices on campus en masse, concerned about the welfare of the writer and the safety of the campus.

In response, the University took compassionate, quick-moving and thought-out steps to assess the situation with two goals in mind: (1) support a member of the community obviously in distress and (2) identify and then mitigate any potential threat to the UMass community. We believe that we achieved those goals. That work is nuanced and despite our best efforts we realized we would not be able to assuage every concern while maintaining confidentiality standards. The shared commitment we’ve made to creating a holistically safe living and learning environment was our guiding standard.

I know the letter triggered concerns and a flood of emotions across campus. The general themes that the student identified in his letter – loneliness and isolation – are very real issues. If the letter raised those concerns for you or a friend, please reach out to the various offices dedicated to supporting students, including, Counseling and Assessment Services, Dean of Students Office, Residential Life, Religious and Spiritual Life, Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success, Center for Student Development.

Thank you for proactively and sensitively reaching out to University officials to express your thoughts in this matter. Ultimately, the health, welfare and security of our campus is a shared responsibility and in the past few days UMass has demonstrated a sincere commitment to those common goals.

Enku Gelaye
Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and
Campus Life
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Comments
8 Responses to “Administration responds to Tyler Molander letter”
  1. A bit of a clarification around Counseling on-campus. In September 2010 Counseling and Assessment Services and Mental Health Services merged to form a new unit: The Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH). Our offices are located in Hills North and Berkshire House. We provide brief and intermittent psychotherapies, crisis intervention and community consultation. To reach us call our main # at 545-2337.
    Thanks,
    Harry Rockland-Miller, Ph.D.
    Director, Center for Counseling and Psychological Health

  2. It’s hard to “support a member of the community obviously in distress” when you force him to withdraw from the university.

  3. Ed Cutting says:

    If anyone ever wants to know how the Holocaust happened, one need only look at Student Affairs, CCPH and the UMPD. There is so much that I can’t say for legal reasons here it probably is best to just say that we need to remember that the Jews were the *second* group of people whom Hitler killed, he killed off another group first.

    The same group that Enku Gelaye’s lynch mob discusses every Wednesday afternoon and decides which ones they will kick out of school this week. At least Nathan Bedford Forrest could say that he didn’t know any better, what is your excuse Enku, Harry, Ben, Catherine?

    ACT delinda est….

  4. Brian says:

    Ok, so, this letter says that… umm… wait, what exactly DOES it say, anyway? I know nothing more about the Molander case after reading this than I did before. Seems like the administration just wrote an empty statement to pretend they actually give a damn.

  5. Eli Gottlieb says:

    Ed, this is my fifth year reading the Collegian, and you’ve always taken the cake for nutty bullshit. Hitler persecuted lonely nerdy kids?

  6. Jon says:

    Eli, don’t bother asking. Ed cannot confirm or deny your rebuttal, due to legal reasons.

  7. Jarred Rose says:

    “If anyone ever wants to know how the Holocaust happened, one need only look at Student Affairs, CCPH and the UMPD.”

    Are you kidding me Ed? To compare the death of 6 million people with even the possible wrongful withdrawal of a college student is nothing less than disgusting. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  8. Lise Sheehan says:

    I can’t understand what the fuss is all about. Even if someone percieved a threat, they could have staked out the meeting place. I see someone who had the nerve to put themself out there and got squashed. I often think about how to start a movement like the one he tried to start. The haters are everywhere.

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