It is with a heavy heart that I write this email. Words are difficult given the tragedy that has impacted the Oakland community which is our Merritt community. I ask that we all please remain sensitive to and understanding of the emotions of many students, faculty, staff and administrators who may have family, friends and acquaintances who were injured or died in the Oakland warehouse fire, especially as we continue to await the names and identities of victims.
Although this tragedy occurred in the Fruitvale area of Oakland, fortunately, Merritt@Fruitvale, our Fruitvale office was not involved or damaged.
Please refer students and staff to our mental health counselors in the Student Health Center as appropriate.
We will keep the Merritt community updated as more information becomes available. In the meantime, we must keep positive thoughts for the friends and families of victims as well as the first responders, a few who may either work or were trained here at Merritt College. Let’s do what we can to take care of one another as best we can as we move through this horrific event.
Wherever you are at 11:30am this morning, please pause for a moment of silence as a small gesture of respect for those who lost their lives.
Dr. Marie-Elaine Burns