Dear Carolina Parents,
By now, you may know that late today Chapel Hill Police arrested one suspect and filed charges against another in the investigation of Eve Carson's death. We are grateful for the intense efforts of law enforcement agencies during this past week. Our interests are in seeing justice served and helping our community during this difficult time.
As our students prepare to return to campus next week, we want to let you know what we are doing to help ease their transition.
Counselors from Counseling and Wellness Services will remain available to talk with students about their feelings. Understandably, tragic events such as the murder of a beloved leader and classmate can make students feel anxious. We encourage students to call 919-966-3658 for assistance. Likewise, if you are concerned about your student and want to consult with a professional, please contact Counseling and Wellness Services.
I hope you will continue to talk with your student and provide opportunities for her or him to share any fears or sadness. That is an important part of the healing process.
When students return to campus, please encourage them to seek support from friends, faculty and others on campus with whom they are comfortable. Advisers in our residence halls and the Dean of Students Office, 919-966-4042, are available to provide help and support.
Next Tuesday, March 18, we will celebrate Eve's life at 4 p.m. in the Dean E. Smith Center. The Carolina family will come together to reflect on the many ways Eve touched our lives. Please encourage your student to join us - and to wear Carolina blue. You can find details about the memorial service and the memorial fund honoring Eve on the link from the Carolina home page, http://www.unc.edu.
Finally, I know that you are concerned about your student's welfare and safety. Please be assured that we understand and are doing all that we can to make their return to Carolina as smooth as possible. We are watching our students closely as they process their grief and confusion. We are also helping our faculty and staff understand how to recognize any signs of concern that students might show so they can help match students with the appropriate resources and support. Our nationally accredited Department of Public Safety has trained officers who patrol the campus on a regular basis around the clock. These officers work very closely with the Chapel Hill Police Department and other law enforcement agencies, and we will continue to strengthen those relationships even further.
Because it is important for everyone to think seriously about safety, we are proceeding with a safety awareness campaign called Alert Carolina - something we have been working on for several months. We have mailed to your student's campus or local residence a brochure that includes safety information, including details about a siren system designed to alert people outside about a life-threatening situation.
Please review this safety information with your student and encourage him or her to sign up for emergency text messages from the University. Those alerts and the sirens are the best ways we have to communicate quickly with the campus community in an emergency situation. I appreciate your support as we work to keep the Carolina campus safe.
We are thankful for all the expressions of support pouring in for the Carolina family and our local community in these past few days. Those kind thoughts and prayers for Eve Carson's family and our community have reinforced the values our University holds dear.