Humboldt State University continues to grieve over last week’s I-5 bus accident that took the lives of 10, including staff member, Arthur Arzola, and a group of young people filled with hope and promise. At least 30 others were injured.
This was a tragedy that we will never forget, and one that affected people throughout California. In the coming weeks, there will be memorial events and funerals across the state, and Humboldt State will send representatives to many of them.
On campus, a remembrance event is scheduled for 12:30 p.m., this Thursday, April 17, on the UC Quad. We will gather as a campus community and an HSU family to honor those who were affected, and to show our care for their friends and families.
Later in the day, there will be a candlelight vigil on the UC Quad. The gathering will begin around 5 p.m.
Please consider taking part in one or both of these events. We have all been deeply impacted by this terrible accident, and there is value and strength in coming together as a community to support one another. Thank you to the many students and staff who are participating in organizing these activities for us.
I want to thank everyone who has been involved in responding to this incident. The campus effort been tremendous and heartfelt.
In the hours and days following the tragedy, HSU staff and faculty worked around the clock to answer questions, provide counseling and outreach to the families affected. We welcomed students on the two buses that made it safely to campus, and provided them a great experience despite the difficult circumstances. Our Spring Preview went forward and was a success, with more than 500 students and their families getting a chance to learn more about our campus.
I am so proud, so privileged, and so deeply grateful to be a part of this institution. The dedication of everyone involved in responding to this incident, and of those who took on extra work to keep regular campus operations on track, was exemplary. It was a true testament to the warmth and resolve of our community. Your contributions and caring have been applauded widely in the CSU and beyond. Thank you!
One of the most moving experiences for me personally was having a chance to visit with some of the injured students at hospitals in the Chico area. A small group of us from HSU met with them, and many spoke of their continued focus on their future in college. I was much impressed by the courage and determination of many of the students I spoke with. They clearly cared about the future that Humboldt State University was offering them. Other HSU representatives have since visited the students again, also meeting with parents and other family members, and I ask that you join me in keeping them in your thoughts during this difficult time.
These are emotionally challenging times for all of us at Humboldt State. Those who participated directly in our emergency operations will be provided with first responder counseling sessions. Any student needing counseling or guidance related to the accident should contact the Counseling Center on campus at 826-3236. Faculty and staff may use the Employee Assistance Program at 443-7358.
Also, an information line has been established and will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at least through this Friday. It is for families and others from off campus seeking information, as well as for campus departments seeking guidance or direction. The number is (707) 826-6327.
With great appreciation and admiration for all you do,
Rollin C. Richmond,