Update on the Orlando terror attack

This email was originally sent to all students on June 21, 2016, from the Vice President for Student Affairs, Larry Lunsford.

Violent events such as the one in Orlando shake our sense of security, trust and faith in humanity. But it is in these times that we must come together as a community and support each other. Our memorial and blood drive the Monday after the shooting proved that we are stronger together! Hundreds gathered to support each other’s grief and more than 90 units of blood were collected. We thank all those who participated.

It is normal to experience a wide range of emotions following these events, including fear, anger and distrust of others. There are several resources at FIU that can help individuals work through these emotions and return to a sense of normalcy.


President Mark B. Rosenberg addresses the university community following the Orlando massacre on June 12.

Students: All students have free access to 24/7 grief counseling at Counseling and Psychological Services. Same-day and walk-in appointments are available at both MMC (Student Health Center Suite 270) and BBC (Wolfe University Center Suite 320). The 24-hour hotline is 305-348-3000.

Faculty/Staff: Employees may contact the Office of Employee Assistance for consultations and counseling in the workplace. Please call (305) 348 – 2469 to make an appointment at MMC or BBC.

Since the Orlando terror attack took place, we are deeply saddened to learn that at least three members of the FIU community have been directly impacted by these tragic events.

Jerald “Jerry” Arthur Wright ’12 was one of the victims killed in the attack. Wright earned a bachelor’s degree from the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and later became a team member at Walt Disney World. A former classmate shared memories of Jerry, saying “he was always ready to help others, friendly, easy going and grounded.”

Luis Burbano ’14 was in the nightclub when the event occurred, but luckily escaped unharmed.

Laura Vargas, a currently enrolled student, remains in the hospital after being shot twice in the back. She is recuperating from several surgeries and friends have rallied to support her recovery.

Our thoughts are with each of these victims and their families as they deal with the aftermath caused by the horrific event. Please reach out if you or someone you know is in need of help.

FIU stands with Orlando.