In the aftermath the deadly mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., in which a gunman opened fire in a crowded gay nightclub early Sunday, leaving 50 people dead and 53 others wounded, local colleges and universities expressed their condolences to the victims and their loved ones, and offered their resources to the city. And while there were no known credible threats to campus safety, institutions also beefed up their security forces and assured students that support services were available.
It was unknown on Sunday how many of the victims were college students or employees. The city had released the names of fewer than a dozen of the victims as of Sunday night. All were young adults between the ages of 20 and 37.
— UCF (@UCF) June 12, 2016
The president of the University of Central Florida, John C. Hitt, expressed condolences in a brief video posted on Twitter and in a message on the university’s website. Mr. Hitt noted that while the shooter’s exact motive was unknown, he had apparently targeted the LGBTQ community. “The UCF Creed calls on all of us to ‘promote an open and supportive campus environment by respecting the rights and contributions of every individual,’” Mr. Hitt said. “With our Creed in mind, I tell our LGBTQ students, faculty, staff, and alumni this: You are not alone. Your university stands with you.”
In a separate statement, safety and student officials at Central Florida gave students information about counseling and other support services on the campus and said that the university police would have “a more visible presence on campus over the next few days.”
Sanford C. Shugart, president of Valencia College, also expressed condolences “to the victims, families, and friends whose lives were forever altered by this senseless attack.” Grief and trauma counselors would be available at all Valencia campuses on Monday, he said.