On August 26, a former University of Maryland student David Katz opened fire at the Jacksonville video game tournament. Katz killed Elijah Clayton of California and Taylor Robertson of West Virginia and injured 10 others before taking his own life. This incident happened over a month ago, yet many UMD students still do not know that he was a Terp.
The university’s President Wallace Loh confirmed on his Twitter account the day after the shooting.
An email was also sent to the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources students from the Dean of the school, Dr. Joe Sullivan, stating that Katz was a previously enrolled UMD student beginning in September 2014. He was a senior majoring in environmental science and technology and did not live on campus.
It is important to recognize that there is a direct tie between this shooting and UMD. UMD students need to be aware of the resources provided to us by the university such as the Counseling Center in the Shoemaker building, the behavioral health services at the University Health Center, and the countless UMD leaders who are willing to help manage any conflict that people may be feeling. Academic advisors also can help or direct one to many other campus resources to assist with any troubles. It is important that everyone feels safe and know that they are not alone at UMD.
Any college student reading this should know that there are places where they can go to for help if they ever need it. Colleges usually have resident assistants (RAs) who are upperclassmen and live in the dorms as a peer counselor. They are familiar with the resources on campus and can help direct students to the appropriate places when needed. Colleges also have religious centers where one can seek guidance from a leader there. Furthermore, many colleges offer a set amount of free counseling sessions for students. There are many resources available for college students who may be feeling conflicted and people need to know about these resources.