This past week has been somber for all of us. As most know, on April 15, during the Boston Marathon, two bombs exploded near the finish line, resulting in over two hundred injuries and three casualties. This sparked an intensive investigation by the FBI, the death of an Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, and a shootout and manhunt in a nearby town. Additionally, a fertilizer plant exploded in West, Tex., on April 17, killing three, injuring more than a hundred, and destroying about 150 buildings. Soon thereafter, on Saturday, April 20, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Sichuan Province, China, affecting more than ten thousand. Our condolences go out to all those affected by these events and others that have taken place this past week. As a global community, RPI has a large number of members that are directly associated with these tragic events; RPI has recently experienced one of its own.
On the morning of Tuesday, April 23, the Capital Region Forensic Hazardous Material unit arrived at 11 Colvin Circle, part of the Residential Apartments Housing Projects. They discovered that Michael Connor Dickinson ’14 had committed suicide—a complete shock to those that knew him. Most students heard this news through a series of e-mails that were sent out to all RPI students and staff. Like the global events, this suicide affects a significant portion of the RPI student population, either directly or indirectly. Many resources are available to help those in need.
The governor of Massachusetts and mayor of Boston founded the One Fund Boston fund to help the people affected by the events that occurred in Boston. The Salvation Army is also accepting donations to support and provide care for survivors and those in need in and around West, Tex. Additionally, Give2Asia raised over one million dollars towards the cause in Sichuan Province and is looking for further contributions. To Write Love on Her Arms is an organization dedicated to giving hope to those struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury, and thoughts of suicide. The National Hopeline Network also serves to help those suffering from depression and thoughts of suicide. For more local resources, the Counceling Center numbers can be found at http://studenthealth.rpi.edu/counseling.php/, and the Department of Public Safety numbers can be found at http://rpi.edu/dept/public_safety/.
Members of the global community—from Asia, Europe, and Africa—all attend RPI. Many of us are directly affected by the news and though we feel disconnected, tragic events can occur even here. However, help is readily available; one just needs to know where to find it.