Dear Criminology Majors,
It is with heavy hearts that we, as your faculty, reach out to you today. The killing of George Floyd (and others before him) and the culmination in riots across the country is an especially important topic for those of us who are interested in and study crime and criminal justice. As criminology and criminal justice scholars, we have discussed and learned about the systematic oppression of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Many of us, whether faculty or students, have entered this field because we want to make a difference and improve the world and increase just outcomes for all citizens, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, or other social characteristic.
You, our students, come from varied backgrounds. Some of you work in or want to work in law enforcement or have family members who do, some have experienced mistreatment from law enforcement, some have experienced both sides, some have experienced victimization or witnessed others victimized. Others may have learned primarily from classes or books.
Whatever your background, you may be experiencing stress, fear, anger, frustration, sorrow, helplessness, or other difficult emotions in these hard and uncertain times. We understand. We, too, are feeling many of these emotions as we watch events unfold. We assure you that we will continue in our roles as researchers and teachers to tackle these issues to the best of our abilities. We also pledge to find help when we see you need us to do so. We are listening, and we care. You can reach out to us.
If you need help, we encourage you to take advantage of UF’s counseling and wellness center. They are there to help navigate the types of emotions you may be feeling. Their number is 352-392-1575, and their website is counseling.ufl.edu.
We also encourage you to watch out for your fellow students, especially your fellow students of color. If you see someone struggling, remember, you can always contact UMatter, We Care to try and connect them with resources here at UF. They are a fantastic resource and have helped many of our students with stressful circumstances. To help someone or seek help, all you need to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To all of our students – we hope you will join us in our quest to make a difference, improve the world, and increase just outcomes for all citizens. To our students of color – we are listening. To students who desire to be allies and to learn more about privilege and oppression – consider taking this training offered by UF’s Counseling Center: counseling.ufl.edu/resources/bam.
Please feel free to reach out to any of these resources or to any of us if we can help you navigate these difficult times.