Jan. 12, 2024

Dear Students,

Next week, as we begin the spring semester, many of you will return to the UNLV campus for the first time since Dec. 6. I know that this semester will be unlike any we’ve experienced as a university, as we individually and collectively process last month’s tragedy and continue our recovery together.

I also understand that this process is different for everyone. We will heal as individuals and as a university, but it’s going to take time, and we won’t rush it. As you continue your Rebel journey with us this spring, be assured that UNLV remains fully committed to the safety and wellness of our students, faculty, and staff.

Our recent announcement of the Rebel Recovery Program underscores that commitment. It will be focused, inclusive, compassionate, and driven by the notion that the safety, security, and well-being of our students and employees are our priority:

  • I have established a Committee on Campus Security and Safety, which includes student representation, that will review existing security measures and develop and implement a comprehensive safety infrastructure plan. When you return to campus next week, you’ll also see an enhanced, visible security presence by both university police and a private security firm.
  • We’re offering a comprehensive range of student resources to promote your academic success, as well as your mental and emotional wellness. Mental health and wellness staff on campus and throughout the community will offer pop-up events, drop-in and group-based trauma therapy sessions, and more. 
  • We’re committed to giving students a voice in our campus recovery, and we’ll host a series of student-focused events, focus groups, and activities throughout the semester. Visit the UNLV Strong website to stay up to date.
  • Progress continues on building repairs throughout the campus, including Beam Hall. At the same time, we understand the intense emotional trauma that exists for some people who work or attend classes in that building. To that end, Beam Hall will be closed to the public for the spring semester, and all classes previously scheduled for Beam Hall this spring have been reassigned to other classrooms or to remote instruction.
  • We’ve made several changes to ensure greater flexibility for students, including extending the add/drop period through Jan. 29 and relaxing many common enrollment holds. If you still need to enroll for the spring semester, it's not too late. You can register today in MyUNLV. I encourage you to contact your academic advisor if you need help with course selection.
  • Over the past month, I have witnessed or heard of countless examples of heroic or selfless acts of kindness from members of the university and larger community on Dec. 6 and in the days that followed. The university is collecting these stories and we encourage you to share them with us.

As part of our campus recovery, next Tuesday (Jan. 16) at 1 p.m. on the Alumni Amphitheatre, area Tribal Nations have graciously offered to perform a traditional healing ceremony for our campus. All are welcome to attend.

As we look ahead to the spring semester and beyond, please know that we are committed to your success. We are resilient when we stand together. I am confident as we go forward that we will emerge as a stronger university community. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Warm Regards,

Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D.