Support however you need it

After a recent St. Paul shooting, Hamline’s resources remind students of options for support.

Anika Besst, News Editor

*Content Warning: Brief mentions of gun violence and PTSD.* 


Hamline resources such as counseling and health, public safety and the Dean of Students office want to communicate and remind students of support opportunities if they need them. These resources were sent out through an email on Monday, October 11. 

This email was in reply to the shooting at St. Paul’s Seventh Street Truck Park in the early morning hours of October 10 that left one person dead and 14 injured. Hamline University sits a little over four miles from the incident.

Conversations from an administrative perspective happened quickly after the event. 

As we learned more about the incident and learned that there were students there, we reached out to students and offered direct support to individuals and groups,” Dean of Students Patti Kersten wrote in an email. “We also sent out the information to the community because we were hearing that students were there and wanted to ensure that we reached everyone who may need support as well as letting the community know that students were present and may ask for support, [especially to] faculty with assignments and midterms.” 

The incident exceeded Clery notification requirements (the Clery Act requires campus communities to be timely notified when crimes take place on or nearby campuses). However, with the factors that were in place, Hamline officials thought an alert would best support the community, according to Kersten. 

Hamline’s email also included mentioning the actions of students in the area at the time. 

We are also grateful to those students who supported evacuation efforts and lent assistance to others,” Hamline’s email wrote. 

One of the resources mentioned in the email was Hamline’s Counseling and Health Services. An appointment can be scheduled with the office that is free and confidential. Appointments are currently held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 This office can hold individual, group format and same-day appointments. They also will support any students coping with trauma. 

“While for most people who experience a traumatic event, you can expect if they are having some PTSD type symptoms, those to resolve on their own, but if symptoms persist for, I would say, a week or more, that can be an indication that it might be beneficial to get some professional assistance,” Director of Counseling Services Hussein Rajput said. “We have a pretty good understanding of trauma and how to treat trauma at this point, so help is available for those who might need it.”

Public Safety will continue as it has been operating with contributions related to wellbeing and physical safety. 

“I am always very conscious of acts of violence either locally or nationally, particularly in any learning environment,” Director of Public Safety Melinda Heikkinen wrote in an email. “No one expects it to happen to them, but we need to continually assess if we have appropriately equipped and trained Public Safety, provide information to the campus as to what to do, and make sure we have a structure in place to support the campus community.” 

Kersten highlighted other resources such as the Wesley Center located in Anderson 318, student affairs staff and reaching out to faculty and staff students trust. 

It’s important that all of us support each other in any traumatic experience and we work to provide the support to the students impacted and/or other community members who are impacted,” Kersten said.