The Gustavian Weekly

A Letter to Our Community (10/4/19) | The Gustavian Weekly

By The Weekly Staff | October 4, 2019 | News

As college students we are all familiar with the struggles of mental health, stress, and hardships of life. This September the Gustavus community lost two students, First-year Alexander Sarlis and Sophomore Joshua Birchem, within a week of each other. In response to these events, the Gustavus Office of the Chaplains and the Dean of Students Office held a community gathering in The Dive on September 30 at 4 p.m. in order to allow the campus to begin to process and grieve.

As you may have seen in your Gustavus inbox, Vice President for Student Life JoNes VanHecke provided multiple resources that students should consider taking advantage of. The Counseling Center held additional appointment times reserved for students grieving. VanHecke also recommended that students in need of assistance attend “Let’s Talk,” an additional counseling resource which is available throughout the academic year on weekdays from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Library’s A/V Preview Room. College Chaplains Siri Erickson and Maggie Falenschek are also available by appointment.

“The death of a peer/young person is particularly difficult and I urge you to remember that none of you are alone and that many are here to listen, help and care,” VanHecke said.

After the two tragic losses of fellow Gusties, we must make sure we are paying attention to not only the people we hold close to us but every member of our community. We must all share the responsibility of treating one another with respect, kindness, and the selfless Gustie attitude.

Take care of yourselves and one other, Gusties.

24-hour Campus Safety:


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:


National Drug Helpline:


National Domestic Violence Hotline:


National Sexual Assault Hotline


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