ROHNERT PARK — Sonoma State University President Judy Sakaki, who lost her Santa Rosa home in the recent North Bay wildfires, issued the following statement to students, staff, faculty and friends on Oct. 17.
Since the early morning hours of Oct. 9, our community has been tested by the unprecedented challenges of the fires that have struck our communities.
Many of us experienced the devastation of the fires first-hand, including more than 30 Sonoma State students, faculty, and staff who lost their homes. Many of us worked hard to ensure the safety of our campus community members and our campus while also working hard to create a safe space for the feelings of fear, worry, and grief that tragedies like this can create.
All of us need the support and the empathy that always have made Noma Nation a strong and a caring community — one that will grow even stronger as we help our family members, our friends, our neighbors, and one another to rebuild in the months and years to come.
Our efforts are all under the banner of #NomaCares. You can learn more about how to help and how to get assistance from the NomaCares One-Stop Support Center by visiting the NomaCares website. Here you will find FAQs, including information on transitioning back to class and work.
Tomorrow, classes will resume. When you and your fellow students, faculty, and staff members have returned to campus, I hope you will join me as we begin a new chapter of gratitude and resilience at Sonoma State.
From 8-10 a.m., there will be coffee and doughnuts in the Student Center. This is an optional gathering so that we can check in with one another and spend some time together as our campus returns to regular business. During that time, and until about 1 p.m., you can also sign a thank you banner for the firefighters and first responders who worked so hard to protect our communities over the last week.
At 5 p.m., I invite you to join me, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White, Associated Students President Wilson Hall, and Academic Senate Chair Carmen Works for a short gathering focused on gratitude and our community. At this event, I’d like to ask everyone to gather around the thank you banner we created in the morning for a group photograph that we can share with the 10,000 firefighters and first responders from all over the nation and Australia who raced to our aid.
I thank each one of you for the grace, the fortitude, and the care you have shown one another and me during this difficult time. I have never been more proud to be a part of the Sonoma State community.