Recent Mass Shooting in Orinda and College of Marin Students

November 22nd, 2019 - 2:58pm

Dear College Community,

Last night, College of Marin was honored to have Kevin Cokley, Ph.D. on campus as a guest lecturer on the topic of racism and its impact on mental health. His visit was timely, as I received news on Wednesday which, once again, made my heart heavy. I am sharing this with the hope that together we can further our commitment to equity by continuing to learn how we can become more equity-minded and live it through our actions.

Before introducing Dr. Cokley, Social Sciences Instructor Walter Turner asked for a moment of silence for those affected by the mass shooting in Orinda on October 31, where five young people were killed. We now know that a number of our students were in attendance. While no College of Marin students lost their lives, several were directly impacted by this heinous act. At least two of the victims were related to our students, and one victim was from Marin City. As a result, this trauma has extended into our local community.

The research presented by Dr. Cokley, and the discussion that followed, is critical and urgently needed as much of the media coverage focused on the city of Orinda, Airbnb rental policies, and whether or not the event was sparked by gang activity. The number of violent and traumatic events that we’ve seen in recent news coverage takes a toll on us as a society. Dr. Cokley’s presentation covered some of these tragedies and he commented that, “It takes a little bit of our soul every time we see something like this.”

Marin Community College District and the College of Marin Police Department remain committed to serving all people regardless of their race, ethnicity, heritage, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, medical condition, or immigration status. 

Dr. Cokley outlined four actions campuses can take to stand united against racism: 1) create a hate/racial bias policy, 2) promote student activism, 3) support mental health, and 4) provide informal support networks.

While our work on these actions is far from complete, several of our board policies and administrative procedures relate to maintaining a campus environment that does not tolerate hate. The College administration encourages student activism, and campus police partner with students to provide safe spaces for peaceful protests to take place. Not only are on-campus psychological services available, great efforts by our students and staff continue to raise awareness of and destigmatize mental health resources. We are fortunate to have numerous campus organizations and learning communities that also serve as support networks.

The Umoja Community collaborated with professionals on- and off-campus to assist our students who were impacted by the October 31 tragedy, and is always a place that students can look to for support.



Understanding the many emotions that can surface after a traumatic incident, students are encouraged to contact COM Psychological Services at (415) 485-9649. After hours, nights, and weekends use the Disaster Distress Helpline, (800) 985-5990 (phone) or text TalkWithUs (Spanish: Hablanos) to 66746. Additional information and tips for college students after a disaster or other trauma are available online.

Psychiatric Emergency Services can be reached by calling (415) 473-6666 or 9-1-1.


Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – Services Available 24/7

PHONE: (800) 999-7222
LOG ON: Program name: SISC


Anyone experiencing emotional crisis can text COURAGE to 741-741 to communicate with a compassionate, trained crisis counselor. The Crisis Text Line is free, available 24/7, and confidential.


Additional On-Campus Resources

Counseling Department: (415) 485-9432

Psychological Services: (415) 485-9649

Student Health Services: (415) 485-9458

Student Activities and Advocacy (CARE Team Consultation): (415) 485-9375

Extended Opportunities Programs and Services (EOPS): (415) 485-9605

Student Accessibility Services (SAS): (415) 485-9406


Additional Community Resources

Marin County 24 Hour Crisis Hotline: (888) 818-1115

Marin Youth Services: (415) 526-2557

Crisis Response: (415) 473-6392


Referral Resources 

Marin County Mental Health Intake Line: (888) 818-1115


Marin Community Clinics: (415) 448-1500


Marin Health and Human Services Community Resource Guide