Update: UBC responds to Rumana Monzur attack

Following on my message of June 15, 2011, I am writing with further news about our student Ms Rumana Monzur.

The most recent news about Ms Monzur’s health is distressing. Ms Monzur’s eye injuries have been assessed at two top flight facilities in India.  Doctors at  Sankara Nethralaya in Chennai and at the Aravind Eye Hospital in Pondicherry have regretfully agreed that no further treatment is possible for Ms Monzur.  I understand that Ms Monzur is now recovering with the care and support of her family in Dhaka.

Here at UBC, students, faculty, staff and colleagues are continuing to support Ms Monzur in several ways.

On the financial front, a fund has been established to gather donations to assist Rumana with the immediate costs of this terrible attack.  Sandra Shepard at Saint John’s College, Lisa Sundstrom in the Department of Political Science and Megan Hill in the Vice President, Students Office are collecting donations by cash or cheque until June 30th.    Further fund-raising options are being developed, but the objective of this week’s activity is to provide some support in the very short term.  Rumana’s student colleagues have been instrumental in moving this initiative forward.

UBC is also working to prepare options for Ms Monzur to complete her Masters degree in Political Science.  While this cannot, of course, be Rumana’s immediate priority, we want her to know that everyone at UBC is thinking of her and of her future.

Many of us at UBC have been deeply affected by the news of Ms Monzur’s tragedy.  The Counselling Services office is available for students seeking assistance and specific sessions have been arranged to support Rumana’s colleagues at Saint John’s College.  Please be in touch with Counselling Services if you require additional support.

Finally, I have learned that Ms Monzur’s student colleagues have been very active in their support of her, including organizing a public event in her name this upcoming weekend.  The principal student groups involved are the UBC Bangladesh Students Association and the Saint John’s College student community.

Stephen J. Toope

Link to the message from President Toope on June 15.