Humboldt State University

April 17, 2017

Supporting Each Other

Dear University Community:

Many of our students, faculty, and staff have been deeply affected by the loss of student David Josiah Lawson. As we mourn his death, we will need to remember to be caring and as flexible as possible in the weeks to come.

Josiah’s death is deeply upsetting for our community. Those who knew him are working through a wide range of emotions, and they need all the support we can give. At the same time, the loss of a young life under such terrible circumstances has impacted us all. We will need to draw strength from the compassion and patience of each other.

Members of Josiah’s family will be arriving in the area on Wednesday, and have asked for a campus vigil on Thursday. Student groups and a number of offices on campus are working together to plan the vigil, and more information including the location and time will be available soon.

Individuals from across campus who have responded to this situation with professionalism and care. Staff and faculty have worked tirelessly to provide the best possible support for our students, as well as assistance and guidance to family members. Many students have been providing support to their peers, even as they have been grieving.

The circumstances surrounding Josiah’s death are still being investigated by Arcata Police, with help from University Police.

Students in need of support or help related to classes may contact the Office of the Dean of Students in Siemens Hall room 211 or at 707-826-3504. For assistance any time, students can contact Counseling & Psychological Services at 707-826-3236. Staff and faculty seeking additional support may utilize the Employee Assistance Program at 707-443-7358.


Lisa A. Rossbacher

Alex Enyedi
Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs

Peg Blake
Vice President, Enrollment Management & Student Affairs

Humboldt State University