History of the UF Division of Student Affairs - Page 30

30 various locations to Criser Hall and connected with the Dean of Students Office and the Counseling Center located in Peabody Hall. From 2010-2015 Peabody Hall housed the Dean of Students Office, a satellite office for the Counseling and Wellness Center, Off Campus Life, Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, and the Center for Leadership and Service. When the expansion and renovation of the Reitz Union was completed in Fall 2015, another shift of Student Affairs departments occurred. GatorWell Health Promotion Services moved from the Counseling and Wellness Center to the Reitz Union. The Center for Leadership and Service and the Multicultural and Diversity Affairs offices moved from Peabody Hall to the Reitz Union. The Institutes of Black Culture and of HispanicLatino Cultures (La Casita) continue to provide services at their neighboring University Avenue locations. President John Lombardi arrived at UF Spring 1990. In late August, five college students — Sonja Larson, UF student from Deerfield Beach, FL; Christina Powell, UF student from Jacksonville, FL; Christa Hoyt, Santa Fe College student from Archer, FL; Manny Taboada, UF student from Carol City, FL; and Tracy Paules, UF student from Miami, FL — were brutally murdered in off campus housing facilities within one to two miles of the UF campus over the period of about one week. These murders were dubbed the Gainesville Student Murders by the national media that descended in droves to campus and stayed for weeks. Students and parents panicked. Thousands of students fled Gainesville for the safety of home in fear that another Ted Bundy serial murder situation was developing. The entire Gainesville community responded to the tragedy by offering immediate aid and support services to students and parents and by establishing strong communications including rumor control. Classes were cancelled for several days with no academic penalty. In this pre-cell phone era, phone banks on trailers offering free long distance were placed on campus. Students were encouraged to call home as often as needed. Free counseling was offered community-wide, and free short-term alternative campus housing was offered through church communities in sanctuaries and in homes of church members and on campus. Housing staff prepared 300 spaces in residence hall lounges and “relaxed” guest/visitation policies for off campus students seeking safety in numbers with friends in campus housing. Memorial services were held for Sonja, Christina, Christa, Manny, and Tracy. Formal memorials were established on campus near Library East and in the center divide of SW 34th Street near campus. An informal H i st o ry o f t h e U F D S A