Update From President Bollinger

December 04, 2021

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:
I write with more unbearable news. As you may know, the horrific attack on Thursday night that claimed the life of Davide Giri, a doctoral student in our School of Engineering and Applied Science, was followed immediately by an assault on a second victim, Roberto Malaspina. We have learned that Roberto had just arrived in New York City from his home in Italy, to begin several months of independent research as a Visiting Scholar at the School of the Arts. And, so, Roberto, who was just about to join us, is also a member of the Columbia community, and we embrace and will care for him fully.

Roberto is a PhD student pursuing a doctoral degree in Philosophy and Human Sciences at Università degli Studi di Milano. Now various Columbia faculty and staff are in touch with Roberto and ready to provide whatever adjustments and support are required to ensure that he may commence his work as soon as he recovers from his injuries. 

We are all concerned about the safety of our campus and surrounding neighborhoods. Columbia is working directly with the New York Police Department and City officials to think through the needs of everyone. There will be more to report on these discussions shortly. 

Right now, we are aiming for Roberto’s full recovery and his being able to pursue his planned work as a cherished member of our community. 

Columbia’s resources remain available on-call over the weekend. We encourage students to seek out support at Counseling and Psychological Services on the Morningside campus, Student Health on Haven at the Medical Center campus, or Religious Life for spiritual advising. Staff may turn to the Employee Assistance Program.


Lee C. Bollinger