Support for Derek Correa and Family

The Pioneer Family at Alfred State College has rallied in support of Derek Correa. On Oct. 15, he was brutally assaulted. A witness is to be thanked for immediately reporting the attack and University Police responded within seconds where officers rendered aid and quickly made arrests. 

The four suspects from Elmira are outsiders to our community and this senseless, random, and extreme violence that led to serious injury is uncharacteristic of our village. The Allegany County District Attorney filed charges and the four are held in jail awaiting trial.

Update: January 1, 2024

Dear Campus Community,

 

As we begin 2024, I have great news to share regarding Derek Correa’s progress. Derek started talking on December 27 including “Hi, how are you?” His talking has increased each day since. Derek remembers people’s names and is communicating what he needs for the first time. While Derek has work ahead to fully enunciate, balance, and walk, this holiday season has seen him make major strides. For New Year’s weekend, he passed a swallow test so he can begin eating solid food too!

 

Derek wrote Thank YouDerek’s family provides updates on their GoFundMe page, and I thank everyone for the long list of ways Pioneers are showing their support. This generosity of spirit has been an inspiration to Derek and his family as we cheer for his ongoing rehabilitation. In the last few weeks, Derek’s first written words were “thank you” as a display of appreciation for support.

 

Since mid-October, our collective attention has been focused on ways to help a fellow Pioneer recover after being assaulted. As we turn the calendar to 2024, it is heart-warming to see Derek make such progress at a time when his family was huddled close for the holidays and would benefit so much from all of the answered prayers. Pioneers have shown how much we care about one another.

 

For this leap year, 2024 brings us 366 days and we have a choice of what we do with them. So, let’s set new goals and dream new dreams. Together with the support of our Pioneer Family, we will make each other stronger and better in the year ahead.

 

Happy New Year to all Pioneers!

 

Dr. Steven Mauro, Ph.D.

Alfred State College President

 

Our Caring Community

The college remains in close contact with and is supportive of the Correa family in every way. President Mauro shared a video message to all Pioneers on Oct. 21 when the family released Derek's name and they began posting updates regarding his condition. 

Derek CorreaPhoto of the ASC scorebaord with Derek's picture up.Photo of student signing Derek's banner.Photo of Derek's banner signed with lots of signatures.

The campus community is proving our caring nature in many ways:

Alfred State will continue to support Derek and his family as all Pioneers stand strong, together, and united against violence.

How can I help Derek Correa?

You can help in many ways: 

  • Visit the family GoFundMe page to donate and for updates on his condition.
  • The family is selling #DerekStrong merchandise.
  • Dropoff a card or note for the family to the office of the President for hand delivery.
  • Consider volunteering to make or drop off a meal at the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester to support the family.

Is Alfred State a safe campus?

Yes. Alfred remains a tight-knit community where we watch out for one another. This brutality and senseless injury to a student by non-students with no official ties to the college is an isolated incident that shocked the village. The four men responsible were quickly apprehended, taken into custody, and jailed. 

University Police remain vigilant to maintain safety and actively patrol 24/7/365. They are a fully sworn agency that is among the minority of municipal, county, or state agencies that are fully accredited by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. Officers support students with safety advice, services, and a teamwork attitude as Pioneers all pull together. Police are also available to provide a safety escort for any student who feels they are in an unsafe environment.

ASC residence halls are locked 24/7. The campus also maintains emergency blue light phones throughout campus for immediate contact to police headquarters and has a security camera system campus-wide that is maintained in buildings and outdoors. An anonymous web-based tip line is also available at AlfredState.edu/silent-witness to encourage reporting of unsafe activity.

How is the college responding to this event?

  • Meeting with student leaders to openly discuss safety and any concerns.
  • Holding forums for students to discuss safety and suggest changes for maintaining our safe environment.
  • Adding additional University Police coverage to increase visibility and confidence in safety across the campus.
  • Reminding all Pioneers of the services provided by UP including AlfredState.edu/safety-tips.
  • Reassuring the campus community that violence in any form faces serious consequences through law enforcement and/or student disciplinary actions.
  • Communicating campus-wide safety advice reminders and accurate information. (PDF Summary of October communications.)

How are students reacting to this event?

The October attack certainly has made everyone more aware of watching for trouble, reporting it, and realizing that it can come from outsiders. University Police, orientation leaders, resident assistants, and others all help to instruct students regarding the dozens of safety measures and support services that are available. There's a list at AlfredState.edu/safety-tips

The attack on Derek was also an assault on the entire campus community. ASC is reminding students of the many forms of support available including mental health counseling for those stressed by this unexpected and brutal assault that is aberrant in our caring community.

Are there other incidents related to Derek's assault?

No. The serious injuries from this assault are heartbreaking for us to see Derek so harmed. It is also so sickening to each one of us because Alfred is a small town where this is abnormal and unexpected. The only connection with any other recent campus incidents is the timeframe.

The campus remains transparent in its efforts in creating awareness of offenses that occur on campus or nearby areas through its Annual Safety Report. Our commitment to safety includes timely warnings whenever there is any allegation of someone harmed and a suspect is not yet detained. This annual report highlights how rare events of assaults of any kind are on campus. 

We take every allegation seriously and we encourage victims to come forward. This assistance is part of our partnership on campus to help one another because violence in any form will not be tolerated.

What about false alarms and misinformation?

This fall we did have a student who falsely reported being assaulted with a knife. They were ticketed by Alfred Village Police for the false report and face interim suspension status at ASC pending student conduct proceedings. The timing of this incident in October led some campus community members to fear that this was another example of a physical attack, but it was a false alarm.

Anxiety can also be unduly raised by misinformation shared through social media. University Police investigated an incident where a student reportedly drove and acted aggressively, damaged another student's property, and caused minor injury to their hand. Unfortunately, the incident was sensationalized as a double stabbing on social media. That was incorrect. UPD takes aggression seriously and our officers investigate with great accuracy to hold all wrongdoers responsible.

We must each be accountable for our own actions. We ask all Pioneers to self-assess motivations and do not share misinformation to gain likes and shares. Know the source for the information before accepting it as truth and report any outlet that is spreading false information that is harmful to others. Do not encourage, promote or participate in activities that are insensitive or encourage misbehavior. We expect every Pioneer to abide by our Principles of Community and Student Code of Conduct.