updated 6/11/2007 11:03:51 AM ET 2007-06-11T15:03:51

Relatives of the Virginia Tech shooting victims are demanding representation on a gubernatorial panel studying the killings, saying in a letter Monday they feel "ostracized."

They are also questioning the status of a memorial fund that has generated millions of dollars.

"We are angry about being ostracized from a government-chartered panel investigating a government-sponsored university, and about how the university has used the names and images of our loved ones to raise millions of dollars without any consultation," the families said in a statement expected to be presented to the review board Monday.

The statement was written on behalf of 13 families, said Holly Sherman, the mother of slain student Leslie Sherman.

The eight-member panel appointed by the governor to look into the shootings was meeting for the third time on Monday.

As the meeting began, its chairman, W. Gerald Massengill said: "I know the governor received several hundred requests from Virginians all across Virginia, and outside Virginia, wanting to serve on this panel -- including some family members. And I would say to all of you, particularly the family members, you are extremely important to us."

Panel members were hoping the get some insight Monday into how the student gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, was able to skirt Virginia's mental health system.

Cho was ordered to receive outpatient mental health treatment in 2005 but never did.

On April 16, he killed two students in a Virginia Tech dormitory, then went across campus to Norris Hall, chained the doors shut and opened fire inside several the classrooms. He later committed suicide there. In all, Cho killed 27 students and five faculty members.

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