The horrific attack on Israel this weekend and the escalating war with Hamas in Gaza are tragic reminders that hate, violence, and conflict, and the toll they take on civilians and particularly women and children, remain far too pervasive in society today. The devastating ripple effects have already reached our university community.
Many of us at UConn have close family, friends, colleagues and former classmates and students in the region. We have experienced a frightening last three days observing deep human suffering on television and social media. Our thoughts are with all those impacted in the wake of this outburst of extreme violence and human tragedy.
In these hard times, it is of utmost importance to unequivocally condemn terrorism in all its forms. Equally, UConn must stand as a beacon of unity, celebrating multiculturalism and diversity of thought, upholding human rights, safeguarding innocent civilian lives in all contexts, and advocating tirelessly for global peace. As a public university, our resolute commitment is centered on nurturing an environment where the free and open exchange of ideas and beliefs flourishes within a secure and supportive framework. It is by embracing this core principle that we can collaboratively work towards finding common ground and furnishing leaders and policymakers with solutions to even the most complex global conflicts and challenges.
We have faculty in a number of academic departments and in the human rights community with deep knowledge of the region and the conflict, and I encourage you to pursue learning in this area from those individuals. At the moment, many are hurting and worried. I encourage you to support each other.
While reactions to unfolding events are raw and often visceral, UConn nonetheless has zero tolerance for discrimination and hate against any individual or group on campus. This is a time for empathy, compassion, and unity to support our colleagues, friends, and countless innocent people who once again have had the atrocities of war thrust upon them. We collectively share in the calls for peace in the Middle East during this tragic and tenuous time, and will continue to build our Abrahamic programs.
Students who are affected by this evolving crisis are encouraged to seek help through the dean of students office, their respective academic deans, or through Student Health and Wellness. Counseling services are available around the clock to help our community cope with this growing humanitarian calamity.