In the past nearly two weeks, I have talked personally with many of you about how deeply you have been impacted by the devastating terrorist attacks in Israel and the ensuing crisis in the Middle East. Sadly, I also have heard about and seen some of the hateful language that has arisen within our community in response to this situation, particularly in social media. I have spoken with Chancellor Martin, who felt it was important for me to reach out to you to offer our support and make sure you know about resources that are available to you.
We are here to support all of you. However, I need to be very clear. There is no place at WashU for antisemitism. There is no place at WashU for Islamophobia. There is no place at WashU for hate.
There are no words that will alleviate the stress and fear that some of you are feeling. In times like these, our actions are what matter. It’s important that we, first, take care of ourselves and one another, and second, look for opportunities to engage in thoughtful and constructive dialogue. With both of these goals in mind, I’d like to tell you about some resources and gatherings that may be helpful to you.
- Counseling is available through the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (formerly part of Habif Health and Wellness Center). Appointments are available by calling 314-935-6695.
- Students also have 24/7 access to physicians and counselors through TimelyCare. Learn more and download the app.
- Any student who experiences or witnesses incidents of bias, prejudice or discrimination may file a report through the Bias Report and Support System (BRSS). The BRSS team follows up on every reported incident if the reporting student provides their contact information and indicates that they wish to be contacted.
- Students also may report potential conduct violations to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (OSCCS) by submitting an online Student Conduct Incident Report.
- We will be holding intragroup and intergroup dialogues over the next few weeks. The schedule, signups, and more information will be shared on WUGO by next week.
Some of you have expressed that the situation has made you fearful about being on campus. I want to assure you that WUPD is keeping a close eye on campus and the surrounding areas, and that we are working together to maintain a safe environment for our entire WashU community. If you see anything that seems suspicious or threatening, please contact WUPD right away at 314-935-5555.
I want to encourage you to be mindful of the impact of viewing disturbing posts or images on social media or elsewhere, and to use good judgment in what you share with or how you respond to others. As part of your self-care and your care for others, please remember to step away and take breaks from the constant stream of content.
These are extremely difficult times for many at WashU, no question. I’m hopeful that as a community, we can come together in support of one another and navigate disagreements as they arise. Please take care of yourselves – always, but particularly at this moment, lean into your networks and campus resources designed to support you.