Over the past several days, like all of you, I have watched the scenes of violence in Israel and Gaza in horrified shock and sadness.
Terrorism, the assault, kidnapping, and murder of civilians, including young children, women, and the elderly, is never justified, and these acts by Hamas against Israeli citizens are being rightly condemned for their immediate devastation, and for the impact they are going to have as the conflict turns to communities under siege, and all-out war in the region.
As a college devoted to teaching and learning, our primary responsibility is to the safety and wellbeing of our students—all of our students.
Listed below are some campus and community resources for our students, and others, affected by these terrible events.
After the safety and wellbeing of our students, our next responsibility is to creating a learning environment where the search for truth is encouraged, supported, and uninhibited.
The college’s official seal contains a lamp with the Latin motto, “Tamen plus lux,” or “Still more light,” as a reminder of the necessity of that responsibility to lift up the light of knowledge.
In the stories I have shared through my “Running the Campus” blog, I have sought a deeper, understanding of history in order to better navigate the challenges of today; I have urged critical thinking and information literacyto avoid spreading misinformation and make the best decisions that can be made; and I have longed for opportunities to tap into “the power of us,” to bridge divides and find common purpose in our shared humanity.
In the incredibly difficult weeks and months of this crisis that still lie ahead for the people of Israel, Gaza, and the watching world, it is my fervent hope that, on this college’s campuses and beyond, we will find ways to lift up that light, navigate these terrible challenges, make the best decisions, remember our shared humanity, extend compassion, preserve life, and find a better peace ahead.
Resources for Students, Employees, and Members of the College Community:
If you or someone you know is in need of immediate assistance in Israel, Gaza, or the conflict region, you can seek assistance from the U.S. Department of State through this crisis intake form.
The U.S. Department of State offers the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
The Northern Essex Community College Counseling Center can assist during crisis situations and is a resource for referrals to both on-campus and community support services. Gabriel Garcia, multicultural specialist/mental health clinician, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-738-7381. Students/staff can also reach out to email@example.com.