Dear Denison Community,
The events of the last few days have been horrifying. We hope that every member of our community can recognize, understand, and feel the pain of Israeli citizens who have endured a devastating attack that included the mass murder of innocent civilians, including young children.
We would also hope that every member of our community can mourn the innocent Palestinians who are being swept up in the response elicited by the attack and are experiencing incredible hardships, including mourning the loss of lives in their communities.
We know many students, faculty, and staff are struggling to process and understand the brutality of the Hamas attack. We also know the attacks are felt more personally by some than others.
We acknowledge and respect that members of our community hold a wide range of views about the history and politics of the Middle East. We are writing to you today to ask that every member of our community realize the challenges of this moment and show respect and empathy for each other. We are a campus that embraces free speech. Universities need to be places where hard questions can be asked, and ideas can be expressed. But rights also come with obligations. That is particularly true in the aftermath of tragic events and in the midst of violent conflicts.
We are asking that members of our community speak in ways that others can hear and recognize the pain that others are experiencing. Realize that you are speaking in a challenging and frightening moment where people are feeling marginalized and attacked. Recognize the wide range of lived experiences and views on our campus and work together to create an environment where all community members feel heard and respected and where we can learn from each other.
Denison is shaped by the people who come here, the relationships we form with one another, and how those relationships enrich our lives. We encourage Denisonians to support one another and to learn from each other, especially from those with cultural, religious, and familial ties to the areas impacted by the ongoing violence.
Our community can recognize, understand, and feel the pain of the Hamas attacks and the lives of Jews, Palestinians, and others being lost, while also respecting that we have different views.
Our immediate concern has been and will continue to be to support our students, especially those most directly impacted, through this challenging time. Faculty and staff members in Student Life have been in touch with students to provide resources and spaces for discussion and discourse. That work will continue.
Resources are available to all community members affected by these events. The Spiritual Life Center, Center for Belonging & Inclusion, and Center for Global Programs are all here to support our community. Faculty and staff can access the Employee Assistance Program online or by calling (800) 272-7255. We also want to remind you of campus resources for support and reporting purposes. You can report an incident through the Campus Climate and Impact Response Incident Form or by contacting Campus Safety at (740) 587-0810.
Over the coming weeks and months, we will work with our faculty to organize panels and other events for members of our community to gain a deeper understanding of the issues and events that we are living through.
Adam Weinberg, President
Kim Coplin, Provost
Alex Miller, Vice President of Student Life