October 10, 2023

Amidst Profound Tragedy: Our Shared Commitment to Humanity and Understanding

As chancellor I believe it is vital for me to refrain from speaking about larger political or international events about which there may be differences of opinion among campus stakeholders (see my "statement on statements"). In general, I should not associate the campus with particular political positions on matters not directly related to the mission of the university.

The horrific massacre of innocent individuals in Israel by Hamas is not another international event or policy debate. It is the largest one-day slaughter of Jews anywhere in the world since the end of the Nazi holocaust.

There is no notion of “freedom fighting” or anti-Zionism that justifies or can rationalize the targeted murder and kidnapping of more than a thousand civilians. And with every passing hour the true scope of the horrors is revealed to be even worse than one could have feared. The situation is amplifying anxiety, pain and stress within our community and around the world.

In the days and weeks to come there will be many debates and arguments about many issues that arise in the wake of this tragedy. It is not my place to take positions on all those issues. I speak only now to give voice to our common humanity as we stand in unity against the cold, calculated massacre of the innocent.

Let us commit to supporting every member of our Anteater community who is most directly impacted by this history-changing catastrophe. Let us reach out to each other to deepen our understanding of our many and varied life experiences and unique perspectives as we work through our differences in an environment of mutual respect and peaceful engagement. And let us strive to create a world where the light of knowledge conquers the darkness wrought by hate and violence.

Fiat Lux.

Chancellor Howard Gillman

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