Dear Campus Community,
I write today to express my profound sadness following this weekend’s massacre at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and my strong desire to bring our campus community together so that we can not only demonstrate solidarity with our Jewish faculty, staff, students, and friends, but also decisively reiterate our commitment to creating an environment on our campus that respects and honors difference.
The killing in Pittsburgh is considered to be the deadliest attack on the Jewish community our nation has ever experienced. It happened on the heels of the murder of two people of color at a Kentucky grocery store after the gunman tried to enter a predominantly black church, and following the news of pipe bombs mailed to targeted politicians and a news media outlet. These horrifying incidents are located firmly in a national climate that is increasingly violent and volatile, which undermines and attacks populations and people based on their identities. To say that this is unjust and unfair is not enough. We must actively resist this hateful momentum, and find common ground as we deliberately weave into our everyday interactions a sense of compassion, reason, and willingness to work across difference with real courage, respect, and empathy.
I invite you to join me tomorrow, October 31, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Muller Chapel. We will honor the lives lost and gather in fellowship as we offer and seek comfort, support, and strength from one another. For those of you who had been planning to attend my informal reception for faculty and staff tomorrow afternoon, that event has been canceled, and I hope that you are able to join us at the chapel.
During painful and challenging times like these, please know that you can seek support and resources from the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, Hillel at Ithaca College, and our Center for Counseling and Psychological Services.
The Ithaca College community is diverse, active, authentic, powerful, and compassionate. I look forward to seeing you at Muller Chapel tomorrow to demonstrate our deep commitment to one another and to the best of our humanity.
Shirley M. Collado
Dear Campus Community,
Sent via email October 30, 2018.