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Message from Chancellor Cantor regarding events in the Middle East

January 01, 2009

Chancellor Nancy Cantor

Chancellor Nancy Cantor

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

I write to express my and the University's concern for members of the SU community who are affected by the newly inflamed conflict in the Middle East that has claimed the lives of hundreds in recent days. The fact that this latest re-eruption of violence occurs in the context of a centuries-long conflict that has brought misery to countless lives on both sides is little consolation to any of us. Our hearts go out to all who are suffering.

Whether or not we are affected directly by such wrenching violence, we may experience a range of emotions at a time like this. Fear, sadness, anger, confusion and helplessness are all natural feelings and thoughts. As members of a shared community, I encourage you to be the community we envision and reach out to each other. In this way, we stake a claim for the human touch that is so essential to addressing differences that sometimes seem insurmountable. Let us come together at such times to comfort and support each other.

I have been in touch with Patricia Burak, director of the Slutzker Center for International Services, and the staff of the Slutzker Center stands ready to assist anyone who might need help through the U.S. Department of State or international aid agencies in trying to reach missing relatives, or simply would like to talk to someone. Although many University offices are closed through the coming weekend, you may reach the staff of the Slutzker Center by emailing Director Patricia Burak at paburak@syr.edu , and the Counseling Center can be reached at 315-443-4715. If you need to speak with a chaplain, the Department of Public Safety can connect you to Hendricks Chapel staff if you call 315-443-2224.

As individuals, we may feel powerless to have any impact on the seemingly intractable forces of opposition underlying conflicts such as that in the Middle East. Let us, however, as a University community follow the path that a university should, resolutely pursuing peace and justice through intercultural dialogue and understanding.

Cordially,

Nancy Cantor

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