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Violence in the Middle East

swarthmore in the fall

Dear Friends,

Words cannot capture the grief many of us are feeling in the wake of this weekend’s horrific attacks by Hamas against the people of Israel and the resulting violence that is inflicting pain and suffering on innocent Israelis and Palestinians. I hope you will join me in holding in the light all of the victims, their families and loved ones, and the millions of people affected by these unspeakable acts. 

As a liberal arts institution, we embrace the free exchange of diverse ideas and perspectives. That means sometimes engaging with views we may find offensive, if not abhorrent. But let me be clear: Hateful rhetoric and calls for violence have no place at Swarthmore. Moreover, no individual office, department, or student group speaks for, or on behalf of, the College. For those of you who engage on these issues, I implore you to honor our shared commitment to peace, equity, and inclusion. 

I know many of you are reeling from the events of the past few days. Please know that we have resources and services available to support you. Students may turn to their student deans and Residential Communities staff, as well as the Interfaith CenterCounseling and Psychological Services also provides a range of mental health and emotional support services. Faculty and staff members may explore the resources offered by our employee assistance program, Carebridge. In addition, each of the College’s medical insurance plans includes mental health benefits through Magellan. Both Carebridge’s and Magellan’s services are secure and confidential.

As we move toward an uncertain future, I urge you to treat each other and those affected by this violence with grace, compassion, and empathy.


Val Smith
Swarthmore College President  

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