Ohio University supports students, faculty, and staff affected by the explosive resurgence of the decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict and humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Published: May 21, 2021 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University supports all students, faculty, and staff affected by the explosive resurgence of the decades-long Israel-Palestine conflict and humanitarian crisis in Gaza in recent days. We are thankful that a ceasefire has been agreed to, and we hope for a future in which all Israelis and Palestinians can live in freedom, health, and peace. We also know that this recent ceasefire is precarious, and the effects of that violence on our community and the world remain ongoing.

We denounce the pain, suffering and murder of innocent people and condemn all forms of racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia in our local and global communities. At the same time, we reaffirm OHIO’s commitment to diversity, tolerance, respect, and inclusion, and offer support to those suffering during this time of heightened anxiety and fear. We support our Palestinian students, faculty, and staff. We support our Israeli students, faculty, and staff.  This is not a time to be divided, but a time to come together.

We encourage all members of our campus community to connect with organizations and offices that can offer support at this time, including the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, International Student and Faculty Services (ISFS), the University Interfaith Association, Hillel at Ohio University, Ohio University Chabad, the Muslim Students Association, United Campus Ministries, and other campus resources that may be helpful to your well-being.

In Athens County, the Racial Equity Coalition is a collaborative space to advance racial equity and racial justice within the Athens community. The Coalition is composed of leaders and community members who share the same vision of creating a more tolerant and fair Athens Community. Together, the members aim to amplify the message of tolerance and fairness through collaboration and the mutual support of each other’s efforts. Visit https://athensfoundation.org/racial-equity-coalition-of-athens to learn more about how you can join the coalition or to view the resources and training they offer to members of our community.

Freedom of expression is the foundation of an Ohio University education. Open debate and deliberation, the critique of beliefs and theories, and uncensored academic inquiry are all essential to our shared mission of discovery and dissemination of knowledge. Differing opinions challenge our openness and ideals, which ultimately can foster growth. At the same time, we want to ensure the safety of all involved in any events of expression at our institution. Safety of all involved is our utmost concern when opposing dialogues confront one another.

In this highly charged moment, we fully recognize that, depending on how events unfold in the coming days, you may feel moved to gather with others, whether in protest or just for mutual support. We offer these guidelines to help you keep yourself and others safe – and COVID safe.