Addressing the war in Israel and Gaza

October 13, 2023

Dear University of Oregon community members,

Many university presidents have already released statements about the horrors of the genocidal actions of Hamas last weekend and the response by Israel. I’ve been slow in finding the words to convey the depths of my sadness and concern in a way that captures the magnitude of the terror and the unfathomable loss of life. I condemn genocide. I condemn the killing of innocent civilians.

Amidst my powerlessness, I recenter myself on the role of the university in delivering education that helps build human understanding and alternatives to violence. I know that many colleagues, students, and alumni have deep connections to what is happening in the region. As we each process in our own way, we must continue to seek truth through teaching and educating, and not lose our capacity for care and empathy.

We are a community committed to being informed participants in the global community, and I ask for awareness of the impact that the war is having on our friends, students and colleagues and the broader Duck community. We come together in times of pain and suffering, and together we find comfort, resilience, and strength. We are also a community that must stand in solidarity against hate and violence wherever it happens in the world.

Please take a moment to demonstrate that sense of community, be it a kind word or gesture to a colleague or friend or an encouragement to your classmates and students.

The war in Israel and Gaza may make it challenging for you to focus on work, studies, and other aspects of everyday life. If you or someone you know needs support, here are some resources that are available for students, faculty, and staff:

Our Division of Student Life emailed all UO students Monday offering support and information about student resources. The Division of Global Engagement, Office of Human Resources, and Division of Equity and Inclusion also have and continue to provide support to members of our community.

The University of Oregon is a community of individuals who take care of each other. Please seek help or offer help if you see a need. Thank you for all you do to make our campus a place where all are welcomed.


John Karl Scholz