21, No. 18, April 18, 2002
A Message from the Chancellor
I saw on Monday a piece of hate mail that was sent by a partisan of
one of the sides in the Middle East conflict to a group of students
supporting the other side. It was appalling in its venom. The issues
in that part of the world touch all of us very deeply. On this campus,
there are many with personal ties, ties of family or friendship, ethnicity
or religion, to those engulfed by that tragic conflict. There is, therefore,
always the threat that the bitter divisions of the Middle East can be
replicated here, that the hatred and even the violence can take root
We all need to recall the terrible sense of violation we felt on Sept.
11 and the comfort we experienced when we came together as a community
to support and affirm each other. In the first few days that followed,
a few lashed out in anger, and I asked for a recognition of our common
humanity. I make that plea again.
We must not let our sense of violation as a community turn us against
those who may appear to be outsiders. There are no outsiders. Our common
humanity is threatened by hatred and violence.
In the wake of Sept. 11, we turned to each other. We drew closer together
as a caring community. We must not let the tragic divisions between
the Israelis and Palestinians divide us. We must be very cognizant of
our language, our actions, and our feelings. We must not displace our
fear or anger by turning on others. Our community is rich because of
its diversity. There are people here who have links to all parts of
the globe and to many communities across this country. Tolerance and
respect for diversity of cultures, values and customs go to the heart
of what universities and this country are all about.
I ask all members of the campus community to continue to support each
other during the weeks and months ahead. These are not easy times, but
this university community can make them better.