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Skidmore College
Office of the President

Reflections on the recent conflict in Israel and Gaza

October 10, 2023

Dear Skidmore Community,

I write as the horrific events in Israel and Gaza continue to unfold. I share the anguish many of you are feeling and condemn the violence and hatred that we are witnessing. I extend my sympathy and support to everyone in our community who is struggling with these horrible events, most especially those with ties to the region who are worried about family and friends caught up in the tragedy.  

‌Our primary focus is to support our entire campus community during this terrible time. Our Student Affairs and Religious and Spiritual Life teams are reaching out to students to offer resources, comfort, and support, and to provide opportunities for gathering, prayer, expression, and reflection. We will continue to respond to students’ needs as this conflict continues on. A range of student support services are available, including:  

‌Many of our faculty and staff colleagues are suffering, too. Although faculty and staff may rely on outside personal or community sources of support, the College’s Employee Assistance Program is available to provide short term counseling services and connect individuals with longer term care and support if needed.   

‌Skidmore’s educational mission is to interpret, engage, and understand the highly complex challenges of the world and to promote problem-solving and respectful debate. The Israel-Palestine conflict has been a focus of our Racial Justice Initiative, and just last week our Greenberg Middle East Scholar-in-Residence, Avi Rubin, delivered a lecture on “The Battle Over Israel’s Fragile Democracy.” Such programs can contribute to our shared understanding, which is vital to changing this world for the better. We will continue to offer such academic programming in the search for knowledge and wisdom, and we welcome suggestions for perspectives, speakers, and events.   

‌Most importantly, in this time of grief and anger, our Skidmore community can come together for support and solace, and we can commit to better understanding. We can be champions for justice where there is injustice, and for peace where there is conflict.  

With gratitude and appreciation for our community,         

Marc Conner