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Skidmore College
Office of the President

A challenging time: How our community is doing

November 2, 2023

Dear Skidmore Students, Staff, and Faculty,

We are in the midst of a very challenging time. It has been nearly four weeks since Hamas launched its horrific terrorist attacks on Israel. As tragic violence and immense suffering expands throughout that region, our focus continues to be on supporting everyone in the Skidmore community. Our staff in Student Affairs and Campus Safety have worked tirelessly to share resources, provide opportunities for gathering and reflection, respond to concerns, and ensure the safety of everyone on our campus. I am so grateful to everyone who is providing support to our people during this very challenging time.   

‌On the whole our community has shown care and respect for each other and for our many identities and perspectives. While it is impossible in this age of social media and polarization to be free from all offensive expressions, Skidmore continues to assert our commitment to freedom of expression, with the exception of hate speech that seeks to encourage violence and hatred in our community. We resolutely condemn terrorism and violence, and reject racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and expressions of hate.   

‌We are a community of teachers and learners—that is fundamental to our mission. Staff from Student Affairs, Campus Safety, and Academic Affairs will host a walk-in hour on Monday, Nov. 6, from 4 - 5 p.m. at Murray-Aikins Dining Hall, primarily for students interested in learning more about advocacy and support services and relevant college guidelines and policies. And our faculty are at work supporting students and planning events that provide important historical, political, and cultural contexts with the goal of aiding our community’s understanding of this global struggle. A liberal arts education helps us to understand the multiplicity and complexity in such challenging moments—we may long for simple solutions, but they are not available. We are committed to helping our students engage with this situation in all its complexity, and more information will follow about student support and other programming.   

‌Our core principles continue to guide us: kindness, compassion, understanding, and ethical judgment. As we move into the latter weeks of our fall semester, we will continue to seek to extend grace to all, especially those who are grieving from this awful conflict. I wish everyone in our community the strength, resolve, commitment, and love necessary to navigate these challenging times together.  


Marc Conner