By now you must be aware of the tragedy unfolding in Israel. We are appalled at the barbaric violence, and our hearts and prayers are with the civilians and our community members who are impacted. Yesterday, during our Town Meeting, I shared with you that we do not exist in a bubble here in Troy, and I think its vitally important for you to understand what that means.
RPI is a diverse community of thinkers, dreamers, and problem-solvers from all walks of life and from all over the world, so the events unfolding over 5,000 miles away have profound impact on our campus, particularly for community members with deep ties to the region. Watching the Hamas attack on Israel this weekend, and seeing the loss of life, was traumatizing, to say the least. Imagine the angst and pain that our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends with loved ones in the region are experiencing right now. I cannot begin to fathom what they are going through.
Compounding this darkness are reports of insensitivities and tensions on college campuses, in light of these events. I will never tell you what to say or believe nor do I hold the answer to a conflict of this scale. But I do implore each of you to slow down long enough to think about how your actions or words could affect others. Seemingly innocent actions can leave scars. Take a moment to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
We have read about these types of conflicts for many years, but we were not prepared for the unbelievable scale of what began this weekend. For many, our campus is their home away from home, and home is where we should be able to find comfort. Show compassion during these difficult moments. Lean on one another.
Several resources are available for anyone needing extra support.