To the USF community,
The events we are witnessing in the Middle East are deeply disturbing and frightening. Senseless, deadly acts of violence and terrorism are abhorrent and have no place in our society. USF stands with those locally, across the country and around the world in condemning the Hamas attacks in Israel.
Our thoughts are with all whose lives have been lost, and the family members and loved ones affected, including those who are part of our USF community.
We want to thank everyone who has reached out in recent days to ensure our students, faculty and staff members are safe, ask important questions and share your personal stories. We are here to listen and work together to support our fellow Bulls.
The safety and well-being of all members of the university community is our highest priority. As we process what is occurring around the world, let’s remember that USF is a place where we treat each other with empathy and respect.
Everyone deserves to feel welcome and safe on our campuses. Violence, discrimination or harassment against any member of our community - regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs - will not be tolerated. Anyone who experiences or witnesses such behaviors should immediately report them to university police or the appropriate university department.
Teams across the university have been reaching out directly to individuals and groups who may be impacted in some way to provide support and ensure they have access to the appropriate resources.
We know there have been, and will continue to be, events held on our campuses related to the tragedies overseas. While we must recognize the constitutional right of free expression and similar obligations under state and federal law, we also recognize that portions of what is expressed could be offensive or upsetting to some, however, it’s important that all gatherings remain peaceful and do not disrupt university operations. Our staff in Student Success, in partnership with the USF Police Department, is already in communication with student organizations and their advisors organizing events to offer policy guidance, and they are available to meet with other groups contemplating events.
As a reminder, USF offers numerous resources for students, faculty and staff:
- USF Counseling Center
- Timely Care 24/7 mental health care
- USF counseling 24-hour emotional crisis line: (813) 974-2831 and press option 3
Let us come together as OneUSF to promote a culture of compassion and act in a way that maintains a safe and healthy environment on our campuses.
Rhea F. Law
Chair, USF Board of Trustees