03-19-2003 | University Relations
Also see: ISU resources, info on the war
Statement (on the war in Iraq)
Gregory L. Geoffroy
Iowa State University
I know that the current international situation with the war in Iraq weighs heavily on all of us, regardless of our political position, nationality, religious or personal beliefs. There are concerns about family members, friends and loved ones, especially those who are serving in our Armed Forces, and for people we do not know, but whose lives are in danger because of the war and the events surrounding it.
It's of particular importance at this time for us to come together and reaffirm those qualities that make our university a strong and supportive community. We must continue to be strong advocates for the free and open discussion of ideas and opinions, and we must treat those who express their ideas and opinions with civility and respect, even when they are different from our own. Our primary mission is one of education, and positive, constructive education cannot occur in an atmosphere dominated by intolerance, distrust and hate.
It is also important that we continue to support all members of our university community, especially those in our Armed Forces and those who are from parts of the world that are directly or indirectly involved in the conflict. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people who find themselves in the middle of this conflict, and we grieve with those who have lost loved ones. Let's hope for the quick and safe return of those who are being held captive and for a very rapid end to the hostilities.
A crisis such as this creates considerable fear, anguish, and uncertainty, as well as anger. These are understandable feelings; but, we must not let them overtake or overwhelm us. If you are having difficulty dealing with this crisis and these emotions, you need to know that there are people--at the university and in the community--who will help you. Counselors are available through Iowa State's Student Counseling Service, and local churches, religious organizations and community groups are available for group and individual counseling.
The university's web site (http://www.iastate.edu/news/iraq) provides information about support services available to students, faculty and staff, as well as the programs, vigils, and other activities that are being organized in response to the crisis. It also links to sites that contain information about personal security and safety.
Thank you for helping to make this university community strong, positive, and supportive of all its members, and a community that encourages the free and open exchange of opinions and ideas in a civil manner.
Gregory L. Geoffroy
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org
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