President Robert L. Manuel > Notes from Rob > 2023-24 > Our guiding principles in response to the Israel-Hamas War
By Joint Leadership /
October 19, 2023 /
Since the horrific and devastating terrorist attacks by Hamas on Israel, we have seen the escalation of Islamophobic and antisemitic acts around the world and inside our neighborhoods. The brutal murder of Wadea Al-Fayoume, a 6-year-old child from Plainfield, Illinois, demonstrates that the hatred and violence marking this war affects our own community. We condemn these attacks and mourn the tragic loss of life – witnessed in Israel and Palestine – and now in a suburb just outside Chicago. Moreover, we understand why university community members are concerned that further acts of hate and violence will occur, spurred by antisemitism and Islamophobia.
Over the past two weeks, we have heard from many in our university community - faculty, staff, students, and alumni alike - about how they are affected by the war occurring in the Middle East. We believe that the most important actions we can take in this moment are to reaffirm our support for all members of our university community and provide clarity on how we will lead through this moment.
Further, as we navigate the uncertainty and pain caused by this war, we want to offer clarity on the principles that will continue to guide us as we lead, govern, and sustain the university. Our intent is to embrace the complexity of this moment with care and engagement. With this objective in mind, we share the guiding principles that bind our academic and administrative leaders as we make decisions for our community:
We are unwavering in our commitment to ensure that no acts of hatred, violence, Islamophobia, or antisemitism are tolerated in our community. At our core, we strive to be an inclusive community. We will work tirelessly to ensure that we remain a safe, nurturing space for both our Jewish and Muslim populations.
We remain committed to being a university that is steadfastly devoted to academic freedom and free speech. We will support all in our community as they work to tell their stories and show the impact this conflict is having on their lives. At the same time, we will ensure that events, research, teaching, and speech are protected for all groups who are represented in our community. In accordance with
DePaul’s Guiding Principles for Speech and Expression, we will not condone any speech or expression that aims to threaten or intimidate members of any university community.
We continue to be the ecumenical, interfaith institution that has been the hallmark of our campus ministry for years. Every faith tradition that practices and convenes on our campus will continue to be welcomed and supported. We will extend our care and support to our community members who are of the Muslim faith, the Jewish faith, the Palestinian population, and the Israeli population. And together, we will mourn and care for all the innocent people who are forever harmed by violence in the Middle East.
We ask everyone in our community to offer grace and flexibility to each other. We will ask for this understanding in the classroom, the workplace, and at all our gatherings.
It is upsetting to think of what the possible future holds for both the people of Israel and Palestine. The crises in the human condition caused by the war may be impossible to fully comprehend and will weigh on members of our community differently. We call on our university leaders to focus efforts and resources on the care of ALL people at DePaul, to focus towards DOING – creating programming and engagements to offer healing and support to those in our community who are in need and hurt.
Please know that the safety and wellbeing of our university community remains our highest priority.
If you experience any threats or acts of violence, please report them immediately to Public Safety at 773-325-7777 (Lincoln Park) or 312-362-8400 (Loop). If you are struggling personally, please know that the following services are always available to you:
Martine Kei Green-RogersDean, The Theatre School