Supporting those affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

Dear Ithaca and AgriTech campus communities,

The magnitude 7.8 earthquake that occurred last week in Turkey has caused almost unthinkable damage. It is estimated to have taken more than 36,000 lives across Turkey and Syria, wounding many more and inflicting billions of dollars of damage to housing and infrastructure.

Our thoughts are with all those suffering in Turkey and Syria, as well as with Cornell students, staff, and faculty from the region. In the immediate aftermath of the quake, we contacted students from the region to offer our support, but the scope of the disaster compels us to write to the whole campus community. Many of you have reached out, wanting to know what you can do, and we are grateful to be part of such a caring campus community.

Our original email of solidarity and support now has several trustworthy organizations suggested by campus members if you wish to aid on-site recovery. Faculty members are organizing a support meeting for students impacted by the tragic earthquakes tomorrow (Feb. 15) at Mann Library. Community members are also planning a vigil to memorialize the earthquake's victims on Monday (Feb. 20) at noon on Ho Plaza. Any additional details will be added to this page and to the Cornell calendar as available.

Please remember that people who have family in the affected region will be particularly vulnerable at this time. Campus resources are available, and we encourage those in need to reach out.

Cornell Health offers resources to help undergraduates and graduate and professional students in need of support. Cornell Health's Counseling and Psychological Services provides a variety of safe, non-judgmental options to talk about any concern, including Let's Talk Drop-In Consultations, which provide informal, confidential consultation with a Cornell Health counselor. Group Counseling is available on many topics, including Managing Anxiety in Times of Uncertainty, groups specifically for international students, and some graduate student-only groups.

For students enrolled in the Graduate School, the Graduate Student Life team is available to help you navigate personal concerns and challenging life situations. Please don't hesitate to reach out for assistance.

There are times when life situations impair a student's ability to function optimally (e.g., thinking, learning, breathing, sleeping, eating, or meeting basic needs). In such instances, students can connect with Student Disability Services (SDS) to explore temporary academic accommodations to assist in navigating the current moment. To connect with a staff member in SDS, complete the SDS disclosure form.

Perhaps, you are unsure what resource you need, or you have a specific concern and are unclear who to speak with. We encourage you to start with the Associate Deans in Student Support and Advocacy Services by calling (607) 254-8598. We are here to listen and support you.

Cornell will continue to seek ways to support our community as the situation in Turkey and Syria evolves. Please email if you have other events or resources you would like to share.

In solidarity,

Wendy Wolford
Vice Provost for International Affairs