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Responding to Violence Against Faith Communities

NC State Community:

This weekend our nation witnessed yet another horrific act of anti-Semitic violence at the Chabad of Poway synagogue outside of San Diego where one person was killed, and three others were injured in a shooting on the last day of Passover.

This appalling act follows other recent incidents of violence and hatred targeted at faith communities at home and abroad, including: more than 350 people killed by a series of suicide bombings in Sri Lanka that targeted Christian churches and hotels on Easter; at least 50 Muslim worshipers murdered by gunfire last month at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand; and the horrible shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed 11 people last October. Unfortunately, there have been others as well.

Each of these tragedies deeply affect members of our community, leaving many hurting, frustrated, angry and scared. These hateful and senseless acts can leave us all feeling somewhat powerless to help.

But we must not become complacent. As individuals and a university community, we can make a difference on our campus, in North Carolina, and I believe in our world. As I’ve said before – and will continue to say – our campus community must remain vigilant in rejecting violence, bigotry, racism, intolerance and hatred.

To all members of our community, please know that you are welcomed, valued and appreciated here at NC State. We stand together with you and are here to support you.

If you are hurting or struggling due to these atrocities or any other reason, we have resources to help. Students, if you need support, please contact our Counseling Center. Faculty and staff, counselors are available for you through the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program. We have caring professionals here to help – please don’t hesitate to reach out to them.

As we approach the end of the semester, I hope you will all remember that NC State’s greatest strength is you – each and all of you – and your diversity of thought and experience.

I also hope you will join me in continually working to ensure NC State is a model of how individuals from all backgrounds, beliefs and experiences can come together, respect, learn from and support one another for the benefit of everyone in this community and the world around us. That’s what it means to be part of the Wolfpack.

Randy Woodson