Israel and Gaza: A Message of Support for All In Our Community
Dear students and colleagues,
On behalf of the University of Leeds and Leeds University Union, we are writing to express our support for all in our community who are affected by the escalating conflict in Israel and Gaza and the devastating impact on civilians in the region.
Students and staff across our community have been deeply affected by these events, and many in our community are concerned about the safety of loved ones in the region. Our thoughts continue to be with all of those killed, injured, displaced, or otherwise affected.
We ask everyone to understand that those around you may be feeling frightened, uncertain, or upset about these events. Please treat each other with respect and care. We are heartened to hear so many reports of our community reaching out to support each other – please continue to do so.
Preventing antisemitism, Islamophobia or abuse
It is important to say that no one in our community should be held accountable for the actions we are witnessing – antisemitism, Islamophobia, abuse, or harassment of any kind will not be tolerated, and support for proscribed organisations such as Hamas is illegal.
If you experience or witness anything like this, the University’s Harassment and Misconduct team are here to help, and incidents should be reported through the Report and Support portal or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use the SafeZone app to ask for help, which is linked to the University’s Security team who are on call to help you 24/7.
If you would prefer to report an incident to community-led organisations, the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) has a welfare hotline that can be reached on 020 7424 3288, and Tell MAMA is able to support those facing Islamophobia on 0800 456 1226.
We are working directly with student societies to ensure that our Jewish, Israeli, Muslim and Palestinian students feel safe on campus. Our on-campus Security team operates 24-hours a day, and is available to support any member of our community by contacting 0113 343 5494.
Where students are experiencing anxiety or impact to their wellbeing which disrupts their studies, we ask that you contact your School to discuss any support or extenuating circumstances that might assist you. Leeds University Union’s Help & Support service can also provide impartial advice and support for those who would like to discuss how to apply for mitigating circumstances or similar support.
If staff need to discuss the issues surrounding the conflict as part of scheduled teaching, they can contact ODPL for advice on how to support potentially challenging conversations in a respectful, appropriate manner.
We recognise that student clubs and societies may require additional help to support their members during this time, and in dealing with requests from external partners, organisations, or media outlets. The Leeds University Union Activities Team can support you in navigating these via email@example.com.
Strength in community
We know how deeply many in the community are feeling the impact of this conflict. The strength of our community is rooted in its diverse and global nature and our essence as a University and Students’ Union benefits hugely from that rich diversity. This is something that we should all value, cherish and protect in these most difficult of times.
We ask that as a community we stand together and support each other, mindful of our University’s values of compassion and inclusivity.
Professor Simone Buitendijk l – Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Leeds
Aidan Grills – Chief Executive, Leeds University Union