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The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Officials, SA encourage shared community in response to war in Israel, Gaza

University President Ellen Granberg said she was deeply saddened by Hamas’ attack on Israel and continued violence in the region.
Students+light+candles+at+the+vigil+for+Israel+Monday.
Kaiden Yu | Photographer
Students light candles at the vigil for Israel Monday.

GW administrators and student leaders expressed sorrow and called for compassion in statements Monday, three days after Israel officially declared war in response to Hamas’ attacks on the country.

Hamas, a Palestinian militant group that rules the Gaza Strip, launched the most devastating assault on Israel in 50 years Saturday, sparking an Israeli counteroffensive as violence escalates between Israel and Gaza. Granberg, alongside other University leaders, issued statements to community members about the war between Israel and Hamas on Monday.

Granberg said she was “deeply shocked and saddened” by the attack on Israel and the ongoing violence in the region, adding that she has spoken with community leaders across GW’s campuses to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of those impacted by the attacks.

“This tragic loss of life has profoundly impacted many members of our University, including those with family members or friends living in the area,” Granberg said in the email.

Hamas attacked Israel by land, air and sea the day after the close of the Jewish holiday Sukkot — a weeklong celebration commemorating the fall harvest — destroying a segment of the border wall separating Israel and Gaza and taking at least 150 civilians hostage, including women, children and the elderly.

At least 1,900 people have been killed — at least 1,000 in Israel and at least 900 in Gaza. Thousands more are still missing as of Tuesday.

Granberg said community members should uphold the “highest standards” of engagement, debate and civil discourse during in-person and online discussions of the war. She said all community members deserve to feel safe on GW’s campus and that the University does not tolerate violence against Jewish, Palestinian, Arab or Muslim communities.

“Times of war are fraught with many difficult and complex emotions, and I recognize that we all may feel a combination of fear, anxiety and anger right now,” Granberg said in the email. “GW is a University that thrives because of a rich diversity of identities, experiences and opinions.”

Granberg encouraged community members to use resources at the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement; Counseling and Psychological Services; Division for Student Affairs; Human Resource Management and Development; or the Office for Faculty Affairs.

“In the days ahead, I urge you to show compassion, patience and support for one another,” Granberg said. “As we hope for an end to this war, let us keep those suffering in our thoughts.”

Students gathered in rallies and protests in downtown D.C. Sunday to support their respective communities and voice their feelings on the violence in the region. GW for Israel held a vigil to mourn loved ones in Israel who had been killed in the war Monday night, and Students for Justice in Palestine held a vigil Tuesday to grieve for the Palestinians killed in the violence.

Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Colette Coleman attended the vigil for Israel and said in a speech that she feels she is watching the events unfold from a distance as a non-Jewish person but knows the attack is personal for many community members. She said officials will be offering mental health and wellness resources as well as processing spaces for community members.

“I know that you’re hurting tonight, and I hurt with you. I know that you are scared tonight, and I am scared with you. I know that together, as a GW community that we’re stronger together,” Coleman said at the vigil. “And so I want to be here, our administration want to be here to be able to lift you up as we go through this time.”

Leaders of the Student Association also released a statement in an Instagram post Monday, urging students to support each other. The post, signed by SA President Arielle Geismar and SA Vice President Demetrius Apostolis, states that the SA understands students may be grieving or feeling overwhelmed, angry, confused and upset and encourages students to take time for their mental health.

The leaders hope to see “justice and peace” as the situation progresses, per the statement.

“Our deepest condolences go out to all those affected and the tragic loss of life that has taken place over the past weekend and throughout the conflict,” the post reads.

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About the Contributor
Erika Filter, News Editor
Erika Filter is a senior majoring in international affairs from Carson City, Nevada. She leads the Metro beat as one of The Hatchet's 2023-2024 news editors and previously served as the assistant news editor for the Student Government beat.
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