Office of the President
Campus Messages

University Leaders Respond to Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Messages from President Pines and University Administrators

October 9

Following the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas, President Darryll Pines and Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Georgina Dodge addressed the university's campus on Monday, Oct. 9 with a message of support to the community:

Let us support one another through this, particularly the Israeli, Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Palestinian members of our community, and their loved ones who are facing this tragedy firsthand in the Middle East.

President Pines shared the Oct. 9 message with the Terrapin community through his X/Twitter and Threads accounts:

We watched a terrifying attack on Israel by Hamas that killed and injured thousands, leading to war that is ravaging communities. These attacks are claiming even more Israeli and Palestinian lives, including civilians and families, in a region that has struggled to find peace.

President Pines and Vice President for Student Affairs Patty Perillo attended a student-led vigil on Oct. 9 organized by Hillel, where the president spoke out to condemn the attacks.

October 12

On Oct. 12, Senior Vice President and Provost Jennifer King Rice messaged faculty and instructors to express dismay at the events unfolding in the Middle East and urge for flexibility to support students through this challenging time.

The devastating impact of the terrorist attack and resulting declaration of war is felt not only in Israel and Palestine, but throughout the world and here at the University. As an international community of scholars, staff, students, and alumni, it is important that we extend our support to those who have been affected by the terrorism and war."

Vice President for Student Affairs Patty Perillo and Vice President for Marketing and Communications Brian Ullmann attended the Oct. 12 student-led teach-in hosted by the university's chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine on behalf of President Pines, as he was scheduled to meet with and present to the UMD Board of Trustees at the time.

October 13

President Pines and Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Georgina Dodge addressed the campus community again on Oct. 13, to further condemn the acts of terrorism committed by Hamas and offer support to community members:

Over the past few days, we have witnessed and learned more about the horrifying and brutal nature of the innocent loss of life. In no uncertain terms, we condemn these acts of terrorism.The violence hits home here on campus too, with some in our community fearful for their safety in light of recent calls for violence.

And again shared the Oct. 13 message through X/Twitter and Threads:

In no uncertain terms, we condemn acts of terrorism.UMD is committed to the safety, care and support of every member of our community. We have increased security on campus and advised faculty to demonstrate flexibility for students.

On Oct. 13, 2023, a message to parents and family members of our undergraduate students was sent out by the Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students Andrea Goodwin and the Assistant Dean and Director of Family Engagement Brian L. Watkins. This message underscored the university's commitment to prioritizing the safety of its students.

Nothing is more important to our university than providing a safe place where students can learn, connect, and thrive.

November 1

On November 1, Vice President for Student Affairs Patty Perillo sent an email to Terrapin Families addressing UMD's ongoing focus on safety and providing an update on the Students for Justice in Palestine and Terps for Israel events that were thoughtfully planned and peacefully presented.

Please know that the health and safety of every member of our campus community remain our highest priorities. Both are essential for people's ability to live and learn, so we never lose sight of creating an environment where health and safety come first.

November 2

A campuswide invitation was sent on November 2 for a special concert, "Arts for All: Music and Community," on Nov. 8. The concert showcased the talents of UMD performers and featured a recorded performance by the Jerusalem Youth Chorus (JYC), an Israeli-Palestinian music and dialogue project. Watch this special concert presentation.

November 10

On November 10, the University of Maryland issued a statement denouncing antisemitic sentiments expressed during an on-campus demonstration.

We are aware of the hateful, antisemitic sentiments expressed at the November 9, 2023 demonstration organized by Students for Justice in Palestine. We condemn it in no uncertain terms.

November 27

President Pines addressed the campus community on Nov. 27 to further condemn antisemitism, Islamophobia and hate in all forms. Additionally, the President shared immediate steps the university is taking, including increased campus safety measures, the establishment of a Join Presidential and University Senate Task Force and the implementation of an interim policy change on chalking.

Let us be clear: The University condemns antisemitism, Islamophobia and hate in all forms. Full stop. Messages of hate have no place in our society, nor on a campus dedicated to the expansion of learning and understanding.

December 21On Dec. 21, President Pines sent out a campus-wide email announcing the creation of a Joint Presidential and University Senate Task Force on Antisemitism and Islamophobia comprised of students, faculty and staff.

Recognizing the importance of fostering an environment of diversity, equity, inclusion and combating unlawful discrimination and harassment, the Joint President-University Senate Task Force on Antisemitism and Islamophobia will examine applicable university policies and practices to identify areas for improvement. It will recommend actionable strategies to address and mitigate future hate-bias incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia.