Dear Trojan community,
Over the past week, USC and the world have witnessed the devastation in Turkey and Syria due to the deadly earthquakes. We share your concerns as the humanitarian crisis continues to unfold and recognize that many USC students, staff, and faculty are deeply and personally impacted by this tragedy. We invite our entire Trojan community to participate in a vigil for the lives lost and for the families indelibly impacted by this disaster. We will gather at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 16, at the University Religious Center (URC) courtyard.
The Office of International Services (OIS) and Campus Support and Intervention reached out to hundreds of international students and scholars from Syria and Turkey to offer resources and support. Deans and schools have also reached out to their Turkish and Syrian students and faculty with letters of support and resources.
We know many more Trojans are impacted and hurting, and we will continue our efforts to identify and reach others.
If you or your family – or a fellow Trojan – need support during this difficult time, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org – we are standing by to help. USC Campus Support and Intervention can support students, staff, and faculty.
For USC students:
- Counseling and Mental Health (CMH): (213) 740-9355 (WELL)
- Book an appointment with a general CMH counselor or OIS-embedded counselor
- Visit the Middle Eastern and North African Student Lounge in STU 100 to hold space for community
For USC staff and faculty:
Support of those in need exemplifies the community of care we have built together, grounded in USC’s unifying values.
- The Middle Eastern and North African Student Assembly (MENASA) hosted a community check-in for students at the Middle Eastern and North African Student Lounge and shared a list of trusted organizations and links to donate to relief efforts. A Valentine’s Day bake sale at the corner of West Jefferson Boulevard and South Hoover Street also raised funds for organizations on the ground in both Syria and Turkey.
- The Turkish Graduate Student Association (TGSA) at USC and Turkish Trojan Association are collecting donations for the Foundation of Anatolian People and Peace Platform (AHBAP), a volunteer network, for relief efforts. The TGSA is matching all cash donations received one to one, and both groups are collecting winter clothes and other supplies at the entrance to Trousdale Parkway on West Jefferson Boulevard at the University Park Campus from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day until February 17.
- Keck Medicine of USC is working with the USC student chapter of Blueprints for Pangea to donate 24 pallets of donated and unused products to critical need areas.
- The USC International Student Assembly also shared a resource list for those looking to help.
- Individual students and student groups continue to volunteer at locations throughout Los Angeles, including preparing donated supplies at the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in Hancock Park.
USC shared the U.S. Agency for International Development’s list of vetted organizations for donations and amplified efforts by the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles to advertise drop-off locations for new or unused medical supplies and cold weather gear. This followed posts on Twitter and Instagram by President Carol L. Folt shortly after the earthquake occurred.
It is only through community and acknowledging our grief and loss that we can act and heal. We applaud and admire the efforts of our students, as well as our staff and faculty, and will continue to amplify their humanitarian work at the university-level. Our actions and commitment as a Trojan Family must go beyond expressions of sadness and horror and show up as tangible support over the coming days, weeks, months, and possibly years as the region and the worldwide Turkish and Syrian communities survive, grieve, and rebuild.
Monique S. Allard
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs
Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life