Skip to main content

Support following the earthquake in Syria and Turkey

February 10, 2023

The following message was sent to the campus community from Barry Gerhart, interim Vice Provost and Dean, International Division.

This week, a catastrophic earthquake brought devastation to Turkey (Türkiye) and Syria.

It has been called “the disaster of the century” and the staggering loss of life and destruction are profoundly heartbreaking.

UW–Madison is a global community and we also know that many of our students, faculty, staff and alumni have personal connections to the region — some call it home or have family, friends, and colleagues there. Our deepest sympathies go to all those who are directly or indirectly affected.

On campus and around the world, there has been an outpouring of support in response to the tragedy. Campus and international organizations such as the Madison Association of Turkish Students (MATS) and the Muslim Student Association, are working to coordinate donations and support.

If you would like to join their efforts, please visit the social media sites of these organizations and learn more about how you can play a role in what will surely be a long and difficult recovery.

On campus, we ask that instructors and supervisors exercise sensitivity, understanding and flexibility toward students, faculty and staff who are affected by this crisis.

We also encourage anyone processing the tragedy to seek community or support in the ways that are most comfortable to them:

  • In response to requests for dedicated space to gather, the Council Room on the fourth floor of Memorial Union will be available for members of the campus community who wish to gather in support and solidarity. The room will be available from 9 a.m. through 9 p.m. Feb. 13 through Feb. 28.
  • UHS Mental Health Services offers students both in-person and virtual counseling. Students are encouraged to reach out to an on-call provider by calling 1 (608) 265-5600 and selecting option 2, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. There are options available outside of these hours as well.
  • Dean of Students Office connects students (or those concerned about a student) with campus support when they are experiencing personal challenges or unsure of where to go for help.

It will take time to completely understand the immense magnitude of loss from this devastating disaster and we grieve along with the people of Turkey (Türkiye) and Syria. We encourage members of the UW community to support one another in the days, weeks and months ahead.