Caring for One Another Following Weekend Violence
The following message from President Wendy Raymond was sent to the College community on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023.
I share your feelings of grief, anger, fear, and sorrow at Saturday’s horrific shooting of Haverford junior Kinnan Abdalhamid and two of his friends. This was a terrifying and hateful incident at a time of global conflict and vulnerability. I reach out today with my heart and soul full of care, love, and support for our beloved Palestinian, Muslim, and Arab students. I reach out with an equally full heart to our Palestinian, Muslim, and Arab faculty, staff, alums, and family members.
Kinnan and his friends were shot while walking and talking. They could have been anywhere.
This reality shatters our sense of security. That this violent act of hatred was perpetrated against three young men – all of them Palestinian and pursuing undergraduate studies here in the U.S., speaking in Arabic and English, with two of the three wearing keffiyahs – is a stark reminder: anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian, and anti-Arab violence and hate has been pervasive and is becoming increasingly inflamed. This was a hateful act of violence, regardless of whether the Vermont authorities ultimately file statutory hate crime charges against the suspect, now arrested.
To our Palestinian, Muslim, and Arab students, colleagues, and friends, please know that I see you, I hear you, and you are seen, heard, and held by your fellow community members at Haverford. Dean McKnight traveled to Burlington yesterday and is working with Kinnan and his supportive network of family and friends today on next steps to support him, as we continue holding him in the light of love and care. Here on campus, our Divisions of Student Life and Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) are working with students, staff, and faculty to provide support as we meet the feelings of fear, anger, and vulnerability that many are experiencing. This is about more than living in the aftermath of criminal violence; it is also about living with the fact of pervasive Islamophobia and hate.
We are taking a number of steps to support our community at this difficult time. Many students have asked about academic flexibility and accommodation. Provost Linda Strong-Leek fully supports faculty in their commitment to working with students who are impacted by events around us. We encourage students to reach out to their professors, and vice versa, about ways professors can help support students through the end of the semester.
Your feeling of safety matters to me. You may notice an increased presence of our friends in Campus Safety, whether at campus entrances or simply making rounds. This is intentional. Haverford welcomes visitors, and, at the same time, we think it's prudent for our Campus Safety presence to be more present and visible than usual.
Here is an emerging schedule of support opportunities; Senior Staff members will share further additions and details as they become available.
Editor's note: The events listed below are closed to the public and news media.
Islamic Grief Counseling
Monday, November 27
Organized by Haverford MSA and led by Muslim professional counselors, the Islamic Grief Counseling session is a space for support, connection, and conversation.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) Sessions
Our CAPS team is extending in-person drop-in hours to 8 a.m. -5 p.m. Monday through Friday
Requests for virtual sessions may be made via CAPS scheduling tool
Community Meeting to Advocate for Student Safety
Monday, November 27
Students' Council leadership is holding a community meeting for students to gather and compile frustrations, concerns, and next steps that they will bring directly to administrators and the President’s Office to help better meet students’ needs at this time.
Time, date, and location shared via campus-wide email
At moments like this, when anti-Muslim hate, violence, and bias resurgence proliferates in the world, we invite our community to join together on Founders Green for a time for connection, reflection, and care.
Listening Sessions for Students and Open Office Hours
Our colleagues and I want to do all we can to promote well-being and security. We are eager to hear from you and learn from your experiences. These sessions are an open door to ideas and queries.
Time, dates, and locations shared via campus-wide email
- Listening Session with Wendy Raymond and Nikki Young
- Dr. Nikki’s open office hours
- Dean McKnight’s open office hours
- Wawa With Wendy
- Advising Deans
This attack has the power to terrify because it shows how vulnerable we are, in so many ways. Together, we will walk in and through it. I appreciate all you are doing to embrace all that unites us, and to hold close our commitments to peace, justice, and community that depend on all of us.