The earthquake in Turkey and Syria and the rising number of casualties is staggering and heartbreaking. We live in a global community, and we know that many people in our own SLC community, both students and employees, are personally affected by this tragedy; we empathize with their anguish as they await updates on the safety of their loved ones.
This is a time to practice kindness and to be aware that someone you know may be dealing with unimaginable pressure and uncertainty as they await news. Alternatively, students could be supporting friends or classmates, and I want to assure you that the SLC Student Success team has been in contact with students from the impacted areas to check in and offer support.
Plans are being made to organize additional earthquake relief efforts at SLC and as details are confirmed we will ensure folks know how to participate. Please stay tuned. In the meantime, I would like to remind everyone of the help that is available, should you or someone you know need assistance.
Resources for students include:
- keep.meSAFE app www.keepmesafe.org. Access to a Turkish counsellor is available at 1.844.451.9700 (subject to availability at the time of call)
- Wellness and Accessibility supports including personal counselling and academic accommodations
- Spiritual Care support for students, regardless of denomination, faith tradition, or spiritual conviction
- International Student Advisors are on each SLC campus for resources and support
- For direct outreach, please contact Carolina Palmer, International Student Advisor, at email@example.com
On Monday, February 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Kathy Doering, SLC’s Spiritual Advisor, will host a huddle for students via Teams. If you are a student who needs support to process or navigate this tragedy, or if you are helping a classmate and would welcome connecting with others as a means of finding help, please Click here to join the meeting.
Any SLC employee needing support has access to the Employee Assistance Plan for confidential assistance. Please remember that this service is available for all full- and part- time employees.
At the community level, I have been asked to share that the Arab Society of Kingston is holding a candlelight vigil tonight (Friday) at 5 pm at Memorial Hall in Kingston’s City Hall. Please attend if you can and if able, bring a donation for the number of global charities collecting for earthquake relief. Donations are also being accepted at the Canadian Red Cross, with funds being matched by the Canadian government until February 22 as well.
I join with everybody at SLC in sending our prayers to the people of Turkey and Syria, and to the heroic rescuers who are working to save lives.
Glenn Vollebregt (He/Him)
President and CEO
St. Lawrence College