Friday, September 22, 2017

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

The ravaging hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, other Caribbean islands and U.S. states and devastating earthquakes in Mexico over the past few weeks have wreaked havoc on the lives of millions of people. They follow catastrophic natural disasters in many other parts of the world in 2017. Members of the Amherst community have been affected directly and indirectly. On behalf of our community, I extend deep sympathies to all the many people who have felt the impact of these disasters—including injury and death, loss of loved ones, loss of homes and belongings, and absence of the most basic resources and infrastructure. 

I write to make sure you know that the Office of Student Affairs, the Study Abroad Office, the Center for International Student Engagement, the Multicultural Resource Center, and the Counseling Center have been actively working with community members, especially students, who are affected by these disasters and have been affected by others. Staff and faculty who may need information or support are encouraged to contact Employee Assistance or use e4, the Employee Assistance Program offered through Human Resources. e4 Health has specific, up-to-date information and resources for Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey, including help and recovery information along with options to support victims of the hurricanes and natural disasters with donations. 

Several staff and faculty have already started a conversation about ways to support each other and their loved ones. Those who would like to join the conversation may contact Maria-Judith Rodriguez, Chief Human Resources Officer, for more information.

Beginning today, September 22, the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) will have a donation box available in Keefe Campus Center and will be seeking donations of emergency response items, including but not limited to flashlights, batteries, and first aid kits. Tables will also be set up in Keefe today at 11:00 a.m. with links and information on how to make monetary donations in support of those affected by the hurricanes and earthquakes. 

Let us support one another and offer what help we can to those in need of the most basic resources.