Community message: March 15

Dear UMaine Community:

It is with heavy hearts that we write today about the horror that has occurred in Christchurch, New Zealand. This sort of hatred violates every instinct we have for love and kindness. This reprehensible violence has no place in our society, and is reverberating across New Zealand and the rest of the world. Our healing and unifying thoughts go out to all those touched by this tragedy.

This was an intentional and deliberate act of hate toward the Muslim community, and we decry it with resolve and a belief in a better tomorrow.

A memorial vigil will take place today at noon on the library steps.

We are all appalled and in disbelief, and Muslim communities, along with their families, friends and allies, are feeling unsettled and unsafe, and are in need of support and comfort. As each of us deals with the personal impact of this disaster, we need to further unite as a campus community, supporting and caring for each other.

We are a diverse, unified community at UMaine, and we hold dearly the values of caring, community, love and acceptance. This brutal crime violates every one of those beliefs. At times like this, we may want to retreat, but we ask you to extend yourselves to each other in acts of solidarity and support.

We are stronger together. We are an open community where every viewpoint and every person is dignified, important and part of the whole. What happened in New Zealand will not divide us. We believe that these acts of hate will, indeed, unite us and make us stronger.

If you or someone you know needs any assistance, call the Student Life Office at 207.581.1406.

With deepest respect,

Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Robert Q. Dana
Vice President for Student Life