UMaine, UMaine Machias communities stand in solidarity with Syria, Turkey in earthquake aftermath

Dear University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias communities,

Since the first reports of the Feb. 6 devastating earthquake in western Syria and eastern Turkey, our community members have joined people the world over in expressing profound grief in the loss of so many lives — including entire extended families — and concern for the countless left injured, homeless and alone.

Such grief and humanitarian impact knows no boundaries, and the UMaine and UMaine Machias communities extend condolences to students, faculty or staff personally affected by the natural disaster. Our university communities stand in solidarity with the people of Turkey and Syria, including the students, scholars, employees and alumni who have deep ties to the countries.

As individuals navigate this difficult time for their families and communities, it is important that we all provide as much compassion and emotional support as possible. Know that we are all here for each other, now and in the months ahead. The Office of International Programs, the Division of Student Life’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and faculty and staff in each college are providing outreach to those in our communities affected by the earthquake. The Higher Relief Education Fund supports our students and scholars impacted by crises such as this.

UMaine students, faculty or staff in need of support can contact the Counseling Center, 207.581.1392, the university’s Employee Assistance Program, 877.622.4327, or the Dean of Students Office, 207.581.1406.

For university community members seeking to provide support through humanitarian aid, initiatives include fundraising by the UMaine International Business and Culture Club, led by Hira Avci, an undergraduate from Turkey. The group collected $3,500 this past weekend at the International Dance Festival, with a goal of raising $5,000 by this Friday. Donations can be sent through Venmo @Turkey-Syria-Relief.

The Office of International Programs also offers the names of organizations providing aid, including the Institute of International Education, which has a Türkiye and Syria Crisis Response; the New England Turkish Student Association and the Turkish Embassy in the U.S., which are coordinating donation efforts to support humanitarian relief efforts in the region; and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

We will continue to keep the people of Syria and Turkey in our hearts and minds, and provide compassionate care for those far from their homelands with family and friends affected by the earthquake.


Joan Ferrini-Mundy

Robert Dana
Vice President for Student Life and Inclusive Excellence, and Dean of Students