The message below was sent to all students on October 31, 2018

Dear Students,

Much of concern is going on in the United States at the moment. From the horrific violence in Pittsburgh to the pipe bombs sent to prominent individuals to the shootings in Kentucky and elsewhere, we are seeing escalating acts of violence. In this environment, extremists have been emboldened to verbally or physically accost those they perceive as being different, whether by race, religion, gender, or other criteria. Efforts at the state and federal levels to limit recognition and protections for transgender and gender nonconforming people also have many concerned.

Thinking that leads to violence or exclusion runs counter to our stated values as a School: to build a community where people from all backgrounds and life experiences can come together confident in their ability to do their best work in a safe, supportive, and constructive environment. We know that our own experiences and scholarship are not diminished by connection with those from vastly different backgrounds: They are enriched by it.

If you are feeling vulnerable, I urge you to take advantage of Harvard’s resources:

  • If you are experiencing emotional or mental distress and would like to speak with someone urgently, please contact Harvard’s Counseling and Mental Health Services at 617-495-2042.
  • You can also reach out to the Harvard Chaplains, 617-495-5529, who provide counseling and general support to all students regardless of religious/spiritual affiliation.
  • The Memorial Church offers a Bereavement Group for all students. Email lara_glass@harvard.edu or call 617-384-5467.
  • If you aren’t sure where to start, reach out to Jackie Yun, director of student services.

GSAS is a diverse community with multiple experiences and perspectives. I urge you, as members of this this community, to look out for one another.

With all best wishes,

Emma Dench
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
McLean Professor of Ancient and Modern History and of the Classics

Remembering our Values in Troubling Times