Dear students,

We write today amid the unfolding tragedy of this week’s earthquake in Turkey and Syria. With the death toll surpassing 20,000, we stand with so many others around the world in sorrow and grief at this great loss. We understand the impact of this earthquake has been magnified by the ongoing crises in the region: refugees fleeing war are now at the epicenter of this natural disaster, with what little resources they had being stretched even further. In times like these, when we witness such devastation and suffering, it can feel hard to know what we can do from so far away.

Here on campus, there is a community of support for students whose families and loved ones have been impacted by the earthquake. Here is a summary of our student mental health and well-being resources. We’d like to highlight a few specific offices:

  • The Markaz Resource Center has posted this statement and will continue to partner with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) to offer opportunities to connect with therapists. Students can get more information and resources through the Markaz mailing list or by emailing Markaz directors.
  • University chaplains working with the Office for Religious and Spiritual Life are available to speak to you confidentially about your experiences and feelings.
  • The staff members of Bechtel International Center are providing support to international students and student groups. Email Associate Director Elsa Gontrum for assistance.
  • The Dean of Students Office is offering individualized support to students from Turkey and Syria. To connect, email

Many across campus are already mobilizing to send tangible support to communities in Turkey and Syria. The Turkish Student Association is working to raise awareness about the earthquake and ways to donate to on-going relief efforts. The Muslim Student Union and the Arab Students Association are planning a pizza fundraiser at 2 p.m. today (Friday) in the Old Union Courtyard.

As we become aware of additional efforts, we will do our best to share information with students. If you are the leader of a student organization, please keep in mind that Stanford’s Office of Student Engagement stands ready to assist with planning events and similar activities. You can reach OSE at

We are a community of national and international dimensions. What is experienced worldwide is felt here, and it is heartening to see students reach out to assist those in need. Our hope is this message has both provided information on supportive resources for you, as well as raised awareness about the scope of this tragedy and ways we all can help.


Mona Hicks
Senior Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students

Samuel Santos Jr.
Associate Vice Provost of Inclusion, Community and Integrative Learning

Tiffany Steinwert
Dean, Office for Religious and Spiritual Life