Statement concerning events in the Middle East and our obligations to each other
October 20, 2023
To the Colorado Mountain College community:
There are times when it seems wholly insufficient to comment on the suffering felt by people so very far from the comforts of Colorado's relatively safe and tranquil central Rocky Mountain communities. This has certainly been true regarding the war in Ukraine that is approaching two years in duration. More presently, few words or sentiments can effectively capture the anguish and grief that results from watching the unimaginable horrors taking place in Israel and Gaza.
As President of Colorado Mountain College, I must decide when and where to publicly comment on current events. Typically, official CMC statements are reserved for matters close to home or within the Western Slope communities where CMC operates. As I write this message, however, I am both personally grieving for all those suffering from the conflict - especially children and other innocent individuals - and compelled to publicly denounce the terrorists who launched this unspeakable human tragedy.
Some of us may have friends or relatives in harm's way. Others are simply heartbroken or angry surrounding the loss of life occurring on all sides. While this, or any other statement, cannot adequately soothe those experiencing such profound loss, either directly or from the desecration of a fundamental sense of dignity and safety, together we can hope and strive for an immediate end to the violence and suffering in the Middle East and not allow it to extinguish the flickers of light that can yet guide us toward peace.
These events remind us all why our mission and relationships at CMC are so very important, impactful, and powerful. It is why the first two commitments of our new strategic plan - Equity and Care - are so relevant and timely. Colorado Mountain College is a place where all should feel safe, welcome, and valued. We believe that no act of violence, antisemitism, hostility, prejudice, or discrimination is ever acceptable.
Let us also be reminded that awareness, kindness, and love are antidotes to the confusion and heaviness many of us might be feeling. Please take the time to check in with others; offer a smile or a hug and listen to them without judgement. Don't be afraid to ask for the same if you need support, affirmation, or a simple gesture of humanity. The happiness, health, and success of our local, regional, national, and international communities will be better for it.
Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser is President & CEO, Colorado Mountain College. She can be reached at email@example.com or @CarrieBHauser