Statement on Earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

KU International Affairs extends its support and sympathy to the university’s Turkish and Syrian community in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes that struck the region on Feb. 6. More than 17,000 people have died from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake and aftershocks that hit south-eastern Turkey near the Syrian border.

We are deeply saddened by the increasingly horrific news of the destruction and loss of life. Our heartfelt thoughts and support are with this community during this time.

KU has 12 students from Turkey and Syria, as well as many other faculty and staff from the region and those of Turkish and Syrian backgrounds. International Support Services has reached out to students from this area and will continue to offer resources and support.

KU also has research and partnership ties to these countries, in particular connections through the Center for Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Studies and Center for Global and International Studies.

Our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragic event. KU has campus resources to support our community members in distress. We encourage you to use them.

A student resource coordinator in International Support Services can guide international students toward resources on campus and in the community to support wellbeing and success.

Mental health resources include KU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), as well as My Student Support Program (MY SSP), which connects students with free, confidential mental health and wellbeing support 24 hours a day. MY SSP support is available in multiple languages. Students can also visit with peer educators, who are trained to provide support and resources, through Hope@Caps drop-in listening hours.

As a community member, if you see a student struggling or in need, you can use the Student Care Referral button to connect support services with individuals who may be having trouble coping with events or life circumstances. In difficult times like these, a community is so much stronger if we support each other through action and extend our grace and compassion.

Charles Bankart
Senior Internationalization Officer

Roberta Pokphanh
Associate Vice Provost for International Administration, Student Success & DEIB

Joe Potts
Associate Vice Provost for International Innovation, Development and Strategic Partnerships