October 26, 2023
Dear Pace-Setters,
Like many of you, our hearts ache over the news of the continued and evolving conflict in Israel and Gaza. The increasing violence, loss of life, and suffering is tragic and traumatic. We know the impact of the violence has generated concern for the health, safety, wellbeing and the rights of loved ones, ourselves, and others both at home and abroad. For those in our community who are hurting, please know that our hearts are with you.  

Universities are a bastion for the free and open exchange of ideas and a place of intellectual and personal growth. They are important spaces of belonging for members of our communitya second home of sorts. A university is also a place where students should feel safe, supported, and cared for during their academic journey. Our core principles of civility, empathy, opportunity, and respect must prevail and guide us in these pursuits. 

As we continue to grapple with the ongoing and escalating humanitarian and geo-political crises, we must understand that the right to free speech is balanced with the responsibility to communicate in a civil and respectful manner, even when we disagree. This is difficult and emotional work. The nuances of challenging circumstances require us to truly listen to each other across differences, even as we work to make sense of the world in our own minds and hearts. Indeed, listening for understanding will support us in this endeavor.  

With this as a backdrop, we want to share some thoughts, resources, and supportive measures for students during this difficult time.  

Take care of yourself and each other. 
  • Self-care is important. Check in with yourself and others. Be mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and physiology. Take it slow. Take a break. Do what feels right for you. 
  • Find strength in community. Connect and hold space for each other whether you identify with a particular community or as an ally. Get connected with our student organizations that are creating meaningful spaces for belonging.  
  • Take a social media “time out.” The algorithms are designed to affect the emotional centers of our brains and increase our stress. The more we “like” and engage, the more we are presented with similar content. Social media is not designed to create spaces of empathy or connection. 

Express your voice, respectfully. 
Participate in upcoming community events. 
  • Attend the upcoming wellness events to be mindful, comforted, supported and in community. 
  • Breathe and Belonging: November 2 at 3:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. in the Dean for Students Office on the 8th floor of 41 Park Row 8.  
  • Take part in one or more of the 40+ Social Justice Week events taking place October 29November 4. In particular: 
  • Cultivating Inclusive Conversations: Bridging Communities for Social Justice | Tuesday, October 31, in room 1625 of 161 William Street. 
  • Monitoring and Managing Emotionality During Difficult Dialogues | Friday, November 3, in Lecture Hall North at One Pace Plaza West and via zoom. 

Individual and Group Support 
  • Pace’s Counseling Center can support you through the stress induced by recent events. Please contact their offices by calling (212) 346-1526 in NYC or (914) 773-3710 in Westchester. Even outside of regular business hours, you can be connected with a counselor.  
  • Group Counseling: Connecting in a shared space with others can be a powerful support. Pace University Counseling Centers offer groups sessions on the below topics. Please contact their offices for more information.   
  • Building Social Strength  
  • Reduce Emotional Suffering  
  • Stress Management  
  • Understanding Self and Others 
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Coping Skills 
Additionally, your academic advisor (and faculty members) can help you with supportive academic resources and/or flexibility in some deadlines if you are struggling to keep up in classes due to a variety of challenges arising from the impact of the circumstances, whether you are experiencing these impacts directly or indirectly. We encourage you to reach out to them if you need additional help during this time. If you’re unsure of who your academic advisor is, email [email protected] to get connected with them.  
Jeffrey A. Barnett, PhD  
Vice President for Student Affairs  
and University Dean for Students 
Stephanie Akunvabey, EdD 
Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
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