Dear Meredith Community:
Today, as Meredith College holds its first day of classes for the fall semester, it is natural to focus on ourselves, making sure we have the right supplies for class, reminding ourselves of COVID-19 guidance, and other individual concerns.
However, as a college community that values global citizenship and awareness, I know that part of our attention, and our hearts, are also focused on events in Haiti, where this weekend’s devastating earthquake has affected more than 1.2 million people, and in Afghanistan, where there is much uncertainty after decades of military conflict.
Students, employees, and alumnae with connections to these countries are especially in our thoughts. For many years, Meredith College partnered with an organization that helped Afghan women attend college in the United States. Because of this partnership, we have many alumnae from Afghanistan. I am working with campus offices, including our Office of International Programs, College Programs, the Provost’s Office, the Alumnae Office, and the Chaplain, to connect with these alumnae to express concern and support on behalf of the College.
In times of tragedy, many are driven to take action. I encourage members of our community to support the people of Haiti and Afghanistan in ways that resonate with you, which could include donating to reputable international relief organizations, volunteering with local refugee support groups, or writing to your elected representatives to share your concerns. Students may also want to consider becoming involved in the Meredith International Association and our Refugee and Immigrant Club.
If global conflict or strain, in these countries and others, is having an impact on you or your family, I encourage you to reach out to your Meredith resources. Students who need support are encouraged to make use of the professional resources available here at Meredith, including the Office of International Programs, Counseling Center, Chaplain, and Dean of Students staff. Our Human Resources office and the Chaplain can also serve as resources for employees.
Your college community is here for you.
President Jo Allen, ’80