Statement of Support Regarding the Earthquakes that have Devastated Turkey and Syria

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake (along with a number of subsequent and ongoing quakes) has devastated southeast Turkey and northern Syria and affected many surrounding regions. More than 50,000 people have died, over 100,000 more are injured, and at least 2.4 million people have been displaced. The destruction experienced by communities in these regions is far reaching and ongoing. 

Union College has made a commitment to prepare and educate our students on issues of global challenge. As such, we feel it is important to make good on this commitment and recognize and reflect on how we, as global citizens, might help those in the affected countries, as well as what we can do to support those in our community who are affected by this tragedy. Unfortunately the Union College administration has turned down a request to make a public statement about the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria. So we the undersigned have taken it upon ourselves to do so.

For those looking for ways to provide financial help and support, please see below for a list of reputable organizations that are providing aid to the region in the wake of the devastation. The crisis has also produced an acute need for detailed maps for rescue and aid efforts. Union College Schaffer Library has information about humanitarian mapping efforts and a “how to” guide using the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) software. The software crowdsources improvements in maps and provides the data to relief workers, mapping the areas in Turkey and Syria most impacted by the most recent earthquake here:

We offer our support to all students, staff, and faculty from Turkey and Syria. Our thoughts are with you all and your families in these difficult times.  Please know that the Union College community is here for you. 

Signed (signatures below)

Kenneth Aslakson, History

Claire Bracken, English

Krisanna Scheiter, Philosophy 

Katherine Lynes, English

Louisa Matthew, Visual Arts

JIllmarie Murphy, English

Carol Weisse, Psychology

George Bizer, Psychology

Robert Samet, Anthropology

Jenelle Troxell, English/Film Studies

Jennifer Mitchell, English/Gender,  Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.               

Sharon Gmelch, Anthropology 

William Garcia, Modern Languages and Literatures

Ginny Solomon, Learning Design

Catherine Walker, Psychology

Christina Tønnesen-Friedman, Mathematics

Megan Flynn, Theatre & Dance 

Maritza Osuna, Modern Languages and Literatures

Lori Marso, Political Science

James A. de Sève, Film Studies

Michele Ricci Bell, MLL

Ellen Gasparovic, Mathematics

Laurie McGill, History and Political Science 

Stephanie Mueller, Modern Languages and Literatures

Bill McCaffery, ITS User Services

Tommaso Gazzarri, Classics

Andrew Feffer, History

Eshragh Motahar, Economics & Asian Studies

Andy Morris

Megan M. Ferry, Modern Languages and Literatures & Asian Studies

Jeff Jauregui, Mathematics

Stephen Schmidt, Economics

Bill Keat, Mechanical Engineering

Hans-Friedrich Mueller, Classics

Timothy Stablein, Sociology

Chris Chandler, Music

Guillermina Seri, Political Science/LACS

Silvina Yi, Modern Languages and Literatures/LACS

Zoe Oxley, Political Science

Kathleen LoGiudice, Biological Sciences

Alicia Dang, Economics/Asian Studies

Anouk Verheyden-Gillikin, Geosciences

Maité Cruz, Philosophy

Daniel Mosquera, MLL

Hugh Jenkins, English

Angela Commito, Classics

Jeffrey Witsoe, Anthropology 

Michelle Chilcoat, Film Studies/French

Laini Nemett, Visual Arts

Peter Bedford, Religious Studies

Gregory Callaghan, Classics

Fuat Sener, Economics

Joyce Madancy, History

Stacie Raucci, Classics

Brian Peterson, History

Jennifer Fredricks, Psychology

John Cramsie, History

Bradley Hays, Political Science

Luke Dosiek, Electrical, Computer & Biomedical Engineering

Charles Batson, Modern Languages and Literatures

Lewis Davis, Economics 

Cigdem Cidam, Political Science

Shena McAuliffe, English

Chris Duncan, Visual Arts

Jordan Smith, English

Joshua Hart, Psychology

Paul Friedman, Mathematics

Sheri Lullo, Visual Arts & Asian Studies

Mary Carroll, Chemistry

Pattie Wareh, English

Ken DeBono, Psychology 

Linda Stanhope, Psychology

Romain Pasquer Brochard, Modern Languages and Literatures 

Brenda Johnson, Mathematics

Prateek Arora, Economics

Eun-sil Lee, Class Dean

Jonathan Marr, Physics and Astronomy

Lorraine Cox, Visual Arts

Don Rodbell, Geoscience

Bernhard Kuhn, English

Brad Lewis, Economics

Chad Rogers, Psychology

John Spinelli, ECBE

List of reputable organizations providing humanitarian aid and emergency relief

AHBAP: A Turkish civic association providing aid to those in need, including cash transfers and in-kind support. 

Basmeh & Zeitooneh: Working with Syrian refugees, this relief and development organization has set up an earthquake disaster response fund.

Bridge to Turkiye: The BTF Relief Fund distributes 100% of funds collected through AHBAP and other local partners.

Doctors Without Borders in Syria and Turkey

Oxfam: Donations can be made to Oxfam’s Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal. 

Project HOPE: Project HOPE has deployed teams in Turkey and Syria delivering medicines and supplies, and other urgently needed relief. 

Syrian American Medical Society: Nonprofit humanitarian organization that provides urgent medical care in Syria.

Turkey Earthquake Fund: GoFundMe fundraiser organized by Research Institute On Turkey and was co-initiated by Einaudi’s Esra Akcan

Turkish Philanthropy Funds: TPF’s Turkey Earthquake Relief Fund uses 100% of donations for food and emergency medical supplies.

White Helmets: Syrian humanitarian volunteer organization that assists in search and rescue missions.