Earthquake in Türkiye and Syria

Statement from President Goel

By Vivek Goel President and Vice-Chancellor

On behalf of the University of Waterloo, I want to express my condolences to our Turkish and Syrian community. I see the devastation, fear and grief caused by the recent earthquakes and I mourn with you.

When a catastrophe like this unfolds, we all have a part to play. Our International Student Experience team has reached out directly to Turkish and Syrian students studying here to offer our support. The university has also shared mental health resources with all students and staff so that our community knows where to go for help.

I am proud that right now, a small group of students and staff is leading a donation drive here on campus. Earlier this week, postdoctoral scholar Ilknur Umay, a native of Türkiye and a leader of this response, shared a very personal appeal for relief. "There is power in the collective," said Umay, and I agree.

The area impacted is quite cold this time of year and thus the need for arctic tents, blankets and winter clothing is heightened. As Canadians we are uniquely positioned to provide this kind of support, and I personally urge everyone to donate these needed items to Engineering 7, room 6332. by 5:00pm on February 20 .

The items will be delivered by Umay to the Turkish Embassy in Toronto which will be sending these items to those most in need. Please be sure that you are donating new shoes/boots, all other items may be gently used.

The most significant way to contribute is through monetary donations if you are able - the Government of Canada is currently matching donations made to the  Red Cross campaign.

For those who do not have the means to offer material support, I hope you can take the time to connect with any friends, or colleagues who are affected by the earthquakes to just check in and see how they are doing.

It is the mission of this university to make the world a better place, and its times like these where I have full confidence that we will come together to support each other.