The following memo was distributed to students, faculty and staff from Provost and Vice-President Academic Teri Balser on January 8, 2020.
We were saddened to learn of this morning’s news of the crash of a Ukrainian passenger plane near Tehran, Iran, resulting in the deaths of all 176 individuals on board. The plane reportedly contained many Iranian and Canadian citizens returning to Canada after the holiday break, and we are devastated to have learned of members of the Dalhousie community among the deceased.
Details are still emerging, and this is as much information as we can share at this time. We will provide further updates as we are able to, respecting the privacy and wishes of the families. There are also certain to be staff, faculty, students and others in our community with additional connections to those who lost their lives this morning.
On behalf of the entire Dalhousie University community, I wish to offer my deepest condolences to all impacted by this tragedy, including those on our campuses and in the broader Iranian community in our region. We are here for you and thinking of you in this difficult time.
My heart breaks for the people whose lives have been cut short, for the families that are now broken, and for all of us doing our best in a world that sometimes feels capricious and unsafe. Our international students and colleagues are an essential part of our community. As we continue to gather information and mobilize supports for our community on campus and more broadly, we should all be reminded to be good to one another. We have all lost something of value today.
I encourage anyone struggling to reach out and access supports available to you. Resources for students are available through Dalhousie’s Student Health & Wellness Services, including Multifaith Services. Staff and faculty resources are available through Dalhousie’s Employee & Family Assistance Program. We will provide more information on further available supports in the near future.
With sincerest sympathies,
Provost and Vice-President Academic