Date: Monday, September 19, 2016
From: Andrew Hamilton, President

Dear NYU Community Members,

When you join the NYU community, you become a New Yorker, with all the glories and the occasional anxious moments that entails. In the last few days, being a New Yorker has meant confronting a fast-moving set of events, at the center of which was a mostly thwarted but still disturbing plan to set off bombs here and across the Hudson in New Jersey.

Although no one from the NYU community was injured in Saturday's explosion on West 23rd Street, and none of the injuries resulted in fatalities, it is easy enough to imagine a different outcome.

But that's just the point: New Yorkers – for all their grumbling and cynicism and hard-edgedness – don't give in to dark imaginings, and they don't scare easily.  New York – and NYU, for that matter - asks a lot of those who come here to live and learn. Nothing is easy. But when things seem bad, New Yorkers are at their best. And they carry on.

I wish I could promise that this will be the last outburst of seemingly indiscriminate violence we will see in our lives.  

What I can say is that we should be reassured and comforted by the skill and professionalism of the people charged with our safety and the seriousness with which they take their jobs and our well-being; by the speed with which law enforcement moved to stem further attacks; by the strength we here at NYU can draw from one another's courage and steadfastness; and by our community's instinct to extend a helping hand when one is needed most.

If you do find yourself struggling with this week's events, don't keep it to yourself. Talk to a friend, an RA, a residence hall director, a faculty member, or a colleague. If you see someone else struggling, reach out. And don't forget that the Wellness Exchange stands ready 24/7 to help.

I am proud to be a member of the NYU community, but seldom have I felt it more keenly than this week, as I have watched everyone carry on so resolutely. And I live in hope that what we do as a university – our education and research missions – will, in the fullness of time, bring about the end of violence that we all hope for and that seemed so unattainable these last few days.


Andy Hamilton