Tragedy in New Zealand

Message to the USC Community

From: Michael W. Quick, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs; Varun Soni, Vice Provost for Campus Wellness and Crisis Intervention and Dean of Religious Life

March 15, 2019

Yesterday, New Zealand experienced the deadliest mass shooting in its history – a horrific terrorist attack targeting two mosques that claimed the lives of 49 worshippers gathered for Jumu’ah, the weekly Muslim congregational prayer. This attack has left our USC community heartbroken, and our thoughts are with the victims and their families, with the people of New Zealand, and with Muslim communities here on campus and around the world.

It is important that we all come together as a global Trojan family to support each other. In this spirit, we invite you to an interfaith candlelight vigil to memorialize this immense tragedy on Wednesday, March 20th, at 7:00PM in the courtyard of the University Religious Center (URC), hosted by the Muslim Student Union, Ansar Service Partnership, Interfaith Council, and the USC Office of Religious Life.

Over the last several years, there has been a dramatic rise in Islamophobic hate crimes across the United States and around the world. We want our Muslim community and everyone on campus to know that we work closely with public safety and law enforcement to ensure that everyone in our community is safe.

As Trojans, we belong to one of the most religiously diverse universities in the nation in the heart of one of the most religiously diverse cities in the world. This extraordinary strength gives us the privilege, the opportunity, and the responsibility to learn and grow through each other’s experience and culture. Today let us reaffirm our shared commitment to values that we share with religious and spiritual traditions across the world – reconciliation and redemption, compassion and transformation, and peace and love.

We want you to know that we are in the process of reaching out to our students from New Zealand and our students studying abroad in New Zealand.

During this time of mourning, if you know of anyone who needs help or support of any kind, please contact Support and Advocacy at (213) 821-4710, the Counseling Center at (213) 740-WELL (9355), or the Office of Religious Life at (213) 740-6110.

cc: Wanda M. Austin
Academic Senate
Academic Deans
President’s Cabinet
Provost’s Cabinet