On Oct. 24, 2023, Student Government passed S.R. 2023-06, a resolution calling on President Richard Benson to amend his Oct. 16 statement and acknowledge the suffering of both Israeli and Palestinian students. The following is the letter that Benson sent to SG President Srivani Edupuganti on Oct. 25.
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT DALLAS
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT RICHARD C. BENSON
October 25, 2023
President, Student Government
The University of Texas at Dallas
Dear President Edupuganti,
I have received the Student Government Senate resolution of October 24, 2023, and wish to respond.
I have been listening closely to our community these past few weeks, and I want to recognize the grief of those whose Palestinian or Israeli family or friends have been affected by the latest eruption of war in the Middle East, those who are anxious about the conflict and those who are concerned about their own safety. I join our community in mourning the tragic loss of life and ongoing suffering for both Israelis and Palestinians, especially the thousands of children who have become victims of this violence.
We remain committed to supporting the well-being of everyone on our campus, and I have asked the vice president for student affairs and the vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion to provide recommendations on how to accomplish this.
As an institution of higher learning, UT Dallas will continue to promote free, open and thoughtful dialogue regarding this decades-long conflict. We have a long-standing policy that prohibits discrimination and harassment, and we are committed to ensuring that our institution remains a welcoming and safe place for every member of our community.
How we interact with one another on our campus indicates how we will connect with those outside our university with whom we may have conflict or disagreement. I encourage us all to rededicate ourselves to presuming good faith on the part of others and to listen with kindness and empathy. Only in this way can we begin to truly address the challenges of our world.
May we see a peaceful resolution to this conflict soon.
I am responding directly to you, and I hope you will share this with other interested members of the community.
Richard C. Benson
Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership