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Penn State condemns acts of hatred and religious bigotry

March 15, 2019

The tragic and senseless violence against Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, has captured the attention of our nation and the world. Penn State stands with the people of New Zealand in denouncing these horrific terrorist attacks and in offering our deepest condolences. We also offer our sympathy and support to our Muslim community here and abroad, who are so deeply impacted by the hatred and religious bigotry displayed by these acts. And finally, we express our strongest condemnation of those responsible; they are cowards who do not represent our vision of a diverse and caring, global community.

As an institution that has students, partners and colleagues in New Zealand, as well as a Muslim community of our own, we are profoundly disturbed and unsettled by the Islamophobia and extremism that finds a place in our world. We are reaching out to those members of our community and by doing so hope that we are reinforcing our own values of diversity and inclusion, kindness and compassion. As a University it is, and always has been, our goal to bridge differences, bring understanding to conversations, and advance diversity, equity and peace. We will continue our strong efforts to remain a welcoming community for all.

For members of our community who may need assistance or who have been deeply affected by the tragic events of yesterday, University resources are available at the following places:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) are available at each of Penn State’s Commonwealth Campuses.
  • The Penn State Crisis Line (1-877-229-6400) is a 24/7 toll-free service staffed by licensed professionals available to all Penn Staters at University Park and Commonwealth Campuses
  • Community member can also text the 24/7 Crisis Text Line by texting “LIONS” to 741741.
  • The Penn State Employee Assistance Program, through the EAP+Work/Life program, offers short-term counseling from licensed EAP professionals, by phone, email or in person to help employees better cope with personal, family and work issues. EAP also offers access to Personal Health Advocates, who can help navigate healthcare and insurance systems, efficiently and dependably. More information is available at