Response to the Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

Feb 1, 2023

I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the devastating impact of the earthquake and aftershocks that recently struck Turkey and Syria, a disaster that has so far claimed more than 23,000 lives. Such an unimaginable figure. While we celebrate each life saved by the brave first responders who are risking their own to pull victims from the rubble, the death toll is likely to rise even higher as rescue and recovery efforts continue.

Our hearts go out to all those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy. BC’s diverse campus community includes members from Turkey and Syria as well as those with ties to that area. Please extend grace and compassion to anyone struggling in the aftermath. While this disaster transpired 6,000 miles away, in our interconnected global family, it affects us all. 

If you or someone you know needs counseling, please take advantage of the resources listed below. 

  • Counseling Center: Counselors are trained mental health professionals who assist students with a wide variety of personal life challenges and concerns that may be affecting academic performance.  
  • Employee Assistance Program:  Faculty and staff can contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 877-313-4455. 
  • Report a Concern: Report any concern in the Bellevue College community online, including worrying behaviors.  

In times of crises, many of us want to figure out how to help. If you are able to donate to a charity, make sure your donations are going to the people in need by avoiding donating to newly established organizations, as these organizations can sometimes be scams. Instead, find organizations that have a good track record working in the region. If you need assistance, a good place to start your research is Charity Navigator, which provides a list of verified charitable organizations along with ratings.

Some of the highest-rated charities on Charity Navigator for Turkey and Syria earthquake relief efforts include:

Thank you for your kindness and compassion in reflecting and acting on the unimaginable tragedy in Turkey and Syria.

Gary Locke

Interim President