The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Opinion | Stop asking women if they want children
Opinion | Stop asking women if they want children
By Grace Harris, Staff Columnist • June 12, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

Student organizations demand Chancellor Gabel ‘name the suffering of the Palestinian people’

A+Palestinian+flag+in+front+of+the+Cathedral+of+Learning+in+a+rally+in+support+of+Palestine+on+Thursday+afternoon.+
Pamela Smith | Contributing Editor
A Palestinian flag in front of the Cathedral of Learning in a rally in support of Palestine on Thursday afternoon.

Pitt’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine released a letter to Chancellor Joan Gabel on Wednesday demanding that the University “unequivocally recognize and name the suffering of the Palestinian people.” 

The letter addresses the email Chancellor Gabel sent out on Oct.12, in which she discussed Hamas’ attack and condemned the actions of the militant group. Several other student organizations at Pitt also signed the letter to show their solidarity, including the Muslim Student Association, the Middle Eastern North African Student Association, the Black Action Society, the Asian Student Alliance and others. 

“At no point in this email did you so much mention the word Palestine, let alone acknowledge the unimaginable suffering that the Palestinian people have incurred as a result of decades of illegal occupation,” the statement reads. “The email you shared to the entire Pitt community lacked a clear distinction between innocent Palestinians and the terrorist group, subjecting Arabs of all faith backgrounds to Islamophobia and racist rhetoric.” 

The message comes after a Palestinian hospital was bombed and hundreds of civilians were killed in the escalating airstrikes on Gaza in the wake of the Oct7 Hamas attacks that killed 1400 Israelis

The University did not immediately respond to a request for comment about SJP’s letter to the Chancellor. 

SJP’s letter goes on to state that the University’s response to the attacks in Israel created an environment in which Muslim students feel unsafe attending weekly on-campus prayer.

“As a result of your statements, these students are unsure of where to report these microaggressions and feelings of unsafety because they feel as though the university does not care or recognize their struggles,” the letter said.

Pitt’s chapter of SJP told The Pitt News that it’s vital for the Chancellor to address Palestinian suffering in the same way her statement addressed Israeli suffering. 

“The email to the Chancellor was written in response to the lack of effort to recognize the ongoing genocide and create a safe space for all students,” the organization said. “Palestinians are humans too, and deserve the sympathy and support that everyone decides to give to the Israeli people. 

The organization also emphasized that they believe it is the University’s job to ensure all students are as safe as possible on campus. 

“People of color and Muslims have expressed not feeling safe on their own campus, and it is the administration’s responsibility as educational leaders to make sure all students have the necessary resources and safety that everyone deserves,” the organization said.

About the Contributor
Ryleigh Lord, News Editor
Ryleigh Lord is the head news editor at The Pitt News. She is a junior history and English writing major with an Irish minor. She also contributes to the culture desk, mostly to talk about the shows and movies she loves. In her free time, she's usually cheering on Arsenal WFC despite their best efforts to break her spirit. You can contact her at [email protected]