February 10, 2023

Dear Members of Our Campus Community,

We are deeply saddened by the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria, and the catastrophic ramifications that continue to unfold. With the death toll surpassing 19,300 in Turkey and more than 3,300 in Syria, tens of thousands missing and injured, and hundreds of thousands without food and shelter in below-freezing temperatures, our hearts are weighted by the immense loss of life and the havoc wreaked across the region.

Our thoughts are with the people of Syria and Turkey – with those individuals directly affected, and the thousands of search and rescue personnel working to save lives. We appreciate the kindness and compassion of our community and the many ways in which we are reaching out to help, such as by donating to one of the disaster relief agencies working to bring aid to the region. Our Office of Global Engagement has posted a list on its website of some organizations that are working in the region.

We also express our deepest sympathy to those in our own UC Santa Barbara community who have been impacted by this tragedy. Earlier this week, a message went out to our current students who are from, or have close connections to, Turkey, Syria, and nearby impacted areas.

For members of our campus community who may be in need of support, the following resources are available to you:

  • Students can go to wellbeing.ucsb.edu for a comprehensive list of resources. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available at no cost, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (805) 893-4411 (press 2 to speak with a clinician).
  • Students who are experiencing short-term financial hardship can email the Financial Crisis Response Team in our Office of Financial Aid at financialcrisis@sa.ucsb.edu.
  • Staff and faculty can access the Academic and Staff Assistance Program (ASAP) for support.

Our campus stands together in support of our international community. We will continue to work together to find ways to offer our help and support in the recovery and rebuilding efforts that lie ahead.


Henry Yang

Kum-Kum Bhavnani
Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Engagement