President's Office

Message on start of military action in Iraq

March 20, 2003

To the CSUN Community:

As you are aware, military action has been initiated in Iraq. While this action was not unexpected, it is natural for people to experience uncertainty and anxiety at such a time. Let us each be sure in the days ahead to tend to the well-being and feelings of those around us at work and, of course, our family, friends, and loved ones. Our thoughts and good wishes go to everyone who is affected by this conflict.

I want to assure all members of the campus community that the University remains open. Classes and the normal business of the campus are proceeding as usual, based on current circumstances.

The issues that have led to the events in Iraq have generated extensive dialogue on campus and around the nation for the past several months. We should be proud of the thoughtful, civil, and respectful manner in which this conversation has been conducted on this campus. This is in keeping with CSUN's place as an institution of higher learning that values the free exchange of ideas and accommodates a diversity of thoughts and opinions.

I am confident that this commitment to the civil exchange of ideas, and to our shared respect for all people, will continue to be embodied on campus in the days ahead, particularly as each of us strives to articulate our feelings and views about these events. Our students will look to us, and especially to faculty, for leadership and guidance on how to act during this time of uncertainty. It is an opportunity for our students to learn about world events, civil discourse, respect, tolerance, and courage in times of adversity.

Members of the campus community also should be aware that, because of the current alert status of the nation, the University has taken prudent steps to safeguard the campus. This work is being done primarily by Public Safety and Physical Plant Management. Although we have not been advised of any threats against the University or the region, these actions are necessary given the nation's current heightened state of awareness.

Please note that "Want to Talk?" Centers have been established at the Exchange, Matador Square, the Matador Bookstore, and east of the Sierra Tower breezeway to give members of the campus community an opportunity to discuss the war. The Centers will be open today from 10 am to 3 pm. In addition, a special University web site has been posted that provides resources, news, and information related to these events. A list of University sponsored programming and activities will be posted there. You can directly link to the site from the University's main page at

Given the potential for events and circumstances to change dramatically and quickly in this environment, I encourage everyone in the campus community to check the campus web site for up to-date news and announcements about the status of the campus. Special toll-free lines also have been established for faculty and staff at 1-800-926-4826 and students and the community at 1-877-671-CSUN (2786), with similar recorded information and announcements.



Jolene Koester