Lebanese American University

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Message from the President

November 14, 2011—

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

As you all know too well, on November 1, 2011 our beloved LAU family witnessed an event that shook our souls and caused us a great deal of pain. A number of our students were involved in a regrettable political and sectarian fight that was a direct affront to our mission and the values we stand for and so deeply cherish. All of us — faculty, staff, students, and administrators — were profoundly saddened and distressed by the sight of ugly violence unfolding before our very eyes on the Beirut campus. I salute all those in the university community who rose to put an end to the fighting and to condemn all aspects of anger and violence. I am grateful for their exemplary commitment, understanding, and compassion.

After a full investigation, LAU resorted to several punitive measures, including sanctions, for students directly involved in the incident. The core of our mission is to provide an opportunity for our youth to earn an excellent education, and in that vein we are endeavoring to turn this into a productive teaching moment. As such, all students receiving sanctions will participate in an intensive rehabilitation program consisting of workshops on anger management, accepting differences, and resolving conflicts through peaceful means. They will also be required to do community service. Student elections, already reformed, have been postponed until January 2012 to give ample time for all candidates to attend workshops on governance, democracy and non-violence, and to give both campuses the opportunity to engage in open forums on tolerance. In the meantime, the university will not authorize any event of a political or sectarian nature either within or outside our campuses.

We are confident that, with all of us working together, our university will emerge stronger from this recent experience and become an ideal model for student representation. With your profound passion for LAU, our beloved institution will continue to be a beacon for hope and progress in Lebanon and the region. Thank you for coming together in support of our mission.

With my best wishes,

Joseph G. Jabbra
 


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