Events in the Middle East, the U.S., and Our Community

Message from Dean Michael Waterstone

May 21, 2021

Dear LLS Community, 

I hope that you are all healthy and safe.  I know many members of our community have great concern about events in the Middle East.  Those concerns are deepened by the recent anti-Semitic violence in Los Angeles, which has impacted members of our community personally.  This is accompanied by an overall rise in hate-motivated anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim violence and discrimination across the United States.  In the past week, along with members of the administration, I have met with students and alumni who have a range of views.  I look forward to future conversations, allowing opportunity for meaningful listening, learning and reflection.

In these conversations, it is clear that members of our community are in pain and feel sadness, fear, and anger.  Our community is a large and diverse one, and on the issue of conflict in the Middle East, as with many others, we may not all agree.  No one student or alumni speaks for our community and institution as a whole.  But it is a testament to the strength of our learning community when, even on an issue as charged as this one, our conversations are animated by respect and professionalism.  

We join the global community in praying for peace and healing in the Middle East.  Loyola Law School is and will always be a place of inclusion and belonging for students from diverse backgrounds, and without reservation, we are here for all of our students.  During a period of heightened stress and anxiety, intensified by acts of hatred and violence both at home and in our global community, we offer our support.  Students who are feeling vulnerable, anxious, or afraid may avail themselves of the on-campus counseling services with Dr. Michael Douglas or Dr. Angela Liu. More wellness resources, including information on setting an appointment with the LMU Student Psychological Services can be located on our website. If you need additional support or have been personally affected, please also reach out directly to Dean of Students, Linda Whitfield or Director of Student Affairs, Matthew Riojas.  

Finally, we keep our commitment to model empathy, understanding, and learning.  When we reconvene as a community in fall, we will work toward programming that addresses the historical and contemporary aspects of conflict in the Middle East as well as programs that encourage multicultural dialogue.


Michael E. Waterstone
Fritz B. Burns Dean, Loyola Law School
Senior Vice President, Loyola Marymount University