January 7, 2021
As we awoke today, we were still processing the political violence and affront to our democracy. I know each of us will need to continue processing the events we witnessed as we watched the storming and destruction of the Capitol on social media and news stations yesterday.
This morning President Eric Barron published a response to the events that you can find here. I know like me, these events have left many of you, including your children, with unease and unanswered questions. President Barron and I agree that violence is never the answer and that we must find the common good among our differences. Civil discourse exists as a central tenet of higher education with ethical environments and learning opportunities that support us to acknowledge and thoughtfully discuss differences.
We are a strong country of primarily law-abiding Americans and we will find our way forward. Despite some of the challenges we’ve worked through lately, there is so much good in our world and I am filled with hope for our future. I firmly believe that kindness and caring will be so important as we move forward and continue managing the health of our country and caring for those who have lost so much during the last year.
If you are feeling shock, anger, fear, or sadness I encourage you to think of all that is good and to take action to bestow simple acts of kindness that will inspire the hope and optimism we need today to create a better tomorrow. As always, I am here for you if you need a supportive colleague with whom to share your thoughts. Additional assistance is always available through the EAP program for University employees and through CAPS for students.
I leave you with a statement from a Senator at last night’s Congressional proceedings that continued after the violence and lawlessness; assuring us that our democracy continues even in the face of adversity… words that I have often said myself…“The best way to show respect for [others] is by telling them the truth.”