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Dean's message: Support and unity

Monday, November 14, 2016

Dear College Colleagues,

As many of us have acknowledged, the recent presidential election has highlighted divisions among us. In the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, this moment is an opportunity for us to better understand how we have arrived at our contemporary realities, and look for ways to build a learning community around diverse perspectives, identities and forms of expression.

We have heard from many of you that you are upset, fearful, and uncertain. Yet, we also know there are those who are optimistic about the results of our presidential election. We must allow each other space to hold our viewpoints and process our individual reactions. As a community of scholars, we strive to make the world a better place. One of the greatest challenges in reaching that goal is hearing, seeing, and appreciating varied voices and perspectives, especially those that differ from our own.

We want to be clear that we must approach our differences with productive discourse and respect. We will not tolerate threats, harassment, or intimidation. These principles are articulated in our university’s policies, and we intend to uphold them. We have compiled a resource guide that provides direction on offices to contact and resources available for a variety of situations.

We understand that this is a very vulnerable and uncertain time for many of you and situations are arising that have no easy answers. If you need any assistance, you should immediately reach out to someone who can help such as one of your instructors or your advisor. If you are unsure who to contact, simply reach out to Dr. Jennifer Hamer and me in the Dean’s Office.

In the meantime, I encourage you to take part in the organized discussions occurring on campus, as you’re able. On our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion page, we have compiled a calendar that lists events happening across campus. Please check it often. Please be assured that we are continuing our commitment to building resources within the College and partnerships across campus to create a safer and more inclusive learning and work environment. 

In the College we, like many others, have questions about the future, especially with regard to how we might find common ground. As we forge ahead, I know I speak for everyone in the Dean’s Office that we are hopeful we can find ways to work together and look out for each other.