Yesterday’s election was a significant moment in American history, and one that provoked strong reactions across the political spectrum. One of LSA’s core principles is that we derive strength from difference of opinion and diversity of thought. Another is that all members of our community belong here together. And while the College will always be a place that welcomes strong opinions, it will never be one that tolerates incivility, intimidation, or disrespect.
The run-up to the election sometimes led to painful and inappropriate dialogue on our campus, and even today some incidents have made students feel marginalized, threatened, and unwelcome. The University’s Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities affirms that all students have the right to be treated with dignity and fairness. As always, we expect the community to live up to those standards.
Even with a major event like an election, the College continues its work, and we will continue to teach, learn, and engage in dialogue as we always do.
To that end, I want you to know three things:
1. We expect all students and faculty to continue to attend classes and exams, and we encourage faculty to be as flexible and accommodating as possible–as you always are–to students facing difficulties.
2. I will be hosting a forum for students to speak with me and LSA faculty about campus climate during and after the election on Monday, November 14, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on the first floor of the LSA building.
3. I encourage you to consider the events and resources highlighted by President Schlissel in his message to the U-M community.
It is very much up to each of us to shape this election’s legacy by how we respond to it and move forward. To that end, I ask each of us to be good to one another, even when we disagree. I ask you to seek to understand the lived experience of many in our country who are disenfranchised, discriminated against, or left behind economically, as well as those whose status feels insecure. And I ask you to commit to truly engaging and working with one another so that we can be at our best as an institution of learning and a vehicle for public good.