St. Cloud State University is proud to be an inclusive and welcoming place for students, faculty and staff with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. The results of last Tuesday’s presidential election have been received differently across our nation, and with a wide range of emotions. We remain absolutely committed to supporting all members of our campus community and adhering to our principles of civil exchange of ideas and mutually respectful dialogue. I am thankful that we live in a community where we have a history of coming together in support and solidarity. However, we must also acknowledge very real feelings of concern for some in our community.
We must not let different viewpoints about this election, strong as the feelings might be, descend into intolerance or intimidation. We may disagree about perspectives, politics and ideas, but acts of hate and violence are not acceptable. Exposure to differing opinions allows each of us to carefully reflect and evaluate our personal beliefs on issues. St. Cloud State University can be a model by showcasing how peaceful and ongoing dialogue, in and out of the classroom, can both educate and fulfil our shared goals.
I ask that we work together to create spaces for learning, debate and discussion that are befitting of a university in an engaged democratic society, and that align with our core values as an institution: excellence, integrity, learning, diversity, creativity, and global consciousness.
Student Government President Mikaela Johnson and I will be reaching out to all of our students to establish an opportunity to come together and share reflections and perspectives in the coming days.
I have confidence in our faculty, staff and students to engage in compassionate and respectful dialogue as we help the country move forward.