The events that have unfolded in our country in the past year—from Charlottesville to the mass shooting in Las Vegas—are a stark reminder to us all of the vital role that public institutions of higher education play in this nation in delineating norms of civility, inclusion, and democracy. The intolerance, racism, and bigotry that have led to the tragic loss of lives and the injuries to so many others are precisely what institutions like our own endeavor to address, redress, and ameliorate in our mission to make this a more just and humane society. I have never been prouder of this institution when, this past spring, so many hundreds signed our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, which you can read—and sign—here.
I am proud, too, that as an institution we stand by the victims and heroes of these events, students and faculty and staff and community members like ourselves who believe in the principles of love, equality, and diversity.
A nation’s greatness is measured by its tenacity in holding such principles dear. We are all equally important in ensuring such greatness and I signify my own dedication by renewing my commitment to the following:
- Support all members of our community. When I see discrimination, intolerance or hatred, I will stand up and speak out.
- Encourage civil discourse. While I may not agree with you, I will share my opinions and differences in a considerate and respectful manner.
- Educate myself. As a college campus is a place of academic and personal diversity, I will strive to better understand those around me.
- Make our campus a safe place. Whether it be fostering an outlet for expression or providing resources that can help others, I will ensure members of my community feel safe.
Together, we will keep UMPI a safe place and make this a better world for us all.