To the UMPI Community,
Friday’s decision by the United State Supreme Court to overturn 50 years of legal precedent in Roe v. Wade was experienced by individuals locally, nationally, and across the world with exceptional polarity—from relief and celebration to incredulity and anguish. These differences are almost certainly reflected in the experiences of those within UMPI’s own community. Especially considering recent past events that have divided our nation, and their too often tragic outcomes, it is vital that we remain particularly mindful of one another’s principles, beliefs, and histories at this juncture. As an institution of higher education, one of our fundamental values is providing experiences—within and without formal instructional spaces—supportive of greater understanding and greater appreciation of all members of our communities. Holding true to that value will be critical in our collective response to another decision that could lead to greater social and cultural divisiveness.
To that point, as a public institution in a state with legislation that protects women’s access to their reproductive health, I feel it equally important to note Governor Janet Mill’s statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision: “I do not consider the rights of women to be dispensable. And I pledge that as long as I am Governor, I will fight with everything I have to protect reproductive rights and to preserve access to reproductive health care.” You can read more responses from Maine’s leaders here.
It must be the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s continuing work to empower a full understanding of our individual rights, at both a state and national level, including the history and context by which such rights have been achieved and denied. Just as importantly, we must provide a protective and inclusive space not only for dialogue and advocacy, but for the safety each individual requires regarding the choices they make about their own beings under the laws and policies of this state and nation.
A reminder that UMPI provides a number of resources in regards to health care and other support services, none of which are impacted by Friday’s decision. This includes the office of Student Support Services (768-9732, firstname.lastname@example.org); the office of our Dean of Students (768-9518, email@example.com); and counseling and medical services during the regular academic year. These resources are here to support you and we hope you won’t hesitate to take advantage of them should you need them.