I know that members of our community have differing political and social views. On Tuesday, November 8th, votes were cast in our national election, and, in January, the United States will have a new president. No matter our feelings about this it will happen and we will be affected by it.
I realize that some believe I should not express personal or political views because I am a college president. I understand this perspective and usually heed its advice. However, there are times to ignore this advice and say something. This is one of those times where a failure to speak out is far more dangerous than keeping silent.
I find it difficult to believe that our nation elected a man whose views on civility and inclusivity are so at odds with mine and the values of our Goddard community. I can manage to get past his inexperience and lack of public service even though virtually every editorial page in the country, left- or right-leaning, failed to endorse him because of that inexperience. What I cannot get past or overlook are his positions on race, religion, gender equality and identity, sexuality, and immigration.
Whatever the election may have expressed in terms of these values, my values and our values as a college remain a strong and unswerving commitment to diversity and respect for people of all races, religions, nationalities, genders and sexualities. We shall not let the most vulnerable in our community be silenced. Instead, we shall follow the tradition of all people who believe in justice and equality and overcome this storm together.
I especially want to encourage our students to contact their faculty advisers, the academic dean, or the Community Life staff if they have questions or need a space to explore and express their concerns. I want to reassure our students that your Goddard family and community are here for you.
As alumni who know the power of coming together, whether for residencies on campus for eight days, or as residential students years ago, I am confident you will find ways to connect and do good work in your communities; work that will move us forward, rather than backwards, with progress. Feel free to share with the community what you are doing by filling out our Alumni Update Form.
I recently took action by co-signing a joint letter to President-elect Donald Trump, joining over 100 college and university presidents urging him to forcefully “condemn and work to prevent the harassment, hate and acts of violence that are being perpetrated across our nation, sometimes in your name, which is now synonymous with our nation’s highest office.”
Together, we are stronger than the forces that imperil our principles and values.
With respect and sincerity,